February 9, 2000
Volume 2/ Number 2
Dear Friend and Colleague:
In releasing his budget proposal for 2001 this week, President Clinton said that “the details [in the budget] make the difference, and if we can enact them we will make all the difference for America.” White House Chief of Staff, John Podesta, described the budget proposal as “a roadmap for our nation’s future.” One “detail” in the proposed budget relates to an increase in domestic family planning spending to contracept and sterilize the “urban poor.”
Steven W. Mosher
Population Control Comes Home in Clinton’s BudgetUrban Poor Targeted for “Family Planning”
POPULATION RESEARCH INSTITUTE — William Jefferson Clinton, in the last budget he will submit as president, has proposed a whopping $35 million increase in domestic “family planning” spending. (See: “The Clinton-Gore Administration FY 2001 Budget: Maintaining Fiscal Discipline While Making Key Investments,” Summary Documents, 7 February 2000; http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/New/00Budget.)
The beneficiaries of this government largesse will not be soccer moms. Rather, this new funding is directed at curbing the fertility of what the President’s budget summary calls “over 5 million low income women” by stocking 4,600 urban contraceptive shops with “a full range of reproductive health services.”
Disturbingly, the President’s initiative comes hard on the heels of a new report by the US Census Bureau that projects double-digit increases in minority populations in the years to come (“Census Bureau projects doubling of Nation’s population by 2100,” US Department of Commerce News, 13 January 2000). The Census Bureau predicts that by 2005 Hispanics will become the nation’s largest minority group. The Census Bureau also predicts that the Hispanic population will triple from 31.4 million in 1999 to 98.2 million in 2050. The Asian and Pacific Islander population will more than triple, rising from 10.9 million in 1999 to 37.6 million in 2050. The African-American population, according to the projections, will increase from 34.9 million to 59.2 million. In a time of anemic birth rates across America, all these groups have higher-than-average birth rates. With the exception of some Asian American groups, all of these minority populations tend to be concentrated in urban centers and have incomes below the national average. They thus fit the President’s description of his target population. Most of the “5 million low income women” who will be given government money and encouragement to contracept and/or sterilize themselves will be African-American or Hispanic.
For a “family planning” program to draw in a disproportionate number of African Americans, either by accident or design, smacks of racism. This effect is particularly unconscionable given that African American birth rates, for the first time in history, have now fallen below replacement. Without additional immigration from Africa, the African American population will soon be in decline.
Unlike the anemic African American birth rate, the birth rate for Hispanics is still relatively robust. In fact, America’s Hispanic population enjoys the highest Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of any ethnic group tracked by the US government, averaging just under 3.0 children per woman. Their percentage of the US population, estimates the US Census Bureau, will double from 12 percent to 24 percent over the next 50 years. Perhaps this is why they are being targeted.
Aside from its implicit racism, the President’s population control program suffers from another major defect. America’s TFR has been below replacement for the past three decades. The continuation of the current economic boom may very well depend on the willingness of new immigrants and minorities to bear the children—the next generation of American workers—which other Americans have rejected. Why should we spend an additional $35 million to spread the baby bust to them?