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Public Statements

Washington, Wednesday, February 16, 2011: House of Representatives

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Chairman, abortion is always coercive for the child in the womb. An unborn baby girl or boy has no say, no right of refusal, no means to protest, no veto power whatsoever concerning a procedure that violently tears that child's body to pieces and effectuates the kill by lethal injection or starvation by RU486. In China, that coercion is extended by brute force to all women. Any mother caught without explicit authorization to give birth is coerced to abort her baby.

Since 1979, Mr. Speaker, brothers and sisters have been illegal in China as part of the barbaric one child per couple policy. For 30 years, the United Nations Population Fund has vigorously supported, funded, defended, promoted, and even celebrated these massive crimes against humanity.

Under Presidents Reagan, Bush I and Bush--and even 1 year under President Clinton--UNFPA was barred from receiving U.S. funding because of their shameful support and co-management of China's forced abortion policy. My concern this morning is an amendment that had been printed in the Record but not offered--at least it has not been offered at this setting; I expect we'll see it later--that would compel every American taxpayer to furnish $55 million to the UNFPA, an organization that has unapologetically stood not with oppressed women but with the oppressors of women; an organization that has made the Chinese killing machine more efficacious and lethal; an organization that has systematically whitewashed and defended these crimes against humanity.

The UNFPA is not only an essential part of the planning and training of the Chinese cadres who run this anti-woman, anti-child program, but the UNFPA assists in the implementation of it in several countries as well.

The uncontested facts are these: Any Chinese, Tibetan, or Uyghur mother without a birth-allowed certificate is forced to abort. All unwed moms are compelled to abort. In what can only be described as a ``search and destroy mission,'' disabled children are forcibly aborted as part of a nationwide eugenics program.

Each day, Chinese family planning cadres impose huge ``compensation fees'' on any woman who lacks permission to give birth or evades detection. Many women have their children on the run. Ruinous fines--from 1 to 10 times the combined annual salaries of both parents, plus jail, torture, property confiscation, loss of employment, loss of educational opportunities, housing, and health care--are all weapons routinely employed by the so-called family planning cadres to ensure compliance with the one child per couple policy.

In denying U.S. funds to the UNFPA in 2008, Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte wrote, ``China's birth limitation program retains harshly coercive elements in law and practice, including coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization.'' The number two at the State Department said it is illegal in almost all provinces for a single mom to bear a child. The State Department noted that Chinese law is ``the foundation of its coercive policies and practices'' and that the UNFPA comports with and adheres to that Chinese law.

Mr. Chairman, the UNFPA-supported one child per couple policy has led to the worst gender disparity in any nation in all of human history. Where are the missing girls in China? Dead, Mr. Chairman. Murdered because they were female. Systematically destroyed over 30 years by sex-selective abortion. Today, there are as many as 100 million missing girls in China--gendercide, the evil twin of genocide.

The social implications of the UNFPA-supported one child per couple policy are absolutely staggering. According to the World Health Organization, about 500 Chinese women commit suicide every single day. China has become a magnet for sex trafficking in large measure because of the ``missing girls.'' An estimated 40 million men won't be able to find wives by 2020 because for 30 years and counting girls have suffered the ultimate gender discrimination--sex-selective abortion.

A little over a year ago, Mr. Chairman, I convened a congressional hearing on China's one-child-per-couple policy--the 27th hearing on human rights violations in the PRC that I've chaired.


Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. I will just take a minute, Mr. Chairman, because the hour is late.

The problem with the United Nations Population Fund activities in China is that it strictly adheres to Chinese law.

Chinese law is a one-child-per-couple policy, and it has a direct result in the clinics and in the programs that are run in the approximately 30 counties that UNFPA oversees or has programs in or projects. Each and every one of those adhere to this one-child-per-couple policy. Yes, they may say you can choose to be sterilized or have an IUD insertion, one or the other, but you must have it. It is compulsory. It is involuntary. So they enforce the involuntariness, the compulsory nature, but they may give a choice as to what method a person may be able to follow. That is not voluntary.

I would also point out that, for 30 years, representatives of the UNFPA have said publicly again and again and again that the Chinese program is ``totally voluntary.'' Nothing I would submit to my good friend and colleague from New York could be further from the truth. There was nothing voluntary about this horrific program where women are treated like chattel.

As a Member of Congress, I have held 27 hearings as chairman of the Human Rights Committee of the Foreign Affairs Committee--27 hearings just on China. We heard from numerous women who were forcibly aborting. They told the story about how it was told to them--that this was a voluntary abortion. They were coerced. They had sessions with cadres who wore them down; and over time, they submitted, feeling they had no way to fight back.

I had a woman testify. Her name is Wuijan. She recently got asylum right here in the United States. She had a well-founded fear of persecution based on the forced abortion policy. A student at a major university here, she testified through tears how she was forced to abort after being rounded up with other women.

She said, at the clinic, which was voluntary--all of this is voluntary according to the UNFPA--that there were moms crying, rolling on the floor. She said, when they killed her baby and severed the baby's limbs with scissors and a curet that the nurse actually put a foot on her, near the top of her lapel. She looked at the bloody foot and broke down, crying. She could not finish her testimony.

I will provide that to the gentlelady if she would like to see it.

The UNFPA has enabled these crimes, and they are crimes against humanity. At the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal, forced abortion was properly construed to be a crime against humanity because it was employed by the Nazis against Polish women.

People like Wei Jingsheng and Harry Wu--the great human rights activists--have all been very clear that the one-child-per-couple policy is one of the worst violations, if not the worst violation, of human rights in scope and in magnitude directed against women and, of course, against the dead children who are the result.

The UNFPA is a part of that. They defend it.

With all due respect to my good friend, this funding of an organization that says that this is a voluntary program must cease, because they give tangible assistance. I met finally with Pong Peiyon, the woman who ran the program. Yes, I was in Beijing on one of my many human rights trips there. She said to me over and over again in that conversation that the UNFPA is here, and they see no coercion. There is no coercion.

So I thank my friend for yielding. Again, we should direct our moneys to other organizations--to NGOs, to USAID. I would also point out that a dear colleague went on, as well as some Members on the other side of the aisle, about obstetric fistula.

I want to point out to my friends that I got a bill passed in this House back in 2005 that established a fistula repair program for women in the developing world. It passed. It failed over in the Senate, but it passed.

I went to Kent Hill, who was then the administrator of health for USAID. I said to please take this and administratively put it into practice. We now have 35 different programs in 12 countries. Fifteen thousand African and Asian women have had fistula repairs as a direct result of this program.

We need to funnel our money into maternal health care and into other health care interventions that will aid women, especially those who suffer from such terrible things as obstetric fistula.


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