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UK Pro-Aborts Seek to CHANGE Peruvian Health Policy

December 6, 2002
Volume 4/ Number 31

Dear Colleague:

The British government is attempting to use foreign aid to undermine Peruvian law and promote abortion in that Catholic country, whose people are still reeling from the massive sterilization campaign bankrolled by foreign donors and undertaken by former President Alberto Fujimori.

Steven W. Mosher
President

UK Pro-Aborts Seek to CHANGE Peruvian Health Policy

How does the international population control lobby impose abortion on sovereign nations? The case of Peru is instructive.

The British aid agency, known as the Department of International Development (DFID), and headed by an abortion activist by the name of Clare Short, recently offered Peru a $24 million dollar grant entitled “Improving the Health of the Poor: A Human Rights Focus.”(1) Belying its attractive title, the grant has little to do with either the “health of the poor” or “human rights”, and everything to do with promoting population control and abortion.

Even more troubling, the DFID grant would completely bypass the Peruvian Ministry of Health (PMOH). The funds would instead go to a private conglomerate set up for this purpose, a conglomerate that would include non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that collaborated with the politics of ex-president Alberto Fujimori, who launched genocidal sterilization campaigns in Peru throughout the 1990’s. The DFID “pre-selected” NGOs (Manuela Ramos, Flora Tristan, Demus, and Care Peru) promote the morning-after pill, a chemical that induces and abortion, and which is illegal in Peru.(2) Health officials in Peru also note that these NGOs “maintain an ongoing antagonism to the MOH.”(3)

The DFID itself has a history of promoting abortion in Peru. For example, DFID has funded a program to introduce Manual Vacuum Aspirators (MVA) into 27 hospitals and 15 health centers “as a cost effective way of treating uncomplicated abortion.”(4) Unfortunately, MVAs are used to perform abortions in poor regions, and are so substandard that they are not used in America for any purpose.

Peru’s Minister of Health, Dr. Fernando Carbone, has quite rightly raised questions about DFID efforts to bypass his agency, which has a constitutional mandate to oversee all health matters in the country. He has asked DFID to direct its grant through the proper channels to ensure that the grant “complies with Peru's national laws and government
priorities.”(5)

Although Clare Short has yet to formally respond to Dr. Carbone’s request, one of her allies, the so-called Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), which concentrates on promoting abortion under the guise of “reproductive health,” has falsely accused him of rejecting the grant.(6) For CHANGE, under the auspices of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, “reproductive health services... means providing women and men with information and means... to gain access to...abortion services” in Peru.(7)

According to CHANGE, “Extremists in Peru” have undermined reproductive rights by refusing a five-year DFID grant “intended to improve reproductive health services in the country.”(8) CHANGE claims that Dr. Carbone, rejected the DFID project “because it intended to promote health rights, including sexual and reproductive rights, and foster civil society participation in health programs.”(9)

If the DFID grant has not been rejected by the Peruvian Ministry of Health, why would CHANGE report that it had?

The CHANGE report appears to be part of a systematic campaign designed to undermine the efforts of Dr. Carbone and others at the Ministry of Health to move Peru’s public health sector towards a policy which recognizes basic health services as an integral component of public health, and away from the anti-natal and abusive policies of the past.

Throughout the 1990’s, the Peruvian Congress recently reported, former President Alberto Fujimori’s genocidal sterilization campaigns resulted in the involuntary tubal ligation of over 300,000 women. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) provided instrumental technical support for the
campaign.(10)

Peru’s Health Minister, Fernando Carbone, recently told PRI that, while the PMOH does not oppose voluntary “family planning,” its understanding of the term does not simply mean limiting family size but recognizing and caring for family health in its entirety of every person, from conception to natural death.

It is unclear whether Clare Short will comply with Peru’s request that her agency’s grant respect the democratic and constitutionally established position of Peru’s Ministry of Health Public Health to govern the public health sector in Peru. Short is known for aggressively promoting abortion rights worldwide and is publicly committed to increasing foreign aid for abortion and “reproductive health services.” She has in the past sought to obliterate the sovereign rights of nations by establishing abortion as a basic human rights at the UN (11) at the expense of basic health care.

Ms. Short has in the past accused PRI of making “wild accusations”(12) about the UNFPA’s involvement in China’s coercive population control program. We stand by our earlier remarks, which have been verified by the Bush administration’s cut-off in funding to the UNFPA.

And we ask Ms. Short to cease her attempt to undermine Peru’s public health sector, not to mention its fledgling democracy, by promoting abortion in Peru in violation of Peruvian law.

Endnotes

1. Center for Health and Gender Equality (CHANGE), “Government Extremists in Peru Further Undermine Reproductive Rights,” November 21, 2002.
2. LifeSite, “Peru Gov’t Strongly Objects to Pro-Abortion UK Aid Conditions,” December 3, 2002.
3. Ibid.
4. DFID, Health and Population Department, “DFID Involvement in Improving Post Abortion Care: Peru and Bolivia,” undated.
5. LifeSite.
6. CHANGE.
7. CHANGE, “The ReproSalud Project in Peru,” p. 5, April 2001.
8. CHANGE, “Government Extremists in Peru Further Undermine Reproductive Rights,” November 21, 2002.
9. CHANGE.
10. See: PRI Review, July-August, 2002, “Special Report on Peruvian Sterilization Campaign, Vol. 12 / No. 4.
11. SPUC, “Was the World saved at Johannesburg,” by Peter Smith, Comment, Autumn 2002.
12. Letter from Clare Short to Lord David Alton of Liverpool, March 5, 2002

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