U.S. Withdraws Support for Family Planning. (Update)

Article excerpt

The Bush administration has announced that it will withhold the $34 million U.S. contribution to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) approved by Congress for the current fiscal year. (1) The administration's decision is based on its determination that "UNFPA's support of, and involvement in, China's population-planning activities allows the Chinese government to implement more effectively its program of coercive abortion." The decision contradicts the report of an independent assessment team sent to China by Secretary of State Colin Powell, which concluded there is "no evidence that UNFPA has knowingly supported or participated in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization in [China]." (2) The Bush administration has said that it will redirect the $34 million to the U.S. Agency for International Development's Child Survival and Health Program Fund, which operates in approximately 60 countries, compared with the 142 countries in which UNFPA operates. Two days after the U.S. announcement, the European Commission announced that its member states had approved $32 million for a partnership with UNFPA and to fill in a "decency gap" left by the United States. …