34 Million Friends
July 18, 2004 5:17 PM   Subscribe

34 Million Friends was founded by Lois Abraham and Jane Roberts to gather private contributions for the United Nations Population Fund, and had gathered $1,957,613.31 in gifts and pledges as of July 4. For the third year in a row, the Bush administration is withholding $34 million in aid because of accusations that UNFPA supports China's policy of coercive abortions, despite evidence to the contrary. UNFPA estimates the money could have helped prevent as many as 2 million unwanted pregnancies, 800,000 abortions, 4,700 maternal deaths, and over 77,000 infant deaths.
posted by homunculus (16 comments total)

 
UNFPA also has a campaign to treat and prevent fistulas, which were discussed here.
posted by homunculus at 5:31 PM on July 18, 2004


I keep finding it amazing how much money this administration has been willing to spend in order to wage war on people who have already been born, while they claim some sort of 'moral outrage' over pennies (comparatively) spent in a program which they claim (with the sort of intelligence which we've come to appreciate) supported some abortions.
posted by clevershark at 7:13 PM on July 18, 2004


In 2002, the Bush administration withdrew all funding for the UNFPA, claiming that its work in China violated the Kemp-Kasten amendment, which prohibits foreign aid funding for any organization that "supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization."

It would be extremely interesting to see if the Admin substantiated the claims with evidence or if it was just a whole bunch of assumptions (even bona fide ones).

It should also be noted that the Admin accusation doesn't seem to be religious based , as it seems to be against coercive programs of abortion and sterilization.

Guess Admin was not listening to religions exponents when they reported no such coercive actions happen, yet Admin seems to have open hears when it comes to stopping gay marriage (maybe to handle the hot potato to a Dem Admin). Curious indeed.

On an evil tangent: China is a friend as long it's business, but they're still a bunch of coercive abortion commies and we shouldn't care about good programs in China as they're commies anyway.
posted by elpapacito at 7:28 PM on July 18, 2004


Remind me again why it is our responsability to fund this stuff for the UN when they accuse, attack and belittle us anytime it suits them?
posted by soulhuntre at 8:37 PM on July 18, 2004


because we are not a nation of tiny minded people who keep a close grudge score, and because sticks and stones etc... because we're a charter member-nation of an idea that stands for the big picture - a better, fairer, more democratic world. no matter what FOX News says.
posted by quonsar at 8:42 PM on July 18, 2004


From the sleep of reason, monsters.
posted by troutfishing at 8:43 PM on July 18, 2004


Here's an actual news article, rather than just a press release.

I don't trust press releases.
posted by smackfu at 8:45 PM on July 18, 2004


Here's actual news article, rather than just a press release.

From Writing the Perfect Press Release:

Don't be surprised, therefore, if your release shows up, verbatim, under someone else's byline; that's completely legitimate and not an infringement. And it actually works better for you: It conveys the impression that a reporter considered you newsworthy enough to write a story about you, even if you wrote every word yourself! What the reader doesn't know won't hurt you
posted by betaray at 8:56 PM on July 18, 2004


Remind me again why it is our responsability to fund this stuff for the UN when they accuse, attack and belittle us anytime it suits them?

I'm going to make the dubious assumption that you actually mean this question, and might possibly be interested in an answer.

Because like it or not, the US lives in the same world as everyone else. So if "they" become over-populated, or have epidemics, or just plain get tired of us using everything up, it has dire consequences for us - same planet, got that? So independent of any moral issues, there are serious repurcussions for the US if we don't do everything we can to help with world health issues and overpopulation.

Where on earth do you get the insane idea that participation in these programs is some kind of gift to the UN, to be withheld if they "belittle" us, rather than last ditch efforts to keep things from getting Really Bad For Everyone, in a malthusian sense?

Jesus.
(and when was the last time the UN "attacked" us anyhow?)
posted by freebird at 9:34 PM on July 18, 2004


From the sleep of reason, monsters.
posted by srboisvert at 10:03 PM on July 18, 2004


Remind me again why it is our responsability to fund this stuff for the UN when they accuse, attack and belittle us anytime it suits them?

er, I think you have the position reversed, with the US accusing, undermining, attacking and belittling the UN every chance it gets, but claiming to act under its aegis whenever excuses enough can be found to do so.

But of course that comes from an independent look at what's going on, not the "sanitized" GOP version of events.
posted by clevershark at 10:14 PM on July 18, 2004


Not to mention "they" are also the immigrants the GOP hates so much. By helping encourage family planning you would arguably help keep immigration down as keeping a small family is a lot more affordable than a large one.

In the end its more fetus politics, the GOP has politicized this to gain more of the "Jeebus vote." So what if it puts 80k women in jeopardy. They couldnt care less.
posted by skallas at 2:06 AM on July 19, 2004


This is a win/win situation as far as I'm concerned. Private individuals are willing to raise money for something the government had no business doing on it's own--and the private fundraisers are over 20 times more effective.
posted by pjdoland at 6:00 AM on July 19, 2004


and the private fundraisers are over 20 times more effective.

How so? In the last three years they've raised $2 million, but Bush has canceled $102 million ($34 million three times.) Their hearts are in the right place, but they can't even come close.
posted by homunculus at 10:04 AM on July 19, 2004


Where on earth do you get the insane idea that participation in these programs is some kind of gift to the UN, to be withheld if they "belittle" us, rather than last ditch efforts to keep things from getting Really Bad For Everyone, in a malthusian sense?

From the attitude of the post and the related articles... as well as the general attitude of several of those I encounter from he left daily.

Now, I personally support the idea of funding this thing and I disagree with the "pro-life" stance that may be getting in the way. I even feel like ethically it is probably a nice thing to do.

However the other side of this I see is simple - that a country giving the money for this has the right to decide NOT to fund a program that is being administrated in a way it doesn't like.

The conflict is (to me) whether we think our reasons for withholding funds are good ones - not that the very concept of withholding funds is in and of itself a bad thought to entertain.
posted by soulhuntre at 2:32 PM on July 19, 2004


Sure, but reasons like "the UN belittles us" are hardly considering the merits of the program "in and of itself", so what are you actually saying? Noone has suggested the US should never withold funds. Just that this is an unusually bad place to do it, and that "they attack and belittle us" is not much better a reason than the tenuous links to abortion.
posted by freebird at 3:49 PM on July 19, 2004


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