U.S.A., the Economic Lash:
Developing nations complain that the United States utilizes an economic lash to drive countries, who appeal for desperately needed development funding, into embracing population control policies. Such policies are integrated into all aspects of cultural life, becoming a literal ‘war’ on all conflicting values.
Population programs intervene in personal and familial relationships within the culture, standing in opposition to existing religious values and respect for individual well-being. So invasive and all-inclusive are these pressures that their description as ‘voluntary’ is decidedly deceptive.
Possibilities for linking expansive regulatory population control requirements to development assistance appear in the original legislative language of the U. S. Foreign Assistance Act of 1961:
“The Congress declares that the individual liberties, economic prosperity, and security of the people of the United States are best sustained and enhanced in a community of nations which… work together to use wisely the world’s limited resources in an open and equitable international economic system … Development assistance … shall be concentrated in countries which will make the most effective use of such assistance . ..the President shall assess the commitment and progress of countries … by utilizing criteria, including … control of population growth .… ”1
“… all appropriate activities proposed for financing under this chapter (Integration of Assistance Programs) shall be designed to build motivation for smaller families through modification of economic and social conditions supportive of the desire for large families, in programs such as education in and out of school, nutrition, disease control, maternal and child health services, improvements in the status and employment of women, agricultural production, rural development, and assistance to the urban poor, and through community-based development programs .… ”2
Over the past twenty-five years, U.S. Agency for International Development funding for population control has totaled $3.9 billion. Ninety-two percent, or $3.6 billion has been provided under the Population Planning account and Development Fund for Africa; $13.5 million under the Economic Support Fund and Sahel Development Fund.3
United Nations Population Commission Focuses on “Age Structure”:
The Population Newsletter published by the U.N. Population Division notes that: “The demographic transition, which is a shift from high to low levels of fertility and mortality, changes the age structure of a population from a young to an old-age distribution .…” Population policies have been enacted as a component of the development process, restricting births in order to increase development and economic opportunity. Within the U.N. Age Structure Report, ‘early initiation’ countries are those which began a significant fertility decline prior to 1950. The ‘early initiation’ pattern, found in Northern America, Europe, Oceania and the USSR provides a model of expectations for ‘late initiation’ countries (Latin America, Eastern Asia and Southeastern Asia) and ‘pre-initiation’ countries’ (Africa, Southern and Western Asia).
While fertility in the ‘early initiation’ countries is projected as remaining constant at a 1.9 Total Fertility Rate (TFR) by 2025, population aging is projected as proceeding at an accelerated pace. The proportion of the population under age 15 in those countries is expected to decrease to 18 percent. The greatest absolute increase in the proportion aged 65 and over is expected to rise from 12 percent in 1990 to 19 percent in 2025.4
As the aging of the population occurs, ‘early initiation’ countries, such as the United States, are experiencing pressures for euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, and health care rationing for aging and handicapped populations. “The number of persons aged 65 and over in the world, is expected to grow from 328 million in 1990 to 828 million in 2025, 2.5 times as large as its current size.”5
Danger exists that World population policies grounded in the requirements of public law, previously responsible for the limitation of births, could link public policy requirements to medical rationing, euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, as is presently occurring in the ‘early initiation’ countries.
Implicit within the discussion is the possible development of manipulative Government ‘age-structuring’ strategies directed toward national populations.
International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) in the 1990s:
IPPF plans to double the numbers of contraceptive users throughout the world in the 1990s. “The privileged countries of the Western World” will be called upon to “share technical and financial burdens with the Second and Third Worlds” in order to facilitate the “sheer magnitude” of contraceptive activity.
A minimum cost for this must rise to US $2.6 billion according to IPPF, with more than US $1 billion coming from the donor community. Donors and international organizations “will have to understand that the time for small pilot projects is over.”
A “vast expansion” of social marketing programs which will build on existing systems of petty traders and manufacturing in “virtual1y all countries and cultural settings” is planned in order to provide for contraceptive distribution. In addition to contraceptive pills, IUDs and condoms, methods used will include “more sterilizations” and “more abortions than in any other decade in human history.”6
World Association of Girl Guides:
The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAG-GGS), with a total membership of 7.75 million, conducts family life education projects in conjunction with the International Planned Parenthood Federation.
Among the organization’s activities are: a five year project on family life and community development in Sri Lanka; a community outreach adolescent pregnancy program in the Philippines; a family life/education/responsible living program in Malaysia; a European region seminar on health and sex education entitled “Our Health, Our Hands;” and an international family life education seminar at the WAGGGS’ World Center in Mexico titled, “The Many Faces of Today’s Family.”7
Brazil, Millions are Sterilized Illegally:
Brazil’s Minister of Health has again accused international organizations of funding the sterilization of 7.5 million Brazilian women in what he calls “a distorted criminal birth control program, the biggest informal programme in the world.”
