By Kathleen Gilbert

FRONT ROYAL, Virginia, March 25, 2009 ( – Contrary to the claims of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), China’s coercive one-child policy is alive and well in the counties in which UNFPA operates, according to an investigation by the Population Research Institute (PRI). PRI now is calling on President Obama to reconsider his decision to fund UNFPA in light of the investigation’s findings.

In 2001, PRI’s investigative report revealing UNFPA’s close affiliation with China’s coercive abortion and sterilization methods sparked a federal investigation that led to President Bush’s decision to end U.S. funding to the United Nations group. 

Despite these findings, President Obama announced in January that he would resume funding to the UNFPA.  Accordingly, the Senate appropriations bill last month included a clause insulating the UNFPA from federal policy that prohibits funding organizations that promote forced sterilization and abortion.

On March 7th -11th of this year, PRI launched another on-the-ground investigation in 3 UNFPA “model counties” in China.  UNFPA makes the claim that in these counties their efforts have “removed birth targets and quotas and introduced a quality-of-care approach.”

PRI’s investigative team found that the one-child policy was not relaxed in the counties it investigated, and, in some ways, the coercive measures undertaken by the government are worse now than ever.

PRI’s Colin Mason, who headed up the investigation, said that, “Crippling fines, intense pressure to be sterilized, the flagrant display of quota information, and even the seizure of ‘illegal children’ by the government are commonplace. The UNFPA insists that its presence has led to the removal of these measures. It has not.”

In an interview with (LSN), Mason noted: “The UNFPA says that it has ‘played a catalytic role in introducing a comprehensive, voluntary reproductive health  approach in China,’ and that ‘the high monitoring standards of  UNFPA have resulted in a strong feedback mechanism that supports continuous change.’

“This is laughable,” said Mason.

“The one-child policy is enforced by ham-handed propaganda, crippling fines and intimidation in these counties, just as it is anywhere else in China,” he continued.  “There is no voluntary reproductive health care, only coercion and fear.”

Mason added that PRI “found that any and all official action concerning reproductive health and/or population control was entirely coercive and administrative in nature.”

Contrary to claims by the UNFPA, Mason said Chinese villagers consistently told PRI that China’s coercive policy has grown even more severe.

“It has not gotten better.  It has gotten worse,” Mason said.

“We at PRI ask the President to take a more critical approach in considering funding for the UNFPA,” said Steven Mosher, PRI’s president. “United States law clearly dictates that tax dollars cannot fund forced abortion or coercive measures overseas. The President has shown no consideration for these laws, nor has he expressed any concern over the UNFPA’s clear and consistent involvement in human rights abuses.”

“We stand ready to provide evidence to the Obama Administration regarding UNFPA’s involvement in China’s coercive policy.”

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See related coverage:

Congress Snubs Proposed Amendments Blocking Coerced Abortion/Sterilization Funding

UNPFA Loses $235 Million Due to Pro-Life Group’s Efforts

UNFPA Supports Coercive Family Planning-Including Forced Abortion-in China