President Bush announced Thursday that he would withhold funding from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for the seventh year in a row. According to OneWorld UK, President Bush withheld $39.7 million authorized by Congress for the UNFPA. This brings the total amount withheld over the past seven years to $235 million.
UNFPA supports voluntary family planning and reproductive health programs in 154 countries. Its program is supported by voluntary donations from member countries. According to PlanetWire the United States is the only country to withhold UNFPA funding for political reasons.
PlanetWire reports that John Negroponte, Deputy Secretary of State, justified President Bushs decision by claiming that the UNFPA supports “coercive abortions and sterilization.” Ms. magazine reports that this false allegation originated in a 2001 statement from a privately funded US anti-choice group. This claim has been conclusively disproved by several state department investigations, blue-ribbon commission investigations, and three international monitoring teams according to OneWorld UK and Ms. magazine.