- The Washington Times - Monday, July 22, 2002

The Bush administration will not pay the $34 million it earmarked for U.N. family-planning programs overseas, which conservative groups say tolerate abortions and forced sterilizations in China.
Officials in the administration, on Capitol Hill and from interest groups who monitor the issue said yesterday they have been told the decision is final.
One administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said an announcement is likely from the State Department tomorrow, but added that the timing could change.
White House officials said privately that conservative activists have for months quietly pressured the administration to prove Mr. Bush's pro-life credentials by permanently denying money to the United Nations Population Fund.
The White House has kept the decision a closely guarded secret, refusing to divulge it even to allies in Congress such as the Pro-life Caucus. More than a dozen administration officials, inside the White House and out, either declined to comment yesterday or did not return phone calls on the matter, so the reasoning behind the decision was not clear.
The president has already signed into law the foreign aid bill that contains the $34 million. But when he did so in January, he made a point of noting in an accompanying statement that it gives him "additional discretion to determine the appropriate level of funding for the United Nations Population Fund."
One administration official said Mr. Bush is now likely to channel the $34 million to family-planning organizations run by the State Department's Agency for International Development.

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