The Malaysia conference highlights how to market a drug for one thing and use it for another, how euphemisms work and how it is up to government to create demand for contraception.
It's being billed as "the largest global event of the decade to focus on the health and empowerment of girls and women." But it is also very obviously a conference designed to reduce populations of developing nations by promoting a Western-style sexual revolution via chemical contraceptives, access to abortion-on-demand including, the promotion of the chemical abortifacient misoprostol in countries where abortion is illegal, and sex education for youth.
On Tuesday more than 4,000 delegates from 145 countries attended the launch of the third Women Deliver conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Featured speakers over the three-day event include Melinda Gates, of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), Dr. Babatunde Osotemehin, executive director of the United Nations Population Fund, U.S Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (by video) and her daughter Chelsea Clinton. Other champions of abortion on the speaker line-up are notorious American late-term partial birth abortionist Leroy Carhart, who is billed by Women Deliver as a “human rights defender,” and Princeton bioethics professor Peter Singer whose “practical ethics” include infanticide and bestiality.
Gates said on Wednesday that the conference is an opportunity to look back on what has been accomplished in the year since her London Family Planning Summit last July at which she garnered $2.6 billion in pledges from delegates worldwide to commit to bringing contraceptives to 120 million additional women across the globe by 2020 and to make “reproductive health” a priority for taxpayers and foreign aid spending. The Women Deliver venue is clearly a leveraging tool to ensure those governments keep their promises.
Although Gates, a self-professed Catholic, declared at the London summit that the initiative was "not about abortion…not about population control," her remarks were belied by the lineup of premiere global abortion and population control advocacy agencies in attendance, (many of whom are recipients of millions in Gates Foundation grants) — and the very same organizations attending the Women Deliver Summit in Malaysia this week.
Besides PPFA, America’s leading abortion provider and infanticide proponent, and its offshoot International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the British equivalent, Marie Stopes International, the International Pregnancy Advisory Service (Ipas), whose website says it has been advocating for “safe abortion and the reform of restrictive abortion laws that harm women” since 1973, and the Global Fund for Women (which describes its programs as “pushing against governments and religious institutions” to promote women’s “sexual and reproductive choices”) are all profiled presenters.
High profile champions of population reduction at the Women Deliver conference include Population Services International (PSI), UNFPA, Jhpiego, the World Bank (which ties funding to birth reduction policies and targets), the Ford Foundation, the Population Council and PATH (a group whose website says they have been assisting the Chinese government since 1979 – about the time it began assiduously imposing its One Child policy of forced abortion and contraception.)
Also present in force are pharmaceutical reps including from giants like Merck, Pfizer and Bayer. The Gates hold stock in these companies, which all have a great stake in a growing global contraceptive drug and device market which, according the Financial Times last year, is expected to soar to $17 billion by 2015.
MISOPROSTOL FOR ILLEGAL ABORTION?
The abortion business began early at the conference. A series of pre-conference "side events" included a panel discussion hosted by the Post Abortion Care Consortium (PAC) — a tag-team of four leading international abortion advocacy groups: IPPF, Pathfinder International, Ipas and Jhpiego which focused on expanding access to "youth friendly" PAC services and using the abortion drug misoprostol for post-abortion complications.
Misoprostol, which is part of the abortion cocktail RU-486, was clearly a major talking-point of the conference. A session hosted by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics and Gynuity Health focused on "misoprostol for managing postpartum hemorrhage."
"The leading killer of women in the world is postpartum hemorrhage," Women Deliver founder Jill Sheffield declared, highlighting misoprostol as one of the “most exciting” developments in the field of reproductive health. "One little pill in 15 minutes can do a major job of stopping that bleeding."
The World Health Organization added misoprostol to its “essential medicines” list last fall, but conceded it is not the drug of choice for postpartum bleeding. Oxytocin is. Much of the interest in it seems to stem from its other capacity for inducing abortion, and thus as a strategy to import abortion in countries where it is is illegal.
“[A]ccess to misoprostol for abortion at the community level and practical advocacy strategies” were discussed at a “safe abortion” panel hosted by IPPF, MSI and the Population Council.
But perhaps even more dangerously, the drug is being administered indiscriminately to all women post-delivery. Jhpiego director Harshad Sanghvi said his organization has trained “illiterate community workers “ in developing nations in Africa and Asia to “identify pregnant” women and distribute the drug to them for administering to use at home. Women on Waves, the notorious promoter of illegal abortion which advocates women lie to pharmacists to obtain misoprostol to induce abortion on themselves, advocates on its website that women can use misoprostol to “reduce the risk of heavy bleeding by 60%” even though it adds that it can cause “fever/chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and cramps.”
