1985 Scorecard Vote
Overpopulation is one of the most important environmental problems of our day, causing depletion of scarce natural resources, increased pollution, and even climactic changes. As more people use ever more desperate ways of wringing a living from the earth, they are confronted with massive soil erosion, declining forests and fisheries, encroaching deserts and famine. Thus environmentalists have long supported federal government funding for family planning clinics around the world.
The largest and most effective agency in the world for promoting family planning has been the United Nations Fund for Population Activities. Although the Reagan Administration had issued a report saying that UNFPA has no involvement in funding alleged coercive abortion in China or anywhere else, it nonetheless recently reduced our contribution to UNFPA by $10 million, the amount which the agency spends in China. Despite these actions to insure that U.S. aid not be used for abortion, foes of family planning sought to allow the Administration to cut off all U.S. contributions to this premiere international family planning organization. While environmental organizations don't take a policy stand on the abortion issue, environmentalists view attempts such as this amendment to sabotage family planning programs around the world as a dangerous threat to the environment.
The vote was on the Fascell (D-FL) Amendment to retain the earmarking of U.S. family planning assistance to UNFPA. Amendment rejected 198-221; July 10, 1985. YES is the pro-environmental vote. (Fascell Amendment to Smith Amendment to H.R. 1555, FY '86 Foreign Assistance Authorization Act.) As of December 1986, the U.S. had cut off all of its funding assistance to UNFPA.