CANADIAN PROLIFERS IN CHARGE
“The superb political machine of the prolifers kicks into gear with letters, phone calls and visits. Come time for the hospital annual meeting, there are hundreds of new members — and another hospital joins the list of hospitals refusing to do abortions.”
It is a familiar pattern in the suburbs of Vancouver, in Vernon in the B.C. Oknagan Valley, in Dauphin, Man., and dozens of other communities across Canada.
“We thought the Supreme Court would have settled it (by striking down the abortion law) but it didn’t,” says Dr. Gur Singh, a Kamloops neurosurgeon and President of the British Medical Association.
Typical is the Board of the Richmond General Hospital — a provincially funded facility in the culturally diverse city of 125,000. Abortions have been banned for about four years — since a group of Christians gained control of the Board.
Alex Hankin is one of two members of the pro-abortion minority on the Richmond board who did not seek reelection. He says he is angered by a visit from an evangelical member of the hospital society who quizzed him on his fitness to serve. Unless Hankin repented and repudiated his pro-abortion stance, the man warned that the churches would mobilize 10,000 people against him (Ottawa Citizen, July 24, 1991, p.1).
U.S. FOUNDATION’S POPULATION CONTROL
Major foundation donations to population control programs will be published periodically in PRI Review.
Ford Foundation International Grants (1989): Alan Guttmacher Institute, NYC, risks/benefits of contraception in U.S. and developing world, $160,000; Cayetano Heredia Peruvian Univ., Peru, link between women’s fertility and infant and child mortality, $32,000; Columbia Univ., NYC, data bank on family planning and child survival in developing countries, $120,000; Govt. of Egypt, Conference on reproductive health, $8,000 and Egyptian Fertility Care Society, $33,600; Family Health International, maternal morbidity in Bangladesh, India and Egypt, $7,800; Harvard Univ., research on AIDS and reproductive health in developing countries, $333,000; Indonesian Society for Perinatology, maternal and perinatal health services, $250,000; International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research, Maternity Care Project, $114,278; International Development Research Center, Canada, meeting on population, reproductive health and development in sub-Saharan Africa, $30,000; International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC), NYC, symposium in Rio de Janeiro on effects of unwanted pregnancy, $50,000; IWHC, reproductive health care in Indonesia, $48,000; IWHC, NYC, to enable health care workers and policy makers from Latin America and the Caribbean to attend a symposium on unwanted pregnancy in Third World countries, $30,000; IWHC, to enable South East Asian researchers to attend symposium on unwanted pregnancy, $13,513; IWHC, to enable West Africans to attend conference on unwanted pregnancy, $10,970; Medical Missionaries of Mary, Nigeria, reproductive and maternal health care, $110,000; Planned Parenthood Federation International, London, AIDS prevention in Africa, $225,000; Population Council, NYC, establish office in Dakar, West Africa and greater cooperation between population scientists, $592,000; Population Council, NYC, AIDS prevention program for THAI adolescents and adults, $80, 334; Population Council, NYC, booklet on breastfeeding and contraception for Mexico, Brazil and Indonesia, $49,500; Program for Appropriate Technology in Health, Seattle, Wash., development and dissemination of AIDS materials for Thailand, $48,000; Univ. of London, England, maternal health in developing countries, $94,000; Univ. of London, methods of measuring maternal health, $94,000; Univ. of Pennsylvania, research on demography, social science and reproductive health in Bangladesh, $75,335; Univ. of Toronto, Canada, study international human rights laws to protect women’s right to reproductive health care, $50,000 (New York, Foundation Center, Family Planning, 1990–1991, pp. 17–18).
HONDURANS DENOUNCE CONTRACEPTIVE HARASSMENT
The authorities in Teguci said that they will investigate the imposition of contraceptive methods on 3,000 employees of a factory in Cortes. “We are making an investigation, [in order that] … no one can obligate a woman to adopt contraceptive methods,” said the Secretary of Work, Porfirio Gomez.
The Conference of Honduran Workers denounced the practice this week. The work leader, Jose Vaquedano, affirmed that the companies use this method to avoid giving medical care and paying for replacements for woman on maternity leave. He said that “the workers for fear of losing their job do not rebel” (El Nuevo Herald, July 4,1991).
BRAZIL — THE ZIG-ZAIDS’LL GET YOU!
