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Frances Kissling, President, Catholics for a Free Choice, Statement on President Bush’s Decision to Deny UN Family Planning Funds

July 22, 2002

Washington, D.C.--“President Bush’s decision to permanently deny US funds for the UNFPA is a tragic denial of life-saving family planning services for the world’s poor. In pandering to the religious right and the Vatican, the president has ignored well-known facts about UNFPA and its work in preventing abortions and ensuring that poor families are better able to care for the children they already have through access to safe and effective methods of contraception. UNFPA’s work in China has been evaluated by the State Department, by a UNFPA committee of advisors and by the UK parliament. All have found that UNFPA is a force for voluntarism in China, not part of any coercive measures.

Time and again Catholic people have expressed their support for international family planning assistance, respecting the rights and responsibilities of couples to decide when they will have children. Too bad the president has not listened to these people of faith.”