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President’s Page: When Family Planning is Ethnic Cleansing

Imagine the outcry if Adolf Hitler had invited the American Birth Control League (Planned Parenthood’s predecessor) into Poland to help “control” the reproduction of “undesirables” in that country. Now flash forward to December 1998, when indicted war criminal Slobodan Milosevic’s government gave the green light to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) to target ethnic Albanians with dangerous “reproductive health” supplies. Are these two actions all that different?

Not according to the New York Post. “Now that NATO troops have ended ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, there’s reason to fear that the [UNFPA] will do what the Serbs failed to: pacify the region by reducing the Albanian population” (New York Post, ‘UN Opens Kosovo to Anti-Family Planning Zealots,’ 22 August 1999;;

Based on the reports of the Population Research Institute on UNFPA operations in Kosovo and in Albanian refugee camps, the hard-hitting New York Post column by Rod Dreher also quotes Milosevic’s minister of family affairs, Rada Trajkovic, calling Albanian women “‘chi1d-bearing’ machines.” Trajkovic, in a Serbian demographic report published last year, denounced what she calls the “demographic bomb” ticking in Kosovo. Is it any wonder that the UNFPA was only invited into Kosovo, and not the remainder of rump Yugoslavia?

The local press in Kosovo is up in arms over this new threat to the Kosovars, who have already suffered so much. The Kosovapress news agency reported that “Milosevic’s regime worked on developing a variety of genocidal tools against the Albanian population of Kosovo, including reproductive health practices… A UNFPA officer [told] how the Milosevic regime planned ethnic cleansing of the Albanians by reducing Kosovar’s high birth rate through ‘reproductive health’ practices” [Kosovapress, “New Proof of Serb Plans to Use Reproductive Health as a Genocidal Tool,” 20 July 1999).

The chief editor of Kosovo’s major newspaper has told us that both he and his readers share PRI’s concerns about the health risks associated with the Milosevic/UNFPA population control campaign in Kosovo.

In three separate investigations, PRI has documented that UNFPA’s “reproductive health” kits sent to the region consist of dangerous, crude and outdated supplies, raising serious questions about health risks and informed consent violations: abortion inducing “morning after” pills; crude IUD devices (the Multiload CU 375) outdated in the West (see Louset T., “A Comparative Evaluation of the Multiload CU 250 and the Multiload CU 375,” Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand., Vol. 69 1990, 521), and manual vacuum aspirators (MVAs) used for performing abortion.

PRI’s investigator in Kosovo, Josipa Gasparic, reports the UNFPA has prepared a set of guidelines called “How to change the mentality of Kosovar women,” developed to undermine the pro-family, pro-child attitudes of the Kosovars. Kosovar women whom Ms. Gasparic interviewed on the street and in their homes graphically referred to the UNFPA’s campaign as the “white plague” (See: “Milosevic and the ‘UN Butchers’,” on page 3 of this issue).

Thus far the international community has done nothing to halt this dangerous campaign. The most startling of PRI’s discoveries is UNFPA’s admission that it was requested by the Milosevic government into Kosovo to launch its “reproductive health” campaign (PRI’s interview with Stirling Scruggs, 9 July 1999). Just to make sure we had heard this startling admission correctly, we contacted UNFPA spokesman Alex Marshall, Mr. Marshall confirmed a second time that UNFPA was in fact “invited” to Kosovo by the Yugoslavian government under Milosevic to conduct “reproductive health” assessments and to follow them up with “regular programs” (PRI’s interview with Alex Marshall, 9 August 1999).

UNFPA Flips, Flops, Fulminates

Caught in the midst of a public relations scandal, UNFPA, in a press statement, suddenly began to deny that they had ever been invited anywhere by Milosevic. Abandoning the truth for damage control, UNFPA said that PRI was disseminating an “outrageous lie and a half-baked attack on humanitarian assistance.”

Just hours prior to its denial, however, other UNFPA officials had confirmed to none other than the New York Post the invitation from Milosevic. According to Rod Dreher, “UNFPA confirms that months later, Milosevic invited the agency into Kosovo — and, tellingly, nowhere else in Serbia — to assess the situation” (New York Post, 22 August 1999).

The UNFPA’s response to being caught in an obvious lie was to attack the source. In response to the Post article, Mr. Marshall submitted a letter to the editor describing PRI’s well-documented reports as “garbage.” To a European News Agency he accused PRI of spreading lies.”

But facts are hard things. Two separate news agencies have UNFPA officials on record confirming that Slobbo invited UNFPA to Serbia to operate only in Kosovo. Our hope now is that the mainstream media will begin to see the obvious connection between ethnic cleansing and the UNFPA’s version of “family planning.”

We at PRI repeat our call for UNFPA to immediately withdraw from Kosovo.

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