Steven Mosher

The Gates’ family planning initiative: the summit kicks off

Steven Mosher
By Steven Mosher
Image

July 11, 2012 (Pop.org) - In launching the London Summit, Melinda Gates declared it to be “an important milestone in the history of family planning. We are bringing far more resources to this effort than ever before.”

This is certainly a true statement. Organized by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, the summit, which opened today, is the opening kickoff for Gates’ campaign to raise $4bn worldwide to expand contraceptive and “reproductive health” services to 120 million of the world’s poor women by 2020.

Gates, who is Catholic, claims that “We are putting women at the very center of this issue.” Gates said that the universal desire of mothers to give their children “every good thing” can only be fulfilled when access to contraceptives is universal, “and that’s why we’re all here.” No mention of Natural Family Planning, or abstinence here.

UK International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell claimed that women would not be forced to take contraceptives, saying that “an end was put to the idea of coercion” in family planning programs in Cairo in 1994. He continued, “It is not for me or any politician to decide how many children a woman should have.”

Perhaps not, but the UN Population Fund and the International Planned Parenthood Federation are both complicit in China’s one-child policy which, as everyone knows by now, is rife with horrific abuses. It is thus disingenuous for Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, to tell the summit attendees that he wants to ensure that “no child is born unwanted and no child dies needlessly.” Children in China die needlessly all the time, in counties where the UN Population Fund is in charge of the enforcement of the one-child policy.

There were no shortage of delegates from countries throughout Africa and Asia lining up for their share of the new money pledged by Gates. Ethiopia’s Minster of Health, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, led the way, saying that “key conditions for achieving real progress are aligned like never before.”

Ms. Anuradha Gupta, Joint Secretary of India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare addressed the summit saying that “considering we have more than 12 million giving birth in public health institutions alone, “ India is committed to providing a full range of contraception “absolutely free of cost” and her government wants to ensure the availability of contraception services “in every nook and corner of our large country.” Gupta said India’s government would be taking a “quantum jump on reproductive family planning in the next five years.” It should be pointed out that India’s “reproductive health/family planning” programs are well known for abuses, such as forced sterilization.

During a panel discussion about integrating family planning with women and children’s health services and HIV management, Mr. Tweodros Melesse, Director General of IPPF said “integrating services improves quality, reduces stigma and increases access.” IPPF will be working to triple its service provision in the next 5 years “thereby preventing 46 million unintended pregnancies.” However reasonable this sounds, it should be noted that how “integration” works in practice is that women are denied medical care unless they agree to either contracept or undergo sterilization. Integration is a mechanism for coercion.

Indonesia Minister for People’s Welfare, Agung Laksono, announced that his government will include family planning within a universal health program that will begin in January 2014 and it will increase funding for family planning programs, particularly “long-acting and permanent” methods. Of course, when a poor country says that it will increase funding for family planning programs, it is planning on using other people’s money, in this case Melinda Gates’ and Western taxpayers’.

Senegalese Minister of Health Dr. Awa Marie Coll-Seck, who also did not want to miss out on Gates’ largess, said “I commit to making family planning a top priority in our country.” She announced that the Senegalese government planned to double its budget for family planning and its aim to more than double the contraceptive prevalence from 12 to 27 per cent by 2015, particularly through community and private sector and “mobile outreach” programs supporting the use of “long-acting and permanent family planning methods.” As PRI research has shown, any time a government sets targets for ‘contraceptive prevalence,” as Coll-Seck has, abuses follow as surely as day follows night.

Coll-Seck also told the Summit that she is interested in new birth control methods and that Senegalese and Ugandan women will be used in experiments of a new injectable contraceptive. The practice of using developing world women as guinea pigs in medical experiments has a long history and is a violation of a U.S. law — the Tiahrt Amendment — that PRI helped to get passed. Private money, such as Gates’, is bound by no such restrictions.

CLICK ‘LIKE’ IF YOU ARE PRO-LIFE!

Aside from the grant seekers, the contraceptive manufacturers, excited by the prospect of new markets for their products, were at the Summit in force as well. Pfizer Country Director for Nigeria, Enrico Liggeri, said the company is expanding the capacity for making Depo Provera, the 3-month injectable contraceptive, by 50%. “One billion doses of Depo Provera have been produced so far, and we are committed to making another one billion doses by 2020,” he said. No mention was made of the fact that steroidal contraceptives compromise a woman’s immune system and make her more likely to contract HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Antony Lowe, from the Dahua Pharmaceutical Company in China, was also there to tout his company’s contraceptive implant. It has been used by over 7 million women since 1996, Lowe claimed, although he did not say how many of these surgical implants were voluntary and how many were the result of the dictates of the one-child policy.

