A small step in the right direction: less of your tax money to UNFPA

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A small step in the right direction: less of your tax money to UNFPA

Pres­i­dent Trump’s State Depart­ment has told the United Nations Pop­u­la­tion Fund (UNFPA) to get along with­out U.S. finan­cial sup­port. There are peo­ple who think this is a bad idea. I’m not one of them. Nei­ther is Reg­gie Littlejohn.

I met Reg­gie very briefly a cou­ple of years ago, when we were speak­ers at a pro-​life con­ven­tion in New Hamp­shire. My job was to talk about effec­tive use of social media. Reggie’s job was to talk about China’s coer­cive abor­tion pol­icy. She got bet­ter billing — and deserved it. Her sto­ries were com­pelling and persuasive.

She became inter­ested in Chi­nese pol­icy when as an attor­ney she rep­re­sented a Chi­nese woman seek­ing polit­i­cal asy­lum in the United States. It was Reggie’s first expo­sure to the wretched effects of the One-​Child Pol­icy: forced abor­tion, forced ster­il­iza­tion, and gen­der imbal­ance as boys are more val­ued cul­tur­ally than girls. The rev­e­la­tions changed her life. She later estab­lished Women’s Rights With­out Fron­tiers, an inter­na­tional coali­tion ded­i­cated to fight­ing forced abor­tion in China.

Wher­ever she speaks, she points out the sup­port China’s poli­cies have received from UNFPA. She has called repeat­edly for U.S. de-​funding of the orga­ni­za­tion. She released a state­ment the other day when de-​funding was finally announced.

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 will no longer be on our hands. My very first press release, in 2009, was enti­tled ‘You Are Fund­ing Forced Abor­tions in China.’ I have con­sis­tently advo­cated for the defund­ing of UNFPA over the years…

The UNFPA clearly sup­ports China’s pop­u­la­tion con­trol pro­gram, which they know is coer­cive. Under China’s One (now Two) Child Pol­icy, women have been forcibly aborted up to the ninth month of preg­nancy. Some of these forced abor­tions have been so vio­lent that the women them­selves have died, along with their full term babies. There have been bru­tal forced ster­il­iza­tions as well, butcher­ing women and leav­ing them dis­abled. Where was the out­cry from the UNFPA? In my opin­ion, silence in the face of such atroc­i­ties is com­plic­ity. Dr. Mar­tin Luther King once said, ‘In the end, we will remem­ber not the words of our ene­mies, but the silence of our friends.’ The UNFPA’s silence in the face of decades of forced abor­tion has been a sword in the wombs of mil­lions of women and babies of China. I rejoice with them that the foot of the UNFPA is finally off of their necks.”

Well done, Mr. President.

I remem­ber lis­ten­ing to Reg­gie speak around the time China shifted to a Two-​Child Pol­icy. She was unim­pressed by the change. “What mat­ters is they’re telling peo­ple how many kids to have and they’re enforc­ing it with forced abor­tions.” She elab­o­rated on that in a 2015 press state­ment about the pol­icy shift.

Char­ac­ter­iz­ing this lat­est mod­i­fi­ca­tion as ‘aban­don­ing’ the One-​Child Pol­icy is mis­lead­ing. A two-​child pol­icy will not end any of the human rights abuses caused by the One Child Pol­icy, includ­ing forced abor­tion, invol­un­tary ster­il­iza­tion or the sex-​selective abor­tion of baby girls….Noticeably absent from the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist party’s announce­ment is any men­tion of human rights. The Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party has not sud­denly devel­oped a con­science or grown a heart. Even though it will now allow all cou­ples to have a sec­ond child, China has not promised to end forced abor­tion, forced ster­il­iza­tion, or forced contraception.

…In a world laden with com­pas­sion fatigue, peo­ple are relieved to cross China’s one-​child pol­icy off of their list of things to worry about. But we can­not do that. Let us not aban­don the women of China, who con­tinue to face forced abor­tion, and the baby girls of China, who con­tinue to face sex-​selective abor­tion and aban­don­ment. The one-​child pol­icy does not need to be mod­i­fied. It needs to be abolished.”

Let’s hear UNFPA speak up for Chi­nese women that way. Until then, the agency can get along with­out U.S. tax­payer support.

Ellen Kolb blogs about New Hamp­shire life-​issue pol­icy at Leaven for the Loaf and looks far­ther afield in ellenkolb​.com.

Sup­port inde­pen­dent jour­nal­ism by hit­ting Da Tip Jar for Da Tech Guy Blog.

President Trump’s State Department has told the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to get along without U.S. financial support. There are people who think this is a bad idea. I’m not one of them. Neither is Reggie Littlejohn.

I met Reggie very briefly a couple of years ago, when we were speakers at a pro-life convention in New Hampshire. My job was to talk about effective use of social media. Reggie’s job was to talk about China’s coercive abortion policy. She got better billing – and deserved it. Her stories were compelling and persuasive.

She became interested in Chinese policy when as an attorney she represented a Chinese woman seeking political asylum in the United States. It was Reggie’s first exposure to the wretched effects of the One-Child Policy: forced abortion, forced sterilization, and gender imbalance as boys are more valued culturally than girls. The revelations changed her life. She later established Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, an international coalition dedicated to fighting forced abortion in China.

Wherever she speaks, she points out the support China’s policies have received from UNFPA. She has called repeatedly for U.S. de-funding of the organization. She released a statement the other day when de-funding was finally announced.

“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 will no longer be on our hands. My very first press release, in 2009, was entitled ‘You Are Funding Forced Abortions in China.‘ I have consistently advocated for the defunding of UNFPA over the years…

“The UNFPA clearly supports China’s population control program, which they know is coercive. Under China’s One (now Two) Child Policy, women have been forcibly aborted up to the ninth month of pregnancy. Some of these forced abortions have been so violent that the women themselves have died, along with their full term babies. There have been brutal forced sterilizations as well, butchering women and leaving them disabled. Where was the outcry from the UNFPA? In my opinion, silence in the face of such atrocities is complicity.   Dr. Martin Luther King once said, ‘In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.’ The UNFPA’s silence in the face of decades of forced abortion has been a sword in the wombs of millions of women and babies of China. I rejoice with them that the foot of the UNFPA is finally off of their necks.”

Well done, Mr. President.

I remember listening to Reggie speak around the time China shifted to a Two-Child Policy. She was unimpressed by the change. “What matters is they’re telling people how many kids to have and they’re enforcing it with forced abortions.” She elaborated on that in a 2015 press statement about the policy shift.

“Characterizing this latest modification as ‘abandoning’ the One-Child Policy is misleading. A two-child policy will not end any of the human rights abuses caused by the One Child Policy, including forced abortion, involuntary sterilization or the sex-selective abortion of baby girls….Noticeably absent from the Chinese Communist party’s announcement is any mention of human rights. The Chinese Communist Party has not suddenly developed a conscience or grown a heart. Even though it will now allow all couples to have a second child, China has not promised to end forced abortion, forced sterilization, or forced contraception.

“…In a world laden with compassion fatigue, people are relieved to cross China’s one-child policy off of their list of things to worry about. But we cannot do that. Let us not abandon the women of China, who continue to face forced abortion, and the baby girls of China, who continue to face sex-selective abortion and abandonment. The one-child policy does not need to be modified. It needs to be abolished.”

Let’s hear UNFPA speak up for Chinese women that way. Until then, the agency can get along without U.S. taxpayer support.

Ellen Kolb blogs about New Hampshire life-issue policy at Leaven for the Loaf and looks farther afield in ellenkolb.com

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