The New York TimesThe New York Times OpinionJuly 23, 2002  

Home
Job Market
Real Estate
Automobiles
News
International
National
Politics
Business
Technology
Science
Health
Sports
New York Region
Education
Weather
Obituaries
NYT Front Page
Corrections
Opinion
Editorials/Op-Ed
- Columns
Readers' Opinions


Features
Arts
Books
Movies
Travel
Dining & Wine
Home & Garden
Fashion & Style
New York Today
Crossword/Games
Cartoons
Magazine
Week in Review
Multimedia
College
Learning Network
Services
Archive
Classifieds
Personals
Theater Tickets
Premium Products
NYT Store
NYT Mobile
E-Cards & More
About NYTDigital
Jobs at NYTDigital
Online Media Kit
Our Advertisers
Member_Center
Your Profile
E-Mail Preferences
News Tracker
Premium Account
Site Help
Privacy Policy
Newspaper
Home Delivery
Customer Service
Electronic Edition
Media Kit
Community Affairs
Text Version
Go to Advanced Search/Archive Go to Advanced Search/Archive Symbol Lookup
Search Optionsdivide
go to Member Center Log Out
  Welcome, jeannecurran

Population-Control Politics

There is a mind-bending illogic behind the Bush administration's decision yesterday to withhold $34 million from the United Nations Population Fund, which is working in China despite continued practices there of coerced abortion and sterilization. It is precisely because of China's reprehensible policies that the U.N. presence is important. Cutting off funds to the agency is an inexcusable sop to right-wing anti-abortion activists in an election year. It will increase the number of abortions worldwide by depriving poor women of the education and help they need and that the U.N. agency provides.

The U.N. Population Fund is the world's biggest agency focused on women's reproductive health and the only serious external force in China trying to change the way local officials hold down population growth. Last year Secretary of State Colin Powell praised its "invaluable work." Faced with accusations that the agency was complicit in Chinese misdeeds, the administration sent in a study team in May. It found no evidence that the fund knowingly supports or participates in any Chinese program that coerces abortion or sterilization. It recommended that the $34 million requested by Congress for the agency last year be released.

Instead, the administration refused yesterday to do so because of China's continuing birth-control practices. This means that some 12.5 percent of the agency's budget is now wiped out and that vital and worthy programs like midwife training in Algeria and a new AIDS center in Haiti are suddenly without funding they need.

The administration says it will give the $34 million instead to the Child Survival and Health Program Fund, part of the State Department's Agency for International Development. The problem is that that agency cannot duplicate the work of the U.N., which operates in dozens of countries where the United States has no aid presence. Reproductive health and freedom of women are central to the improvement of poor societies. The U.N. Population Fund is one of the most important forces at work today helping poor women. The United States should be supporting it, not undermining it.




Forum: Join a Discussion on Today's Editorials



E-Mail This Article
Printer-Friendly Format
Most E-Mailed Articles


Home | Back to Opinion | Search | Corrections | Help | Back to Top

Copyright 2002 The New York Times Company | Permissions | Privacy Policy
E-Mail This Article
Printer-Friendly Format
Most E-Mailed Articles


Topics

 Alerts
United Nations Population Fund
Population
China
Birth Control and Family Planning
Create Your Own | Manage Alerts
Take a Tour
Sign Up for Newsletters