Today, the US Senate voted 39-55 to reject Senator Roger Wicker’s attempt to protect US taxpayers from funding coercive abortions through the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), especially in countries such as China that have policies limiting family size.
The Wicker Amendment would have restored the Kemp-Kasten Amendment, which has been in place since 1985. Kemp-Kasten denies federal funding to organizations or programs that the President determines support or participate in a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.
The FY09 omnibus spending bill passed by the House last week creates an exception to the Kemp-Kasten provision by stating that UNFPA must receive funds “notwithstanding any other provision of law.” The Wicker Amendment would have closed this loophole by using the previous year’s budget language, making it clear that the President has to make a determination about UNFPA before they can receive any money from the United States taxpayer.
Unfortunately, 55 Senators believe UNFPA should receive money even if they are funding operations in countries that force women to abort or to be sterilized. These 55 Senators are: