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U.S. secretary of state Mike PompeoGage Skidmore

NEW YORK, July 18, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that for the third successive year, the United States will not contribute the expected $32.5 million to the United Nations Population Fund.

UNFPA acknowledged the funding cut on Monday, saying in a statement: “UNFPA has not yet seen the evidence to justify the serious claims made against its work. UNFPA does not perform, promote or fund abortion, and we accord the highest priority to universal access to voluntary family planning, which helps prevent abortions from occurring.”

According to the State Department, the U.S. is pulling the funds because of the population agency’s partnership with China. “China’s family planning policies still involve the use of coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization practices,” a State Department spokesperson said. The funding expected by the pro-abortion UNFPA will be instead shared with the U.S. Agency for International Development to be expended on family planning and maternal and reproductive health programs in line with the Mexico City Policy.

The cuts are authorized by the 1985 Kemp-Kasten amendment to appropriations law, which requires that no American foreign aid may be granted to an organization or program that “supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.” According to the State Department spokesperson, the UNFPA “continues to indicate in its public country program documents that it partners on family planning with the Chinese government agency responsible for these coercive policies. The Secretary has determined that UNFPA therefore ‘supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.’”

According to CNN, UNFPA executive Sarah Craven said the U.N. agency is “trying to end [China’s] sex-selective abortion and coercive birth limits” while dismissing claims that it aids in China’s policy regarding abortion and reproduction.

At Tuesday’s General Assembly meeting of the U.N., the official U.S. statement outlined the extent of American largesse in the area of family planning, maternal health, HIV/AIDS, in the amount of more than $8 billion annually. It is the largest donation of any single country, and more than  eight times the budget of UNFPA. During the General Assembly meeting, according to C-Fam, acting U.S. pepresentative to the U.N. Economic and Social Council of the General Assembly Austin Smith said, “We do not recognize abortion as a method of family planning, nor support the provision, promotion, and referral of abortion in our global health assistance.” For his part, U.N. secretary Antonio Guterres said he sees a “backlash” against women’s rights across the world.

Soon after taking office in 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order defunding UNFPA. In this he emulated Republican presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush. Democrat President Bill Clinton first restored UNFPA funding but later signed an appropriations bill in 1999 that zeroed out the funding. President Barack Obama resumed taxpayer funding of UNFPA soon after taking office in 2009. From 2009 to 2016, U.S. taxpayers kicked in over $300 million for UNFPA.

Catherine Davis, the founder of the pro-life Restoration Project, told LifeSiteNews in an interview that “America should not be in the business of population control.” A leader among black pro-life activists, she challenged the federal government to protect American women from the “targeting by Planned Parenthood” just as it does for foreign women. She also urged Secretary Mike Pompeo to bring U.S. foreign aid into full compliance with the Title X Family Planning Program, the statute known officially as the Population Research and Voluntary Family Planning Program, which prohibits directly funding organizations that provide abortions.