UN Fund

My Aunt Ginger forwarded this to me. I’m pretty sure it’s for real:

Dear Friends:

I am asking you to join in sending a message from 34,000,000 American women.

The message will help women living in countries where the lack of medical services (not to mention the lack of other necessities that we take for granted every day) results in hardships beyond our imagination.

The US made a commitment of $34 million to the United Nations Population Fund last winter, with Congress approving the funds and President Bush signing the bill containing the appropriation. The Fund provides family planning and reproductive health services to women in 142 countries. It has a budget of about $270 million worldwide and does “invaluable work,” as Secretary of State Colin Powell said during his confirmation hearings. The Fund’s programs help some of the most impoverished and underserved women in the world.

Our country has reneged on its commitment. The reason given for refusing to release the $34 million is that the Fund provides aid to Chinese government agencies that force women to have abortions.

However, a State Department fact-finding mission was sent to China in May to investigate exactly that allegation. The mission reported that it found no evidence that the program “knowingly supported or participated in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization” and recommended that the funds be released. In addition, the Population Fund is barred by law from using US money in China and, as a U.N. organization, from funding any abortion related activities.

If 34,000,000 American women send one dollar each to the U.N. Population Fund, we can help the Fund continue its “invaluable work” and at the same time confirm that providing family planning and reproductive health services to women who would otherwise have none is a humanitarian issue, not a political one.

PLEASE, NOW: Put a dollar, wrapped in a plain sheet of paper, in an envelope marked “34 Million Friends.” If you wish your gift to be acknowledged on the web address www.unfpa.org, print your name on the sheet of paper. Then mail it today to:

Chief, Resource Mobilization Branch

UNFPA

220 East 42nd Street

New York 10017

EVEN MORE IMPORTANT: Send this letter on to at least ten friends-more would be better!-who may join in this message.