Saturday, May 31, 2003

C-FAM cont’d

    Nielson justifies this seemingly unprecedented move to spend public funds to counter lawful political advocacy by citing the success of these groups. For instance, Nielson believes that "the shift in US policy," specifically the US decision to defund the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) because of its support for coercive abortion in China, is the result of "effective lobbying" by these "anti-choice groups" who, "under the present US administration," have gained "legitimacy and credibility."

    Now, Nielson worries that the groups have struck a chord with EU politicians. In the memo, Nielson describes a growing European movement against UNFPA, said, "The stealth and speed at which this campaign was mobilized was remarkable." Nielson also worries that the groups may be convincing MEPs to interfere with the expansion of European support for abortion in the developing world, saying, "Several amendments.sought to ban abortion and sterilization from being included in the regulation [on reproductive health]. This time the amendments to ban abortion were rejected but 181 MEPs voted to accept them."

    According to Peter Smith, a lobbyist for the London-based Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), the EU initiative is in direct response to a C-FAM/IORG White Paper on UNFPA, which was presented by C-FAM Vice-President Douglas A. Sylva to the European Parliament in January. "I have taken quite a few of my American colleagues to Parliament," he says, "But this trip was most memorable. The White Paper on UNFPA has stirred up a hornets nest in the European Commission."

    In a press release, Irish MEP Dana Scallon called Nielson's actions "an insult to democracy" and an example of "Big Brother." Nielson is one of 19 unelected European Commissioners who make crucial EU funding decisions.

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