WASHINGTON (AP) -- The social issues agency of the United Methodist Church has strongly criticized the Bush administration's decision last week to withhold $34 million from the United Nations Population Fund.
The State Department said it acted because the fund's involvement in China aids a government program of forced abortion. The $34 million will be shifted to programs of the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Jim Winkler, leader of the Methodists' Board of Church and Society charged that the action was ''a frontal assault on women and the United Nations'' and that ''the administration is caving in to extremist forces.'' He said the cutoff would harm thousands of women, cause more abortions and worsen the HIV-AIDS problem.
President Bush is an adult convert to the United Methodist Church.
Conservative groups have long maintained that the United Nations fund tolerates forced abortions and sterilizations in China.
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