By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Countries around the world are expressing outrage over the brutal treatment of a pregnant woman by Chinese authorities who were trying to force her to have an abortion. At the same time, President-elect Barack Obama is considering the reversal of an Executive Order that will allow money to once again flow to organizations that support these and other draconian “family planning” programs.
Arzigul Tursun is a Muslim woman living in China’s far northwest region who was being hounded a week ago by authorities because she is six months pregnant with her third child. According to local reports, government officials tracked Tursun down in her village and escorted her to a hospital where authorities ordered her to have an abortion against her will. Even with guards stationed at the hospital doors, Arzigul managed to escape. The police interrogated her family and the mother-to-be was recaptured yesterday in the home of some relatives. Her plight sparked such outrage from the international community that officials finally released her.
The story of Arzigul Tursun is only one of thousands of similar stories being played out every day in China and other countries that impose brutal “family planning” programs on its citizens. For this reason, the U.S. government, under President George W. Bush, has withheld funding from groups such as the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) because of its supporting role in these coercive abortion policies.
However, President-elect Obama may be planning to restore U.S. funding to UNFPA by overturning the Executive Order put in place by President Bush that cut off these funds, which some say he plans to do on his first day in office.
“America will no longer be an innocent bystander of tragedies like this one,” said Family Research Council president Tony Perkins. “Instead, the U.S. will be knowingly funding forced abortions like Arzigul’s with millions of taxpayer dollars.”
The UNFPA has repeatedly insisted that it has nothing to do with programs such as China’s one-child policy even though independent investigators have found ample evidence to the contrary.
Steven W. Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute (PRI), initiated the investigation in China that led the Bush Administration to cut off funding to the UNFPA seven years ago.
In their report, “UNFPA, China, and Coercive Family Planning,” PRI researchers interviewed more than two dozen victims and witnesses in China’s Sihui County in 2001 who confirmed that not only was the UNFPA involved, the organization actually shared an office with the Chinese family planning officials who were arresting women and forcing them to have abortions.
Prompted by this investigation, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell sent his own research team to China, which independently verified the facts that PRI had gathered. As a result, Powell himself urged that the U.S. government stop funding the UNFPA.
Powell said in a 2002 letter to Congress: “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.”
“President-elect Obama and his supporters blame pro-lifers in the Bush administration for this decision, but it was Colin Powell, who is no friend of social conservatives and who recently endorsed Obama for President, who made this call,” said Mosher in a recent statement.
“It would be a shame if Obama abandons both the women of China and one of his most high-profile backers in the name of the failed ideology of population control,” he said.
“Americans don’t want their money going to an organization–the UNFPA–which works hand-in-glove with China’s population control police as they drag women off for forced abortions and forced sterilizations. In protecting American taxpayers from having to fund such atrocities, President Bush made the right call.”
Perkins is calling on all citizens to “contact your leaders and tell them that terrorizing pregnant women is not the ‘change’ America voted for. Urge them to oppose Obama’s anti-woman agenda.”
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