President Bush’s Decision To Withhold UNFPA Funding Hurts Global HIV/AIDS Fight, Editorial Says
The U.S. "could play an even larger role" in curbing the HIV/AIDS pandemic if President Bush "would stop holding vital funds" earmarked for the U.N. Population Fund "hostage to politics," an Atlanta Journal-Constitution editorial says. According to the Journal-Constitution, Bush, for the fourth consecutive year, is withholding $34 million in funding from UNFPA because he says the organization supports coerced abortions in China. However, "[t]wo independent review panels and Bush's own team of investigators found no credible evidence that [UNFPA] underwrote abortions or involuntary sterilizations in China," the editorial says. Bush decided to "persist with the destructive boycott" because "it's a sop to the extremists in his party, for whom the United Nations represents a cesspool of liberalism and for whom sex education can be summarized in a single word: abstinence," the Journal-Constitution writes. The UNFPA funding could "expand maternal health and HIV prevention efforts," but instead "fanatics" are trying to "export" abstinence-only sex education policies to places such as sub-Saharan Africa, where women and girls constitute about 60% of the region's HIV-positive population, the editorial says (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 10/19).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.