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From the Countries: A change of heart for Planned Parenthood? Kenya drops contraceptive prices

The Korean affiliate of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Korean Planned Parenthood, finds itself in an “embarrassing” situation in the wake of the Korean government’s retreat from its de-facto one-child policy, writes correspondent Peter Kim.

“They [Korean Planned Parenthood] proposed to the Korean Catholic Church joining with their just-begun anti-abortion campaign,” Kim writes. “The Korean pro-life movement leaders, however, rejected their proposal, because it is certain that instead of [being] anti-abortion they will push the situation into artificial contraception.”

Kim adds, however, that Korean Planned Parenthood has felt the need to produce anti-abortion stickers to keep up with the change in their nation’s opinions on population questions.

(Peter Kim, PRI Korean correspondent.)

The Kenyan government has waived all duties on all types of contraceptives imported into the country, Francis Muroki writes from Nairobi. Since the Kenyan government often charges up to 35% of an item’s value in duty, making contraceptives duty-free sends a strong signal of the government’s determination to move more of them into as many Kenyan lives as possible.

It also indicates the success of Planned Parenthood’s efforts to induce African governments to make all manner of birth control available, including abortion on demand, to all people irrespective of age or affordability.

Muroki also writes that “while ordinary drugs and medicines are very expensive, sometimes beyond the means of the ordinary people, contraceptives are highly subsidized.

“These subsidies are made available to the Kenyan government by Japan (through the HCA Corporation), Great Britain (through the Overseas Development Administration ODA) and the United States (through the USAID).”

(Francis Muroki, PRI Kenyan Correspondent.)

And if anyone harbors any doubts about the role of IPPF in promoting abortion around the world, they may look at the following fax from the Reproductive Rights Alliance in Johannesburg, South Africa which a sympathetic reader forwarded to us:

“The Reproductive Rights Alliance is organizing a lobby day in Parliament to demonstrate public support for the proposed Termination of Pregnancy Bill. The motivation for this event is to attract media attention for the bill and to lobby politicians. This will involve pro-choice men and women each spending 10–15 minutes with an individual member of Parliament on a specific day to express their personal views on the proposed legislation. The proposed date is 26 September 1996.

We hope to be able to visit all ANC and PAC and some DP, Inkhata and NP members of Parliament. We need approximately 300 people to support this event. We need to keep it under wraps to ensure there is no simultaneous event staged by anti-choice groups. We appeal to your organization to support us in this venture. A planning meeting will be held on Thursday 22 August 1996 between 1:00 and 2:30 at:

Planned Parenthood Association
Western Cape
12 Anson Road

(From a special correspondent.)

Italy’s birth rate, already one of the lowest in the world, continued to decline with newly released government statistics showing deaths outnumbering births in 1995 for the third straight year. The Italian institute of Statistics reported that in 1995 there were 555,203 deaths in Italy compared to 526,064 births, a margin of 29,139 more deaths than births.

Beginning in 1993, the number of births in Italy fell below the number of deaths. The only time previously that Italy ever had experienced such a situation was in 1918, when, at the height of the carnage of World War I and the concurrent influenza epidemic, the numbers of deaths rose substantially.

According to the United Nations’ demographic statistics, in 1993 Italy recorded 541,200 deaths versus 537,000 births — 4,200 more deaths than births. In 1994, the situation continued to erode: 543,978 deaths versus 533,615 births — 10,363 more deaths than births.

The number of births in 1993 (537,000), was at the time reported to be the lowest number ever in Italy since the unification and formation of modern Italy in 1870. But in each of the two succeeding years, the number of births has fallen further to new record lows.

Despite the unfavorable demographics, Italy’s population actually increased by some 55,000 in 1995 because of an influx of immigrants, principally refugees from war-torn Bosnia. Now that the fighting has ceased, this flow will stop and many of the refugees will be returning to their homelands. This shifting tide of immigrant statistics will expose Italy’s accelerating slide towards demographic disaster.

(XINHUA, 26 June.)

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