By Dave Andrusko
WASHINGTON, D.C. The Trump administration announced Monday it will cut off U.S. funding for the United Nations Population Fund, on the basis that the UNFPA’s activities in China are complicit with that nation’s coercive population control program, the implementation of which includes forced abortion and involuntary sterilization.
“I congratulate pro-life President Donald Trump for making it abundantly clear the United States will no longer allow U.S. taxpayer dollars to be used to underwrite UNFPA’s involvement in China’s brutally repressive population control policies,” said NRLC President Carol Tobias. “I heartily applaud what we at National Right to Life are seeing from this pro-life administration.”
Citing the State Department, the Associated Press reported UNFPA “will lose $32.5 million in funding from the 2017 budget, with funds shifted to similar programs at the U.S. Agency for International Development.” The AP’s Josh Lederman added
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee was notified of the move by the State Department in a letter received Monday. The letter followed a formal designation by Tom Shannon, the State Department’s undersecretary of political affairs that said the fund “supports, or participates in the management of, a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.”
Monday’s decision should be seen in light of pro-life President Donald Trump’s January memorandum to reissue and expand the Mexico City Policy, which prevents foreign non-governmental organizations [NGOs] that perform or promote abortion from receiving U.S. funds unless they pledge to stop performing or promoting abortion as a method of family planning, regardless of the funding source. (See “Americans agree: We don’t want to fund abortions abroad,” Mrs. Tobias op-ed that appeared in The Hill.)
According to Marie Smith, of the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues
“The Presidential Memorandum Regarding the Mexico City Policy” issued by President Trump not only revokes President Obama’s Memorandum of January 23, 2009, repealing the policy and reinstates President George W. Bush’s Memorandum of January 22, 2001, restoring the Mexico City Policy. It is also modernized to reflect current challenges to the protection of women and children from the violence of abortion.
President Trump has directed the Secretary of State, in coordination with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in the fullest extent allowed by law, to “implement a plan to extend the requirements of the reinstated Memorandum to global health assistance furnished by all departments or agencies.”
The expansion to “all global health assistance furnished by all departments or agencies” reflects President Trump’s commitment to stop use of all U.S. tax payer money for abortion, both in the U.S. and abroad. This action is supported by an overwhelming 83% of Americans who do not want to have their tax dollars used to support abortion in other countries, according to a new Marist Poll.
Note the emphasis on “all U.S. taxpayer money for abortion, both in the U.S. and abroad.”
In response Reggie Littlejohn, founder and president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, said, “We are thrilled that the U.S. is no longer funding forced abortion and involuntary sterilization in China. The blood of Chinese women and babies is no longer on our hands. My very first press release, in 2009, was entitled “You Are Funding Forced Abortions in China.”
Littlejohn added, “I have consistently advocated for the defunding of UNFPA over the years, most recently just a couple of weeks ago at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.”