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Archive of October 4, 2008

USAID denies funding to international abortion group complicit in coercive abortions

Washington D.C., Oct 4, 2008 (CNA) - Assistant Administrator for Global Health Dr. Kent Hill with the U.S. Agency for International Development has denied funding to the UK-based abortion organization Marie Stopes International (MSI) on the grounds that it is complicit in “coercive abortion and involuntary sterilizations” in China.

MSI has denied the accusations, the Population Research Institute (PRI) reports in its weekly briefing.

PRI president Steven W. Mosher applauded the decision, saying MSI’s “aggressive promotion of abortion, and its longstanding collaboration with China's coercive program leave little doubt that it is not only aware of the massive human rights abuses that have resulted in that country, but is actively collaborating with it.”

According to Mosher, the USAID decision will cut back MSI’s population control programs in a number of African countries, including Ghana, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Kenya.

MSI claimed that the lack of funding would leave African women few options besides abortion.

Mosher responded to this claim, calling it “particularly risible, coming as it does from the very agency that is responsible for many of the abortions that are performed in Africa in the first place.”

He also claimed that PRI investigations have revealed that MSI is “one of the biggest abortion actors in Kenya.”

Mosher praised USAID’s decision, saying:

“The Bush Administration is to be congratulated for its consistent enforcement of a policy that is supported by the vast majority of the American people--a policy in which PRI is proud to have played a part--and which benefits women and girls by defunding predatory agencies which seek to rob them of their fertility. Marie Stopes International needs to decide what its purpose is: performing abortions, often in violation of national laws, or providing legitimate health care to women.”

Mosher explained that the Kemp-Kasten Amendment, passed during the Reagan presidential administration, prohibits U.S. foreign aid from funding any organization that “supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.”

President Ronald Reagan first invoked the law to deny funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA) because of its complicity with China’s one-child policies, Mosher said in the PRI briefing.

The George W. Bush Administration reviewed UNFPA’s activities in 2001 and determined they did not violate the Kemp-Kasten Amendment, granting it $21.5 million. In 2002, the Bush Administration canceled $34 million, repeating the prohibition each year after, because of evidence provided by PRI showing that the organization was involved in forced abortions and forced sterilizations.

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California governor vetoes proposal honoring homosexual rights hero

Sacramento, Calif., Oct 4, 2008 (CNA) - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last Tuesday vetoed a bill that would have instated a statewide “Harvey Milk Day” in honor of the homosexual rights hero and encouraged public schools to observe the day by conducting “exercises remembering and recognizing” his life.

The vetoed bill AB 2567 was proposed by Assemblyman Mark Leno, a San Francisco Democrat. It would have set May 22, Milk’s birthday, as “a day of special significance” and required the governor to proclaim Harvey Milk Day on May 22 every year, the California Catholic Daily reports.

“This bill would put California on record as recognizing the social contributions that Harvey Milk made to our nation as a civil rights leader,” Leno explained in a legislative analyst’s review of the bill. “It would also allow schools to conduct activities that would foster respect for all, and educate students about an important figure who is often omitted from history lessons."

In 1977 Milk won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, becoming the first openly homosexual man elected to an important political office in the United States.

The following year, he and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by another Supervisor, Dan White.

Gov. Schwarzenegger explained his veto in a message to the California Assembly, saying:

“I respect the author’s intent to designate May 22nd as ‘Harvey Milk Day’ and a day of special significance for California public schools and educational institutions to honor Harvey Milk as an important community leader and public official in the city and county of San Francisco. However, I believe his contributions should continue to be recognized at the local level by those who were most impacted by his contributions. For this reason, I am unable to sign this bill.”

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April 23, 2014

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