I was dismayed to learn that President Bush has denied $34 million in family planning funds to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for the third year in a row.
The money was approved by Congress but withheld by Bush because UNFPA allegedly supports coerced abortion programs in China, a claim which has never been proven. Several fact-finding teams, including one sent by the U.S. State Department, could find no evidence that the fund supports coercive activities of any kind.
Meanwhile, UNFPA estimates that the $34 million could prevent 2 million unwanted pregnancies, 800,000 abortions, 4,700 maternal deaths, and more than 77,000 infant and child deaths in 136 poor countries worldwide. So this putatively pro-life president has passed up a chance to prevent nearly a million abortions at a cost of $42.50 each while saving and improving lives of the neediest people.
It seems he'd rather spend our money killing and torturing people, but $34 million won't go very far in a war that's expected to cost at least $200,000 million.
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