Government suppresses Lords campaign against China one child policy
25 October 2001
Government suppresses Lords campaign against China one-child policy Westminster, 25 October 2001--The Government pulled out all the stops last week to defeat an House of Lords amendment aimed at severing funding for China's one-child policy. A cross-party coalition of peers, including Catholic pro-life Lord Alton of Liverpool, moved an amendment to the International Development Bill to stop millions of pounds in government grants to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), bodies which fund China's programme of forced abortion. Although both the number and strength of the speakers supporting the move clearly dominated the debate, both the Government and the Liberal Democrat parties were reported as having issued a whip against the amendment, which was defeated by 149 votes to 67. Anthony Ozimic of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), the group leading the Lords' campaign, commented: "It is a scandal that the Government imposed what was rumoured to be a three-line whip against the amendment. Most of the peers who voted with the Government probably had little idea what they were voting against. The Government clearly has no intention of applying an ethical foreign policy to its own budget. However, we intend to continue the campaign in the House of Commons, because we know that our case is water-tight."