Supporters of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) are confident that President-elect Barack Obama will reverse the Bush administration’s 2002 decision to stop the $40 million it received in U.S. funding. The policy was instated because of UNFPA’s support for China’s one-child policy, which includes coercive abortion practices.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D – N.Y.) said the funding will be approved by the Democratic majority Congress. Her comments came while speaking Wednesday at a press conference at the National Press Club where the 2008 U.N. report on world population was released.
“You know the president will have to do nothing,” said Maloney. “He will just have to let the will of Congress go through. One of the changes is that UNFPA will be funded,” CNSNews.com reports.
The Bush administration in 2002 had stopped funding the organization, citing the Kemp-Kasten Amendment which prohibits funds from being available to organizations or programs determined to be supporting or participating in coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization programs.
In July of 2008, Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte announced that for the sixth year in a row, the government had determined that “UNFPA provides support for and participates in the management of the Chinese government’s program of coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization.”
Rep. Maloney reported that she discusses UNFPA funding controversies in her book “Rumors of Our Progress are Greatly Exaggerated.” She said the UNFPA was founded “with American leadership” and “was supported strongly by George Bush’s father.”
The new UN report, “Reaching Common Ground: Culture, Gender and Human Rights,” calls for “cultural sensitivity” to “mitigate and overcome cultural resistance to couples and individuals using modern contraception.” It claims to prepare for the empowerment of women with control over their fertility.
Nevertheless, Rep. Maloney claimed the U.S. will no longer “impose our own ideology” under the UNFPA funding changes.
She said Obama “has already said his administration will change the way we do business in Washington and that improving the role of women around the world is going to be one of his prominent priorities.
“I am thrilled with this report, and I am really thrilled at the new direction of our government,” Maloney said, according to CNSNews.com.