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Today's Washington Post editorializes against President Bush's decision to withhold federal funding to organizations promoting abortion overseas, one of Bush's original election promises. The Post claims that Bush's position violates his 2000 election "moderate stance on social issues":
IN THE 2000 campaign, George W. Bush maintained a studiously moderate stance on social issues. Once he assumed office in January 2001, he betrayed that position and delighted his right-wing base by attaching antiabortion conditions to foreign assistance. These conditions laid down that family planning groups accepting federal money must not perform abortions, or even provide information about them to their patients. As we said at the time, forcing an organization to censor its views as a condition of receiving government money would be unconstitutional on free-speech grounds in this country.
Really? Perhaps, although I rather doubt they'd be claiming that if a university failed to support equal-opportunity practices. Besides, the Post is dead wrong that Bush has been inconsistent in this policy, and it shows that the editorial board at the Post still has not learned the art of Googling. A quick search on the topic produced the following CNN report from the 2000 election, which clearly shows that Bush opposed abortion publicly and clearly:
* Opposes abortion except in cases of rape, incest or to save a woman's life. ...
* Supports the "Mexico City Policy" which prohibits non-governmental organizations receiving U.S. funds from providing overseas abortion-related counseling or care.
It seems that far from playing politics on abortion, Bush has been very consistent in both his opposition and his policies regarding that opposition, and stuck to his word during his campaign. The Post appears to be tarring Bush with the John Kerry flip-flop brush as part of its campaign to boost the lackluster Democrat by playing a bit of "you too" with Bush.
However, far more egregiously, the first example of funding cuts mentioned by the Post indicates a support for one of the worst examples of totalitarian rule in China:
Last year Marie Stopes International, a British charity that had received State Department money for AIDS work among refugees, failed to win renewal of its grant; its sin was to have cooperated in China with the United Nations Population Fund, which has long been a target of Mr. Bush's right-wing supporters.
China supports the UNPF by forcing its citizens to have abortions after having a single successful pregnancy, an atrocity that has gone on for decades in the name of Chinese population control. For those who claim to support "choice", this seems an odd position to take, since Chinese women have no choice at all in the matter. As CNN reported just two years ago, they even apply this policy to those women who marry on Taiwan:
At least six Chinese women married to Taiwanese nationals have been requested to have abortions on visits home to the mainland, according to a Taipei Times report.
The women were reportedly cooerced to have abortions or undergo sterilization surgery by Chinese birth control personnel to comply with China's one-child policy.
What does the Post say by its support for organizations which collaborate with Chinese policies that border on genocide? Does the Post think that forced abortions should be supported by American dollars? In May 2001, the Post didn't seem to think that way when they highlighted forced abortion and infanticide for an investigative piece on the uses of sex-selective abortions in China. Of course, their major objection to the practice seemed only to be the ratio of females produced:
More broadly, Western and Chinese researchers are concerned that the trend, and the unintended consequences of family planning policies, will reinforce a sense that the lives of little girls -- and the women they grow up to be -- are less valuable than those of boys and men.
If China has policies that are antithetical to reproduction, then it stands to figure that they will value females less than males, since males cannot bear children. This thinking is what the Post decries in one article but excoriates Bush for opposing in another. Someone has a problem with consistency -- but it isn't the President.Sphere It View blog reactions
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