Congress Urged to Keep Ban on Funding Groups Involved in Forced Abortions

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WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 11, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua urged Congress to keep the ban on U.S. funding of organizations involved in programs of coerced abortion or involuntary sterilization.



In a letter dated Thursday, the cardinal called on the House of Representatives to approve the Smith-Oberstar-Hyde Amendment when it takes up the State Department authorization bill.

This would allow the Kemp-Kasten amendment to the annual foreign operations appropriations bills to operate as it has since 1985, to prohibit funding of organizations that support, or participate in the management of, programs of coerced abortion or involuntary sterilization.

Cardinal Bevilacqua said such action is needed in order to remove the Crowley amendment from the State Department bill. Narrowly approved in committee, the Crowley amendment would earmark $50 million in funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) despite its participation in China's forced-abortion program.

The cardinal noted that UNFPA's participation in the Chinese program was uncovered during an investigation by Chinese human rights activists.

Cardinal Bevilacqua, archbishop of Philadelphia and chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee for Pro-Life Activities, said: "American taxpayers must not be forced to fund organizations that support, condone or defend such violations of human rights."