Senator Barack Obama, de facto Democrat candidate for US president, has said he will reinstate American funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Such spending is presently prevented by the 1985 Kemp-Kasten Amendment which, according to the Population Research Institute "forbids U.S. funds from going to any organization or country that participates in a program of forced abortion or sterilization." Earlier this month, President Bush's government withheld some $40 million from UNFPA, making a total of $235 million withheld over seven years.
Reinstating funding for UNFPA will gravely damage America's reputation worldwide. Under the current president, the US has done a lot of good work to protect the unborn overseas and an Obama victory would throw all that away. He will also do immense damage in his own country. Mr Obama has said that, if elected, he will immediately sign the Freedom of Choice Act which would enshrine abortion in US law and overturn all state-based restrictions. No wonder the Christian Defense Coalition has called him the abortion president.
While SPUC never endorses candidates, least of all those in other countries, an Obama presidency would have bad effects throughout the world, so it is a legitimate concern for us and our pro-life colleagues elsewhere to know that a new administration would fund UNFPA. Obama's neo-colonialist abortion policies will kill unborn children, destroy the lives of women and families overseas, and gravely damage the good name of the US.
On a related note, the Democratic and Republican parties have yet to choose their candidates for US vice-president. The choice is an important one, because vice-presidents sometimes succeed the incumbent (e.g. Lyndon Johnson succeeded JFK; Gerald Ford succeeded Nixon) or can become influential, either while vice-president (e.g. Dick Cheney) or in later life (e.g. Al Gore). It stands to reason that Mr Obama's running mate will probably share his anti-life positions. John McCain, Mr Obama's Republican rival, said recently that his running mate should share his "values, principles, and priorities." Among those speculated as a possible running mate for Mr McCain is Condoleezza Rice, the current Secretary of State (equivalent to the British Foreign Secretary). It would seem that Miss Rice does not share what is reported to be Mr McCain's position on abortion.