In spite of the fact that sterilization is illegal in Brazil unless the mother’s life is at risk, official statistics show that 70 percent of women in the 15-54 age group use birth control, and of these 45 per cent have been sterilized. Many are in their twenties, some in their teens.
The poorest states have the highest numbers, led by the northern state of Maranhao, where 80 per cent have been sterilized. Many of those sterilized are in their twenties, some in their teens. In another eight states, including the capital, Brasilia, the figure is over 50 per cent.
In an interview published by a Brazilian magazine, the minister, Dr. Alceni Guerra, said that among the organizations financing the unofficial programme carried out by private Brazilian clinics are the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the Population Council, the International Federation for Family Life Promotion, the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, the World Bank, and other multilateral agencies.
Dr. Molina also believes that sterilization is being used as a form of genetic selection which has affected black women disproportionately. In Rio de Janeiro a black rights movement, CEAP, shares this belief and has launched a campaign equating sterilization with “genocide of the black population.” Critics say up to 8 percent of sterilized women had only one or no children.8
Mexican Reproductive Risk Strategy:
The Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) has developed an experimental strategy, which classifies women as ‘normal’ or ‘at risk’ for motherhood, in order to increase contraceptive prevalence.
Each woman who attends an IMSS clinic or hospital in the experimental area is evaluated for ‘reproductive risk.’ In hospitals, among women labeled as “high-risk,” acceptance of either IUD or tubal ligation grew by 11 percent. Among women using family clinics in the experimental area, 39 percent of the users accepted their current method during the experimental period. The IUD and tubal ligation were the most frequently used methods among clinic users.9
Honduras and Peru Follow Mexican Lead:
Complementing the strategy developed by the Mexican Social Security Institute, the Social Security Institutes of Honduras (IHSS) and Peru (IPSS) moved to test a similar strategy based on ‘reproductive risk.’
The IHSS Project Director is Dr. Carlos Godoy Arteaga and the Principal investigator is Dr. Ruben Lopez Canales, Chief ObGyn Department with the assistance of Dr. Jose A. Carcamo, Hospital Materno Infantil, Instituto Hondureno de Seguridad Social, Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
The IPSS Project Director is Dr. Alfredo Guzman, Director of the National Family Program at Hospital Nacional “Edgard Rebagliati Martins,” Lima, Peru.10
The Global Committee of Parliamentarians was formed in 1982 as a tax-exempt, non-profit corporation within the United States. It seeks to reach legislators throughout the world to stimulate the introduction of population control legislation in all countries.
The organization operates under the aegis and out of the offices of the U.N. Economic and Social Council.11 It receives funds from the United Nations; private foundations such as the Rockefeller Foundation and Ford Foundations, Population Communications and The Asian Population and Development Association; and government organizations such as the Canadian International Development Agency.12
The Global Committee encourages the formation of national parliamentary associations in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Arab Region; The Asian Forum of Parliamentarians has its offices in New Delhi and New York.13 The Inter-American Parliamentary Group shares its offices and work efforts with the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and Profamilia, the IPPF Latin American Family Planning Association.14
Canadian International Development Agency:
The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) provides grants to the following non-governmental organizations: the World University Service of Canada, Planned Parenthood Federation of Canada, the Canadian Baptist Overseas Mission Board, Unitarian Service Committee of Canada, Mennonite Brethren Mission and Inter Pares.