ZIG-ZAIDS is a board game, played with dice and informational cards on AIDS. The game is designed for children in the 10–14 year age group. Winners receive condoms.
The game was devised by psychologist Sandra Montelro and Simone Monteiro, speech therapist and psychopedogogue in the Biology Department of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation. Technical information was provided by the Brazilian AIDS Association.
The game description states: “ZIG-ZAIDS gives accurate information, proposes debates and reflection, not only on HIV contamination, but also on the social and psychological conditions of virus-infected persons, stressing the importance of solidarity, dismissing fallacies and creating an awareness which could lead to the adoption of really effective preventive measures” (ZIG-ZAIDS informational brochure, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, “Salamandra” — Consultoria Editorial S.A.)
WESTERN INDUSTRIAL NATIONS & UN PRESSURE NIGERIA
As the birth rates in Western nations dip precariously below the replacement level and Western policy makers concentrate on killing off the aged in order to provide the proper “age structure” within their societies, Western leaders face the unpleasant prospect of being outnumbered by non-Western peoples. Succumbing to ‘population panic,’ “World Bank president, Mr. Barber Conable, decried the Nigerian trend toward population growth at the Organization of African Unity (OAU) Summit in Abuja where he called for a “slow down in Africa’s exponential growth rate.”
Nigeria proceeds to grow, in spite of steadily increasing Western pressures, at an annual rate of three percent. Contrasting to this are “North America and European countries” with “population growth rates of less than one percent.” The figure is below 0.5 per cent in many cases.
“[S]ince 1965, the fertility of Europe as a whole has dropped from 2.1 births per woman … to 1.7. And without immigration, Europe’s population size would have remained static” (The Nigerian Guardian, June 19, 1991).
NEW ZEALAND CONCEPTIONS AND BIRTHS
For the first time in eight years, New Zealand’s birth rate has returned to replacement level. As of September 57,585 live births were recorded for the year — 40,332 nuptial and 17,253 ex-nuptial.
Trends for the past 17 calendar years … show adoptions falling (to 31 percent of the 1971 figure) and abortions rising steeply (by 290 percent since 1974).
While live births have been in a trough over the past decade, total known conceptions (live births plus abortions) have steadily increased — almost back to the level of 1971. Back, then however, the loss through abortion was low (Humanity, December, 1988, “Conceptions and Births”).
Because Thailand is a developing country, the government capitalizes on the economic-demographic approach to family planning, population and development. Government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) integrate population control methods in community/rural development programs such as day care programs, poultry raising, piggery, tree planting and dressmaking.
The Population and Communication Development Association of Thailand (PDA) works with Singer Sewing Machine Co. as part of a dressmaking project. PDA also establishes community-based clinics and operates a mobile medical van under contract with companies for medical care, abortifacient/contraceptives and sterilization (IMCH NEWSLETTER, Vol.18, No.189, Jan/Feb, 1991).
SINGAPORE PRO-BIRTH POLICY MUST GO ON
Singapore’s pro-birth policy should continue, said chief population planner Paul Cheung.
An increasing proportion of women are remaining childless or having only one child. In the 40–44 age group, 16 percent are in this category.
The family rather than the State must be the central institution for social support in Singapore, he said, but the trend towards childless or singleton families threatens to upset the balance. “Without the bond and support provided by children, an aging individual may find it more difficult to go through old age,” he said.
Increasing procreation is necessary to [assure] that there are enough working people to support the greatly increased number of elderly (Straits Times, June 13, 1991).
ITALIANS REJECT EUROPEAN EUTHANASIA DOCUMENT
With Vatican cooperation, Italian bio-ethics scientists have become the first in the European Community to reject the document on euthanasia which the European Parliament has unanimously approved.
The Italian Bio-Ethics Commission, which includes moral theologians, acts as an advisory group for Italy’s Parliament. The Commission claims that the European Assembly’s document is “devoid of valid arguments” in approving mercy killing.
Further, the Commission warned other European Community members that the document was “ambiguous” in its definition of death and offered no guidelines at all on the juridical aspect of “active euthanasia” — inducing death to end suffering.
“Passive” euthanasia, or withholding medical treatment that would not cure but merely prolong life, must be distinct from the renunciation of therapeutic excess for the terminally ill, according to the counter-document of the commission in which a Vatican bio-ethics expert, Msgr. Elio Sgreccia, participated (Vivian Hewitt in Rome, Catholic Herald, June 21, 1991).