Miami Herald Publishes Editorial, Opposing Letter to Editor on Bush Administration’s Decision To Withhold UNFPA Funding
The Bush administration last month said that for the third consecutive year it will withhold $34 million in funding for the United Nations Population Fund, saying that because the organization works in China, it supports the Chinese government's policy of coerced abortions to maintain a goal of one child per family. The Bush administration in its decision cited the Kemp-Kasten law, which requires funding to be blocked for agencies if the president determines that a group "supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization." UNFPA has spent approximately $3.5 million in the past year for a pilot program in China to educate Chinese women about HIV transmission and contraception (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/19). The Miami Herald recently published an editorial on the decision and a letter to the editor in response to the Herald editorial. Summaries of the pieces appear below:
Miami Herald: Although China's "coercive family-planning tactics should be repudiated," Bush's decision to withhold UNFPA funding "hurts families in great need while leaving China, the intended target, virtually unscathed," a Herald editorial says. The decision is "based on a misconception" because federal law already prohibits UNFPA from spending U.S. money on abortion in China, the editorial says, adding that the decision "does little, if anything to persuade China to change course" (Miami Herald, 7/23).
- Arthur Dewey, Miami Herald: The Bush administration's decision to withhold UNFPA funding "was based on careful consideration" of the Kemp-Kasten law, China's "program of coercive abortion" and UNFPA's continued "support of, or involvement in, the management" of China's program, Dewey, assistant secretary for population, refugees and migration at the State Department, writes in a Herald letter to the editor in response to the paper's editorial. "Our objective in China is the realization of a climate where women and men make decisions freely about the number, timing and spacing of their children," Dewey concludes (Dewey, Miami Herald, 8/4).