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Kristof’s Error: Population Control is an Easy, but Wrong Solution

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Commentary by Bryan Clowes, Research Manager, Human Life International

October 1, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Nicholas Kristof’s entire article “Birth Control over Baldness” [New York Times, Sept. 25, 2010] is constructed around a single sentence:  “It’s impossible to fight poverty effectively when birthrates are sky high.”

His answer to this problem, of course, is the simplistic, short-sighted and dangerous solution that many others seem to endorse:  Put everyone on birth control.  He thus falls into the pit occupied by so many others - the fallacy that complex social problems have a “quick fix” that will make everything better, or at least greatly improve the situation. 

Let us get one thing straight before proceeding:  The goal of the developed nations is not to improve the standard of living of the people in developed nations.  If it were, we’d see billions going toward building schools, investing in business, and other proven methods of helping the people of Africa and Asia flourish. The true objective of population control efforts is neatly summed up by the 1974 top-secret U.S. National Security Study Memorandum 200, revealingly subtitled “Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests,” which said that:

The U.S. economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less developed countries. ... Wherever a lessening of population pressures through reduced birth rates can increase the prospects for such stability, population policy becomes relevant to resource supplies and to the economic interests of the United States. 

We must also be clear about another thing:  The ultimate objective of the population controllers is not to ensure the widespread availability of contraception, but the worldwide availability of abortion. 

NSSM-200 said that, “No country has reduced its population growth without resorting to abortion.”  Shortly after NSSM-200’s release, Malcolm Potts, former Medical Secretary of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), and perhaps the most knowledgeable person in the world about population matters, said that “No developed country has brought down its birth rate without a considerable recourse to abortion, and it appears unlikely that developing countries can ever hope to see any decline in their fertility without a massive resort to induced abortion, legal or illegal.” 

Today, the most powerful population control groups in the world are quite frank about their desire to legalize abortion worldwide.  For example, in its 1996 Charter on Sexual and Reproductive Rights, the IPPF claimed that “All women have the right to information, education and services necessary for the protection of reproductive health, safe motherhood and safe abortion and, which are accessible, affordable, acceptable and convenient to all users.”  The 1994 Program of Action of the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) demanded that all nations make abortion available and free to all women by the year 2015. 

Perhaps this impending deadline is goading these groups into getting more and more extreme in their rhetoric; in 2008, one United Nations “expert group” ludicrously claimed that “Withholding legal abortion is a form of gender-based discrimination and violence against women.” 

Trampling the Rights, Laws and Traditions of Developing Nations

In their rush to legalize abortion worldwide, the population controllers have no trouble with trampling on the laws of pro-life nations.  In its 1984 document The Human Right to Family Planning, the IPPF baldly stated that “Family Planning Associates and other nongovernmental associations should not use the absence of law or the existence of an unfavorable law as an excuse for inaction; action outside the law, or even in violation of it, is part of the process of stimulating change.”  Other population control groups, including Marie Stopes International and Medecins Sans Frontieres, have admitted to committing illegal abortions in nations with pro-life laws.

When the only objective is to meet population control quotas, human rights are the first thing to go out the window.  NSSM-200, which has never been officially repudiated as United States population policy, outlined the possibility of forced population control programs and the withholding of food as coercion: 

… mandatory [population control] programs may be needed and that we should be considering these possibilities now. … On what basis should such food resources then be provided?  Would food be considered an instrument of national power?  Will we be forced to make choices as to whom we can reasonably assist, and if so, should population efforts be a criterion for such assistance? 

Most of us are familiar with the hideous Chinese one-child and forced-abortion program, which “celebrated” its 30th anniversary this week.  It is telling indeed that no population control organization has ever condemned or criticized this inhumane program.  In fact, many of them have actually praised it.  Nafis Sadik, former Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), has said that

China has every reason to feel proud of and pleased with its remarkable achievements made in its family planning policy and control of its population growth over the past 10 years.  Now the country could offer its experiences and special experts to help other countries. 

This slavish dedication to suppressing the population has inevitably led to horrible abuses all over the world.  Forced abortion and sterilization programs have been exposed in many countries, including Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Czechoslovakia, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, the Philippines, Sweden, Switzerland, Tibet, Vietnam, and even the United States.

This trend seems to show no signs of slowing down. John Holdren, President Barack Obama’s “Science Czar,” wrote a 1977 book entitled, Ecoscience:  Population, Resources and Development, with Paul and Anne Ehrlich [Paul Ehrlich is the author of the thoroughly debunked but still influential The Population Bomb].  In this book, Holdren and the Ehrlichs said that minority women and other undesirables should be forced to have abortions against their wills; that sterilizing agents should be put in the water supplies of the United States to help hold down the population; and that a “Planetary Police Force” should enforce population control measures.

This callous attitude is reflected in the public statements of countless population controllers around the world.  After a number of Bangladeshi women died due to the side effects of injectable “contraceptives,” gynecologist Josas Kon said that “In order to have a good thing there is always a price to pay. If two or three women die — what's the problem? The population will be reduced.” 

This kind of uncaring attitude led Indian citizen Amartya Sen, winner of the 1998 Nobel Prize for economics, to remark that "Promoting a "family planning first" strategy can send a message to poor people: `Wish you weren't here’.”
Having traveled to nearly forty poor nations in the Southern Hemisphere, this writer can confirm from personal experience that nothing contributes more to the image of the “Ugly American” than our attempts to compel the citizens of other nations to adopt our values ? particularly in the most sensitive area of deciding how many children they should have. 
  