In Fiscal Year 1988/89 CIDA disbursements included: International Planned Parenthood Federation, $8.3 million; International Union for the Study of Population, $183,000; Global Committee of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, $293,000; International Federation for Family Life Promotion, $304,000, and others.15 CIDA interfaces with the Planned Parenthood Federation of Canada (PPFC) by matching PPFC donations to The International Planned Parenthood Federation on a three to one ratio.16
Mexican Abortion Reforms on Hold:
Lawmakers in the southern state of Chiapas announced that they will delay enacting a controversial measure that could increase the number of legal abortions. The state legislature said that the National Human Rights Commission should review abortion revisions in the Chiapas state constitution before they are allowed to take effect. The reforms, approved in October, 1990, allow abortion within the first three months of pregnancy for family planning purposes. Previously, Chiapas has permitted abortions only in cases of rape, risk to the mother’s life or diagnosed genetic problems in the fetus.17
South African Medical Journal:
The South African Medical Journal, in a report on Family Planning in South Africa, depicted opposition to sterilization and abortion as caused by “ignorance and conservatism? In a description of the Family Planning Association of South Africa (FPASA), the Journal stated that oral contraceptives, IUDs and Depo-provera are available through FPASA but objected to barriers, which are currently being raised, against “voluntary sterilization” which “should be available for all.” However these barriers are reported as “now being removed.” The article continued: “As no family planning program anywhere in the world has yet succeeded without abortion, the Family Planning Association of South Africa will have to be intimately concerned with abortion as a supportive measure for contraception.” Further, the combined efforts of FPASA and the Cape Association for Voluntary Association “promote new ideas necessary for changing attitudes.” In addition to having important contact “on a nongovernmental organizational level with world bodies” the Journal promises that the two organizations will break through the “ignorance and conservatism” that “obstructs both family planning and voluntary sterilization.”18
World Bank in Africa:
World Bank President Robert S. McNamara calls for a 50 percent reduction of African population growth in three decades. He said that there is “an urgent need to match expressions of general commitment with specific, technical, financial and political support.” To achieve the 50 percent decline in African fertility by 2025, nearly half of African couples would need to be using effective contraception.
McNamara estimated that achievement of the target would require increasing annual contraceptive aid to Africa to $650 million by the turn of the century. Further, costs to individual countries would require annual allocations of no more than 0.6 to 0.8 percent of Gross National Product to establish substantial contraceptive programs.19
IPPF Youth Services:
Since 1988, the International Planned Parenthood Federation has evolved a “five country program,” in Ethiopia, Kenya, Togo, Tunisia and Turkey, which shifts support from the promotion of “family life education” to the creation of client oriented youth services which incorporate contraceptive provision within a counseling/contraceptive package.
Because youth in developing countries do not make “ready clients of family planning outlets,” a shift toward provision within the youth community by other members of the youth community is necessary.
Two models, a recreation model and an outreach model have been developed which use a network of young adult coordinators who are responsible for the community action of young “promoters” who are active in the community.20
A European Conference attended by 300 international experts on abortion and contraception occurred in Tbilisi, Georgia in the USSR during the month of October, 1990. The Conference was co-hosted by UNFPA and the Europe Regional offices of UNFPA, WHO and IPPF on the subject of “From abortion to contraception: Public Health Approaches to Reducing Unwanted Pregnancy and Abortion through Improved Family Planning Services.”
In the keynote address, Dr. Nafis Sadik, Executive Director of The United Nations Population Fund described reproductive freedom as “the freedom from which all other freedoms flow.”21
1 Committee on Foreign Affairs, Committee on Foreign Relations, Legislation on Foreign Relations Through 1989, “Current legislation and Related Executive Orders,” Vol.1, (Government Printing Office, Wash., D.C. Mar., 1990), pp. 17,19, emphasis added.
2 Ibid., p. 28.
3 Agency for International Development, 1990, Users Guide to the Office of Population, p. 1.
4 United Nations Secretariat, N.Y., “Age Structure of Population,” Population Newsletter, Dept. of International Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, p.1-2, 6.
5 Ibid., p. 7.
6 IPPF Medical Bulletin, vol. 25, no.1, Feb., 1991, “The Challenge of the 1990s, International Planned Parenthood Federation, London, p.1-3.
7 Inventory of Population Projects in Developing Countries Around the World, 1988/89, United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), p. 876.
8 England, The Guardian, Feb. 5, 1991.
9 Alternatives, The Population Council/INOPAL Project, March, 1989, “Family Planning Services Based on Reproductive Risk,” p. 2-8.
10 Ibid., “Reproductive Risk Studies,” p.3.
11 Guide to Sources of international Population Assistance 1988, United Nations Fund for Population Activities, New York., p. 234.
12 UNFPA, Inventory of Population Projects, pp. 708, 799, 802, 814, 864.
13 Ibid., p. 817.
14 On site observations and personnel interview by PRI Staff.
15 UNFPA, Inventory of Population Projects, p. 799.
16 Ibid., p. 853.
17 Los Angeles Times, January 1, 1991.
18 “Family Planning in South Africa,” South African Medical Journal, 50(53) L, Dec. 11, 1975, pp. 2101-03.
19 Popline, “Agricultural Production Outpaced by Fertility In Sub-Sahara Africa,” January- February, 1991, p. 3.
20 Planned Parenthood In Europe, Vol. 19, No. 3, Dec. 1990, p.13.
21 Ibid., p. 19, emphasis added.