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Associated Press

Government-sponsored coercion

China | A study shows UN continues to underwrite China's one-child policy

Issue: "Hurtling toward havoc," Aug. 1, 2009

A mute woman must
undergo sterilization before the government allows her to marry. A young woman hides her second child, buying a baby's corpse from an abortion clinic to convince family-planning officials her baby died. Christian villagers hide pregnant women and children from officials seeking to levy fines for transgressing China's population-control policies.

These are the stories the Population Research Institute discovered when it conducted a study of China's population policies in March and May. Its just-released study concludes that even in counties where a United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) presence is supposed to preclude coercive policies, the abuse continues. PRI president Steve Mosher said: "We are funding a program of forced abortion and forced sterilization in China through the UNFPA."

UNFPA says it spent $6.8 million in China last year and that China has demonstrated "significant progress" in achieving UNFPA goals. President Bush banned U.S. funding of UNFPA and banned funding for groups that promote abortion overseas (known as the Mexico City policy). President Obama has revoked those decisions, and so far Congress is backing him up.

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House and Senate committees have approved at least $50 million for UNFPA. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., failed in his efforts to pass a committee amendment reinstating the Mexico City policy, while the Senate Appropriations Committee passed an amendment backing its reversal. Both the House and the Senate generously funded family-planning programs, with the Senate Appropriations Committee allocating $628.5 million and the House increasing funding by 40 percent from 2008.

But pro-life members of Congress feel they have a chance to curtail abortion-related spending once the House and Senate confer to decide on a final budget draft. Smith told the House it was a "serious problem" to fund pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes International: "They are American surrogates in foreign countries. They speak for us. They certainly don't speak and act for millions of pro-life Americans."

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