Trump administration denies funds to UNFPA

Tom Strode, Baptist Press

WASHINGTON (BP) — The Trump administration’s reactivation of another international pro-life policy — this time by withholding funds for a controversial United Nations family planning agency linked to the support of China’s coercive, population-control program — has drawn praise from pro-life advocates.

The State Department announced in an April 3 letter it would not forward congressionally approved money to the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) because of its partnership with a Chinese government program that includes forced abortions and sterilizations. The action came 10 weeks after President Trump signed an executive order Jan. 23 to reinstate the Mexico City Policy, which bans federal funds for organizations that perform or promote abortions overseas. In both cases, Trump reversed the practices of President Obama.
“That foreign assistance funds should be used to foster life, not to fund brutality, should be self-evident,” said Travis Wussow, general counsel and vice president for public policy of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

“I am thankful that President Trump’s decision will ensure that federal funds will not be used to advance China’s oppressive abortion and population-control policies,” Wussow said in written comments for Baptist Press. “This is a common-sense policy, and I hope Congress will pass legislation to make this move permanent.”

Congress’ leading pro-life champion — Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J. — said the UNFPA “gave China’s brutally enforced population control policies the international stamp of approval.” The agency “not only turned a blind eye to abuses, but helped facilitate and fund them,” he said in a written release.