The USAID administrator, Dr. Rajiv Shah, chairing a panel on “donor commitments,” pointed out that the Obama administration has spent billions of dollars on abortifacient contraceptives since taking office in 2009. Shah said that the US directs $640 million annually towards international family planning programs that reach 83 million women worldwide. Shah also said that USAID is “happy to partner” with the Gates foundation to promote Depo Provera throughout the developing world.

The saddest note was struck by Kyo Hu Choo, the Korean Ambassador to Britain. Choo was introduced because his country, with 100% contraceptive prevalence rate, was said to be a “model for the world.” The South Korean population control program began in the 1960s at U.S. urging. Choo remarked, “Now we suffer from very low birth rate. There is some expert opinion that we overdid it.”

Overdid it, indeed. South Korea is losing people from year to year, filling more coffins than cradles. It says a lot about the anti-natal views of Melinda Gates and her coterie that this dying country should be a “model for the world.”

Reprinted with permission from the Population Research Institute.


Advertisement
Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

African researchers warn early sexual activity increases risk of cancers

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

A report on rising cancer rates in Africa delivered at a conference in Namibia last week warned that oral contraceptives and engaging in sexual activity from a young age lead to an increased risk of breast and reproductive system cancers.

Researchers presented the "2014 Integrated Africa Cancer Fact Sheet & Summary Score Card" during the 8th Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa (SCCA) conference, held in Windhoek, Namibia from July 20 to 22, noted that cancer is a growing health problem in many developing countries and that breast and cervical cancer are the most common forms affecting African women.

The report said that sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) play a major role in reproductive system cancers and that young girls who engage in sexual activity risk getting, among other STDs, the human papilloma virus (HPV), some strains of which are linked to cervical cancer.

The report said although HPV infections are common in healthy women, they are usually fought off by the body’s immune system, with no discernible symptoms or health consequences.

The Cancer Association of South Africa points out that of the scores of HPV types, 14 of the more than 40 sexually transmitted varieties are considered "high risk" for causing serious illness, while two, HPV-16 and HPV-18, are linked to cervical cancer.

“Long-term use of oral contraceptives is also associated with increased risk [of cancer], and women living with HIV-AIDS are at increased risk of cervical cancer,” the report said.

Dr. Thandeka Mazibuko, a South African oncologist, told the conference attendees that when an 18-year-old is diagnosed with cervical cancer, “this means sex is an important activity in her life and she indulged from a young age.”

Mazibuko said the standard treatment for cancer of the cervix is seven weeks of radiation therapy.

“After the treatment they cannot have sex with their husbands or partners. They cannot bear children because everything has been closed up. Some may still have the womb but radiation makes them infertile,” Mazibuko said, according to a report in The Namibian.

Statistics from the Cancer Association of Namibia show that cases of cervical cancer have risen from 129 in 2005 to 266 in 2012.

The SCCA Conference theme was, "Moving forward to end Cervical Cancer by 2030: Universal Access to Cervical Cancer Prevention."

In his keynote address, host and Namibian President Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba urged African countries to help each other to expand and modernize health care delivery in the continent.

"Within the context of the post-2015 Development Agenda and sustainable development goals, the provision of adequate health care to African women and children must be re-emphasized," said the president, according to AllAfrica.

The Namibian leader urged mothers to breastfeed their children for at least six months as a measure to prevent breast cancer.


Advertisement
Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary

Allow ‘lethal injection’ for poor to save on palliative care: Lithuanian health minister

Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary
By Hilary White

Euthanasia is a solution for terminally ill poor people who cannot afford palliative care and who do not want to “see their families agonize” over their suffering, Lithuania’s health minister said last week.

In an interview on national television, Minister Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė added that the Belgian law on child euthanasia ought to be “taken into account” as well. 

Šalaševičiūtė told TV3 News that Lithuania, a country whose population is 77 percent Catholic, is not a welfare state and cannot guarantee quality palliative care for all those in need of it. The solution, therefore, would be “lethal injection.”

“It is time to think through euthanasia in these patients and allow them to make a decision: to live or die,” she said.

Direct euthanasia remains illegal in the Balkan state, but activists tried to bring it to the table in 2012. A motion to drop the planned bill was passed in the Parliament in March that year in a vote of 75 to 14. Since then the country has undergone a change in government in which the far-left Social Democrats have formed the largest voting bloc.

Šalaševičiūtė is a member of Parliament for the Social Democrats, the party originally established in the late 19th century – re-formed in the late 1980s – from Marxist principles and now affiliated with the international Party of European Socialists and Socialist International.

Fr. Andrius Narbekovas, a prominent priest, lecturer, physician, bioethicist, and member of the government’s bioethics committee, called the suggestion “satanic,” according to Delfi.lt. He issued a statement saying it is the purpose of the Ministry of Health to “protect the health and life, instead of looking for ways to take away life.”

“We understand that people who are sick are in need of funds. But a society that declares itself democratic, should very clearly understand that we have to take care of the sick, not kill them,” he said.