In fact, much of the research establishing misoprostol for use in hemorrhaging was funded by the Gates Foundation.
And Wendy Wright of C-Fam reported this week that Beverly Winikoff, of Gynuity Health Products, and a long-time champion of self-inducing abortion with RU-486, was forced to concede at a Women Deliver workshop, after questions from the audience, that “we don’t know if it saves lives.”
Another panel member, Ann Starrs , president of Family Care International which is promoting the drug, admitted that the slogan “Misoprostol Saves Lives” is misleading.“The attention span of policy makers means we need some hyperbole,” she said.
MULTIPURPOSE PREVENTION TECHNOLOGIES
Sheffield also highlighted the idea of "dual protection contraception" and said research combining contraceptives with vaccination. USAID representative Judy Manning also spoke about the development of "multipurpose prevention technologies" that got underway in 2009. She said SRH (sexual and reproductive health) agencies, public health researchers, biotech firms and public and private funding agencies, like the Gates Foundation, have been working on nanotechnologies, "multipurpose vaccines" and drug combinations and drug/device combinations to create a "suite" of contraceptive products to serve women throughout their lives. She mentioned "vaginal rings" which are used in developing countries and said that "long-acting hormonal injectables" are "already in trial for clinical safety and effectiveness."
Manning said that development is underway for vaccines and drugs that "simultaneously prevent pregnancy, HIV, HSV-2 and HPV which causes cervical cancer."
NEW ABORTION EUPHEMISM: RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD
Speaking at a Women Deliver press conference, Enrique Ona, Secretary of Health for the Philippines, described how pro-abortion lobbyists changed the language of the debate to pass the country's controversial “Reproductive Health Bill” in December.
The bill which promotes contraception and sex education had been thwarted at five consecutive congresses, he said. “In the Philippines, even now, the moment you talk about RH or reproductive health here it essentially is associated with population control, and again, they would right away say it would eventually go into acceptance of abortion,” Ona explained. The Catholic Church, he added, had always been a strong opponent of population control.
“And so our strategy that we agreed upon was to change the mode of the debate from a population issue into a so-called voluntary reduction and responsible parenthood,” Ona said. “So the term responsible parenthood could not be questioned. … this became very much acceptable, not only to those already supporting, but also to those who were vacillating in their position to support us.”
A short film on the Philippine RH law featured at a plenary session of the conference in which former Philippine president Fidel Ramos said: “We had no prohibitions about RH because we were always discussing and implementing from 92 to 98 was the quality of the Filipino population.”
For those wondering just what sort of “quality” Ramos is referring to, he expounded his view in a Philippine Daily Inquirer article saying: “I think the philosophy of RH bill is that we must learn to produce quality people in this world instead of producing people who only end up as, say, beggars on the streets, scavengers, or sellers of cheap or prohibited items. This, I think, is the real valid argument in favor of the RH bill.”
CREATING DEMAND WHERE THERE IS NONE
One of the conferences 12 “core themes,” including "safe and legal abortion," is "unmet need for contraception.”
“Today, 200 million women don’t have the contraceptives they want,” Melinda Gates declared, echoing a statistical mantra that was repeated time and again at Women Deliver. But just supplying unmet demand is clearly not the only objective of the organizations at this global conference. It is about controlling social behavior and “creating a market” for drugs and abortion where there is none, as one pertinent question at a press conference today revealed.
A reporter from a Cameroon radio and TV station said her country “received a huge consignment of contraceptives in 2011 from UNFPA and its gone right down to the grassroots levels” but only “about 2 per cent” of the women actually use them because they don’t want them. “How do you bridge that gap?” the reporter asked UNFPA director Osotimehin.
“Government at every level must participate actively in trying to drive this,” he replied, “and we at UNFPA will continue to do our best to ensure that not only do we provide it, we also encourage governments communities, civil society organizations, churches and mosques to continue to drive this.”
Melinda Gates nodded her assent to this plan, and Dr. Awa Coll-Seck, Minister of Health for Senegal added “it is up to the government to really resolve these types of problems” and to “encourage people to use contraception and abortion services.
“We cannot have only one side of the market equation,” she said. “Now the issue is an issue of demand…. we need to have a lot of campaign, education, community involvement to ensure” that products are used. “If we are not doing that we will not reach our targets.”
The conference continues.