By Kathleen Gilbert
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 26, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Congress prevented consideration of two amendments that would have blocked funding of overseas abortions as well as coerced abortion and sterilization, in the $410 billion Omnibus spending bill the House approved yesterday.
One of the amendments proposed by Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) attempted to fix a loophole whereby the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) will be able to receive money, despite federal policy that forbids funding organizations that support forced sterilization and abortion.
The U.S. stopped funding the UNFPA after 2001 investigations discovered that the Fund supports and promotes China’s coercive one-child policy. Under this policy, government officials routinely force Chinese mothers to abort and/or be sterilized, and impose heavy penalties for having more than one child. (http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2001/oct/011005c.html) Despite these findings, Obama stated that he intended to fund UNFPA when he rescinded the Mexico City Policy. The new spending bill makes good on that promise.
Another amendment Smith proposed would have restored the Mexico City Policy, which had prohibited taxpayer money from funding groups promoting or performing abortion overseas. President Obama rescinded the Reagan-era policy in his first week in office.
After Smith testified and notified the Democrat House Rules Committee of his amendments, the Rules Committee Tuesday night issued a closed rule that barred either amendment from being brought to the House floor to be considered or voted upon.
In a speech on the House floor yesterday, Smith lamented the consequences of ignoring the life-saving amendments.
"Flush with U.S. funds, foreign pro-abortion NGOs will be almost certainly regarded by people in foreign nations as extensions of American values and morels," said Smith. "In the name of the American people - pro-abortion organizations will unleash massive death, pain, sorrow and destruction on babies, women and families throughout the world."
A "direct, absolutely predictable consequence" of banishing the Mexico City Policy, said Smith, is that "the number of innocent children forced to die from dismemberment, decapitation, or chemical poisoning by abortion will increase significantly, mostly in Africa and Latin America."
Smith pointed out that polling data shows the American people do not want their taxpayer dollars to promote and perform abortion overseas. A Gallup poll released this month showed that approval for Obama’s reversal of the Mexico City Policy was drastically lower than for his other early actions, with only 35% approving and 58% opposing.
"Why not let the American people be heard on this issue?" Smith asked. "President Obama … has put countless innocent children in harms way all while speechifying that he wants to reduce abortion."
Smith also condemned the spending package for giving the UNFPA "$50 million and a slap on the wrist."
"The UN Population Fund has actively supported, co-managed, and white-washed the most pervasive crimes against women in human history," said Smith, who, as the former House chairman of the Human Rights committee, worked vigorously to combat human rights offenses in China.
"And through it all, throughout the past three decades, the UN Population Fund has remained China’s chief apologist as well as population control program trainer, facilitator and funder.
"So, how does Congress respond to the UNFPA’s complicity in China’s crimes against women?" Smith asked. "Do we demand reform and protection of Chinese women and children?
"Heck no. We gut the anti-coercion law and write a $50 million check to the UNFPA."
See related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Obama Promises to Fund Coercive China One-Child Policy Collaborator UNFPA
UNFPA Supports Coercive Family Planning-Including Forced Abortion-in China