By Reggie Littlejohn, President, Women’s Rights Without Frontier
It is appalling that the Biden administration is proposing a 72% increase in the funding to the UNFPA, from $32.5 to 56 million for FY23, with no restrictions on allocations to China. Every dollar of these funds comes out of the pockets of U.S. taxpayers.
UNFPA has worked hand in hand with the brutal Chinese Communist Party for decades. For this reason, the Reagan, Bush, and Trump administrations all defunded the UNFPA as a violation of the Kemp-Kasten Amendment.
Kemp-Kasten states that no funding can be made available to “any organization or program which, as determined by the President of the United States, supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive or involuntary sterilization.” This broad language was intended to prevent U.S. tax dollars from funding coercive population control in China.
UNFPA apologists argue that it does not directly participate in coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization. Kemp-Kasten, however, does not require that the organization directly participate in forced abortions. Collaboration with an entity that implements a coercive population control program is enough. This is a low threshold, which UNFPA has been found repeatedly to have crossed.
Forced abortion and involuntary sterilization continue at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party until this day. According to the just-released Congressional-Executive Commission on China’s Annual Report, “. . .women in China continue to face forced abortion [and] sterilization . . .”
The worst instances of coercion have occurred in Xinjiang, where the U.S. State Department has determined that the Chinese Communist Party is committing genocide. The CECC Report states:
“Uyghur and other Turkic Muslim women who were formerly detained in mass internment camps in the XUAR have reported being subjected to coercive birth control measures, including forced implantation of intrauterine devices (IUDs), forced sterilization, and forced abortion.”
UNFPA cannot, therefore, credibly argue that it does not violate Kemp-Kasten because China has moved to a three-child policy. Coercive population control continues, especially in Xinjiang.
Throughout the entire history of UNFPA in China, the Chinese Communist Party has engaged in coercive population control. Far from condemning these policies, the UNFPA has collaborated with the very entity responsible for enforcing them. Indeed in 1983 — at the height of the brutality of China’s forced abortion polity –- the UNFPA gave its highest award to the head of the National Family Planning Commission, Qian Xinshong.
In my opinion, U.S. funding of UNFPA violates Kemp-Kasten. It is morally repugnant for U.S. taxpayers unwittingly to be forced to underwrite some of the greatest human rights atrocities on earth today, including forced abortions and sterilizations. So long as we are funding UNFPA, the blood of Chinese women and babies is on our hands.