On Sept 16, the Bush administration made a formal “determination” that the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is ineligible, under a longstanding federal anticoercion law, for the $34 million that Congress had set aside for it. “UNFPA’s support of, and involvement in, China’s birth-planning activities facilitates the Chinese government’s coercive abortion program,” wrote Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns in a letter to congressional leaders.

The action was predictable. President Bush first blocked a U.S. contribution to UNFPA in 2002, and has every year since, on the grounds that the agency violates the anticoercion law by virtue of its mere presence in China, despite the fact that the administration’s own investigative team found no evidence to support this claim. UNFPA operates in over 150 poor countries around the world, but does not provide or pay for abortion services anywhere in the world. Instead, UNFPA works to reduce the need for abortion by promoting voluntary family planning.

Click on the links below for more information.

U.S. funding for UNFPA

The Bush Administration’s policies on sexual and reproductive health worldwide

The broad benefits of international family planning programs for women and children