January 26, 2001
Volume 3/ Number 3
With the news of President Bush reinstating the Mexico City Policy, pro-abortion activists are claiming it is a "gag rule," unduly restricting their prerogative to fund and promote the practice of abortion in developing countries. It is, rather, a modest attempt to insure that the families and traditions of the Third World not be unduly undermined by Western anti-natalists whose sole aim is to deny women of color their progeny. It will also save lives. But it is only a beginning.
Steven W. Mosher
Two Cheers for the Mexico City Policy
With the stroke of a pen, our new president has taken the U.S. out of the global abortion business. Thanks to President Bush’s Executive Order reinstating the Mexico City Policy, organizations that perform abortions, or lobby foreign governments for the legalization of same, will no longer be eligible for U.S. funds. Those Americans – and they are a clear majority – who do not want their foreign aid used for homicidal purposes are pleased.
Population control activists, upset with losing such a potent weapon from their anti-people arsenal, are not. In fact, they are calling the new policy a "gag rule." But shouldn’t the families and traditions of the developing world be protected from intrusive and overbearing Western anti-natalists whose chief aim seems to be to deny women of color their children? What is called "family planning" is in fact merely a euphemism for population control, a form of global racism that targets the poor and minorities of the developing world.
This is not just my observation. One of the four stated objectives of foreign aid, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is population growth rate reduction. To accomplish this goal USAID funds front groups to carry out anti-natal campaigns around the world. One such surrogate is AVSC, formerly known as the Association for Voluntary Surgical Contraception, whose purpose is to sterilize millions of Third World poor.
USAID’s rationale for its support of AVSC’s program (an $80 million, five-year contract was inked in April 1998) is revealing – and chilling: "In order to meet the United Nations medium population projection for the year 2000, service providers in developing countries will have to perform 150 million sterilizations, insert 310 million IUDs, implant 31 million sets of Norplant, give 663 million injections, distribute 8.8 billion cycles of oral contraceptives and 44 billion condoms." If this isn’t population control, what is?
The massive promotion of abortion, contraception, and sterilization by the U.S. and its surrogates has not helped the developing world rid itself of poverty and disease. Rather it has offended traditional values and customs, wasted taxpayer dollars, and undermined primary health care. There is evidence that these programs actually promote the spread of disease, such as AIDS in Africa.
So while Mexico City is a good jumping-off point for President Bush, much remains to be done. The Clintonite view that people are the problem needs to be rejected. The way to end the cycle of illiteracy, poverty and disease that still grips much of the world is by empowering people to become the agents of their own development, not by trying to reduce their number.
The U.S. needs to get out of the business of telling couples in the developing world how many children they should or shouldn’t have. Compassionate conservative foreign aid should mean providing safe drinking water not sterilizations, schoolbooks not birth control pills, penicillin not IUDs, roads not condoms. This would be foreign aid that we could be proud of.
1). USAID document CCP-3068-A-00-3017-00 AVSC; pg. 19.