Congresswoman Confident Obama Will Fund UNFPA, Which Supports China's Coercive Abortion Program

By Penny Starr | November 12, 2008 | 6:24 PM EST

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said at a press conference Wednesday that President-elect Barack Obama will change the culture in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Starr)

( – Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said she is confident that President-elect Barack Obama will reverse the Bush administration’s decision six years ago to stop the $40 million in annual funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) because of its support of China’s one-child policy – a policy that includes coercive abortion.
Speaking at a press conference at the National Press Club on Wednesday to release the 2008 U.N. report on the state of the world’s population, Maloney said the funding will be approved by the Democratic majority Congress with the support of Obama.
“You know the president will have to do nothing,” said Maloney, who also pitched her book, “Rumors of Our Progress are Greatly Exaggerated,” at the event. “He will just have to let the will of Congress go through. One of the changes is that UNFPA will be funded.”
Maloney was referring to the Bush administration’s 2002 decision to stop giving money to UNFPA, based on the Kemp-Kasten Amendment, which states no U.S. funds “may 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 abortion or involuntary sterilization.”
In July, Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte submitted a letter along with a report explaining the U.S. decision not to fund UNFPA for the sixth year in a row.
“The United States opposes coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization. I have determined that by providing financial and technical resources … to [China’s] National Population and Family Planning Commission and related entities, UNFPA provides support for and participates in the management of the Chinese government’s program of coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization,” he wrote.
Maloney said she addresses the Bush administration’s stance in her book.
“In it I have a chapter on UNFPA, and I talk about how we passed funding six times in the House and in the Senate to continue the critical work of UNFPA, which incidentally was founded with American leadership well over 30 years ago and was supported strongly by George Bush’s father.”
The U.N. report, entitled “Reaching Common Ground: Culture, Gender and Human Rights,” “calls for culturally sensitive development because they are essential for human rights in general, and women’s rights in particular.”
The report also says “cultural sensitivity helps to mitigate and overcome cultural resistance to couples and individuals using modern contraception … It prepares the way for empowering women in particular with control over their fertility. Culturally sensitive approaches are essential tools for development organizations concerned with promoting sexual and reproductive health.”
“This report could not be more timely,” Maloney said. “It’s all about cultural change, and we are really about to see major cultural change in Washington. Part of that hope and change will be a new attitude toward reports like this one, and I am confident we can be very sure (the report) will be taken to heart and listened and studied by our new president.”
America will no longer “impose our own ideology” around the world under Obama’s leadership, she added.
“(Obama) knows personally how important it is to work within a culture to bring about change,” Maloney said. “He has done a beautiful job on that himself, and he 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.
During his campaign, Obama said he supports the 1973 Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion in the United States.
He also promised Planned Parenthood that he would sign into law the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), which strikes down all federal and state restrictions on abortion, including the ban on partial-birth abortion, and will establish abortion-on-demand in every state and the U.S. territories.
Obama also has said he supports “comprehensive sex education” in public schools that would include abstinence and information on “safe sex” practices.

According to the most recent U.S. State Department report on human rights in China: "The government continued its coercive birth limitation policy, in some cases resulting in forced abortion and sterilization."