Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. Democracy Now! brings you crucial reporting like our coverage from the front lines of the standoff at Standing Rock or news about the movements fighting for peace, racial and economic justice, immigrant rights and LGBTQ equality. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How is this possible? Only with your support. If every visitor to this site in December gave just $10 we could cover our basic operating costs for 2017. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2017.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.

Topics

As the Bush Administration Withdraws Funds to the UN Population Fund Claiming It Funds Forced Abortion in China, a Look at Coercive Welfare Laws, Forced Sterilization and Forced Foster Care Here in th

StoryJuly 24, 2002
Watch iconWatch Full Show

In a move that inspired shock and anger around the world, the Bush administration announced Monday it is withdrawing $34 million from the United Nations Population Fund.

The Fund provides family planning and reproductive health services in 142 countries. According to UNFPA, the funds would have prevented two million unwanted pregnancies and more than 77,000 infant and child deaths.

The US is the only country ever to deny funding to UNFPA for non-budgetary reasons.

The Bush administration claims the UNFPA provides aid to Chinese government agencies that force women to have abortions. This in spite of a recent State Department fact-finding mission which concluded there is no evidence that the program knowingly supports coercive abortion programs.

But the administration does not need to look as far as China for evidence of coercive reproductive policies, forced sterilization, forced foster care, and child exclusion policies.

Today we’re going to talk to a legal scholar and social critic who traces a direct line between the eugenics movement, the forced sterilization of black women, and the way the current welfare laws in this country attempt to coerce poor women into having few or no children at all.

For example, the welfare programs in 23 states deny benefits to children born to a family on welfare. The federal "Illegitimacy Ratio program" gives a bonus of $20 to 25 million to the top five states that decrease their ratio of out-of-wedlock births.

But we start with Stirling Scruggs, spokesperson for the United Nations Population Fund.

Guests:

  • Stirling Scruggs, spokesperson for the United Nations Population Fund.
  • Dorothy Roberts, legal scholar and social critic. She is author of "Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty," which received the 1998 Myers Center Award for the Study of Human Rights in North America, and most recently, "Shattered Bonds: the Color of Child Welfare." She is a professor at Northwestern University School of Law and a faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research.

Related link:


The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.

Make a donation