Advertisement
Featured Image
Islamists in Mosul mark Christian homes with an Arabic "N" for Nazarene.
Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.

We must open wide our doors to Iraq’s Christians

Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.
By Gualberto Garcia Jones J.D.

On July 18, the largest Christian community in Iraq, the Chaldean Catholics of Mosul, were given a grotesque ultimatum: leave your ancestral home, convert to Islam, or die.

All but forgotten by the 1.2 billion Catholics of the world, these last Christians who still speak Jesus’ native tongue of Aramaic and live in the land of Abraham and Jonah are being wiped out before our very eyes.

As a way of issuing a thinly-veiled threat, reminiscent of the Nazi persecution of the Jews, the Arabic letter “N” (for Nazarean) has been painted on the outside of the homes of all known Christians in Mosul.

These threats, issued by the fanatical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) known for its bloodthirsty rampage of executions, have been taken very seriously by the several hundred thousand Christians in Mosul who have left with little more than the clothes they were wearing. 

At least most of these Christians were able to flee and find temporary protection among the Kurds in their semi-autonomous region.  However the Kurds do not have the resources to defend or shelter the Chaldean Christians for much longer.

On Monday, during an interview on Fox News, Republican U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, who recently joined with 54 other members of the House of Representatives in a letter to President Obama asking him to act to protect these communities, stated that while Iraqi President Maliki had sent military flights to Mosul to evacuate Shiite Muslims, the US has done nothing to protect the Chaldean Christians.  Rep. Wolf also stated emphatically that President Obama has done “almost nothing” about the genocide taking place.

The silence from the White House is deafening.  But the lack of leadership from the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in America has been shocking as well.

Nevertheless, the plight of these Iraqi Christians is beginning to be taken seriously.   This is due in large part to the heroic efforts of local Iraqi religious leaders like Chaldean Patriarch Sako, who has gone on a whirlwind tour of the world to alert us all of the plight of these Iraqi Christians.  In a statement demonstrating his character, he told the Christians of Iraq last week, “We are your shepherds, and with our full responsibility towards you we will stay with you to the end, will not leave you, whatever the sacrifices.”

Before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was launched there were approximately 1.5 to 2 million Christians living in Iraq.  Today, there are believed to be less than 200,000.  The numbers speak for themselves.

Now that the world is beginning to be aware of the genocide in Northern Iraq, many of us ask ourselves: what can we do?  As citizens and as Christians blessed to live in nations with relative peace and security, what can we do?

The answer is quite simple and unexpected.  Demand that our government and church pull its head out of the sand and follow France. Yes, France.  

Yesterday, in a heroic gesture of Christian solidarity that would make Joan of Arc proud, the government of France opened wide its doors to the persecuted Iraqi Christians.  

”France is outraged by these abuses that it condemns with the utmost firmness," Laurent Fabius, France's foreign minister, and Bernard Cazeneuve, France's interior minister, said in a joint statement on Monday.

"The ultimatum given to these communities in Mosul by ISIS is the latest tragic example of the terrible threat that jihadist groups in Iraq, but also in Syria and elsewhere, pose to these populations that are historically an integral part of this region," they added. "We are ready, if they wish, to facilitate their asylum on our soil.  We are in constant contact with local and national authorities to ensure everything is done to protect them.”

The French statement drives home three crucial elements that every government, especially the United States, should communicate immediately:

  1. Recognize the genocide and name the perpetrators and victims.

  2. Officially condemn what is happening in the strongest terms.

  3. Offer a solution that includes cooperation with local authorities but which leads by making solid commitments such as offering asylum or other forms of protection.

With regard to the Church, we should look to the Chaldean Patriarch and the Iraqi bishops who shared their expectations explicitly in an open letter to “all people of conscience in Iraq and around the world” to take “practical actions to assure our people, not merely expressions of condemnation.”  Noticeably, the last section of the letter from the Iraqi bishops, before a final prayer to God, is an expression of thanks to the Kurdish government, which has welcomed them not just with “expressions” of goodwill but, like France, with a sacrificial hospitality.

On Friday, July 25, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops did issue a statement, but unfortunately it lacked much in terms of leadership or solutions.  We should encourage our bishops to do better than that, be bolder and stronger for our persecuted brothers and sisters, name names and offer concrete sacrificial aid. In a word, be more like the French.

In 1553, Rome welcomed the Chaldean church into the fold of the Catholic Church.  Nearly 500 years later, Catholic Americans must find ways to welcome these persecuted people into our country, into our churches, and into our own homes if need be.

I say, I am with you St. Joan of Arc.   I am with you, France.  I am with you, Chaldeans!

Gualberto Garcia Jones is the Executive Director of the International Human Rights Group, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, that seeks to advance the fundamental rights to life, the natural family, and religious liberty through international law and international relations. 


Advertisement

Customize your experience.

Login with Facebook