The Poor of the World Need Plows, Not Pills

What the poor people of the world need is not pills and condoms, but authentic economic development.  Studies have demonstrated that, when the standard of living of poor people is raised, they tend to have fewer children.  Urbanization, the education of women, increased consumerism, and job opportunities for women outside the home are among the factors that influence people to have smaller families.

But correcting such deficiencies is too difficult and complex for the population controllers.  They prefer the simpler and more direct policy of “Find ‘em, bribe ‘em, neuter ‘em and forget ‘em,” which does nothing more than make large poor families into small poor families. 

The world’s richest nations, led by the United States and the United Kingdom, have poured more than $75 billion into population control over the past two decades, wreaking havoc in the families and cultures of the developing world. Imagine how many tens of millions of people could have been raised out of poverty to a higher standard of living had all that money been invested in the future of these nations’ future rather than in eliminating their future, their children. 

See the LifeSiteNews Feature Page on NSSM 200
http://www.lifesitenews.com/waronfamily/nssm200/index.html

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
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Indiana faces backlash as it becomes 20th state to protect religious liberty

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By Ben Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, March 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Thursday, Indiana became the 20th state to prevent the government from forcing people of faith to violate their religious beliefs in business or the public square.

Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 101) into law, saying the freedom of religion is a preeminent American value.

“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion, but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action,” Pence said.

Gov. Pence, a possible dark horse candidate for president in 2016, cited court cases brought by religious organizations and employers, including Catholic universities, against the HHS mandate. “One need look no further than the recent litigation concerning the Affordable Care Act. A private business and our own University of Notre Dame had to file lawsuits challenging provisions that required them to offer insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.”

The new law could also prevent Christian business owners from being compelled to bake a cake or take photographs of a same-sex "marriage" ceremony, if doing so violates their faith. In recent years, business owners have seen an increased level of prosecution for denying such services, despite their religious and moral beliefs.

The state's pro-life organization applauded Pence for his stance. "Indiana's pro-life community is grateful to Gov. Mike Pence for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law,” said Indiana Right to Life's president and CEO Mike Fichter. “This bill will give pro-lifers a necessary legal recourse if they are pressured to support abortion against their deeply-held religious beliefs.”

“RFRA is an important bill to protect the religious freedom of Hoosiers who believe the right to life comes from God, not government,” he said.

The state RFRA is based on the federal bill introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The Supreme Court cited the federal law when it ruled that Hobby Lobby had the right to refuse to fund abortion-inducing drugs, if doing so violated its owners' sincerely held religious beliefs.

In signing the measure – similar to the one Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed – Pence and the state of Indiana have faced a torrent of venom from opponents of the bill, who claim it grants a “right to discriminate” and raises the spectre of segregation.

"They've basically said, as long as your religion tells you to, it's OK to discriminate against people," said Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, a national homosexual pressure group.

The Disciples of Christ, a liberal Protestant denomination based in the state capital, has said it will move its 2017 annual convention if the RFRA became state law. The NCAA warned the bill's adoption “might affect future events” in the Hoosier state.

Pence denied such concerns, saying, "This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way I would've vetoed it."

The bill's supporters say that, under the Obama administration, it is Christians who are most likely to suffer discrimination.

"Originally RFRA laws were intended to protect small religious groups from undue burdens on practicing their faith in public life,” said Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “It was not imagined there would come a day when laws might seek to jail or financially destroy nuns, rabbis or Christian camp counselors who prefer to abstain from the next wave of sexual and gender experimentation. And there's always a next wave.”

The bill's supporters note that it does not end the government's right to coerce people of faith into violating their conscience in every situation. However, it requires that doing so has to serve a compelling government interest and the government must use the least restrictive means possible. “There will be times when a state or federal government can show it has a compelling reason for burdening religious expression – to ensure public safety, for instance,” said Sarah Torre, an expert at the Heritage Foundation. “But Religious Freedom Restoration Acts set a high bar for the government to meet in order to restrict religious freedom.”

Restricting the ability of government to interfere in people's private decisions, especially their religious decisions, is the very purpose of the Constitution, its supporters say.

"Religious freedom is the cornerstone of all liberty for all people,” Tooley said. “Deny or reduce it, and there are no ultimate limits on the state's power to coerce."

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Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting.
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Porn is transforming our men from protectors into predators. Fight back.

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By Jonathon van Maren

Since I’ve gotten involved in anti-pornography work, I’ve met countless men who struggle, fight, or have beaten pornography. Each person seems to deal with the guilt and shame that accompanies porn use in a different way—some deny that it’s “all that bad,” others pretend that they could “stop whenever they want,” many insist that “everyone is doing it,” and most, when pressed, admit to a deep sense of self-loathing.

One worry surfaces often in conversation: What do my past or current struggles with pornography say about me as a man? Can I ever move past this and have a meaningful and fulfilling relationship?

I want to address this question just briefly, since I’ve encountered it so many times.

First, however, I’ve written before how I at times dislike the language of “struggling” with pornography or pornography “addiction,” not because they aren’t accurate but because too often they are used as an excuse rather than an explanation. It is true, many do in fact “struggle” with what can legitimately be considered an addiction, but when this language is used to describe an interminable battle with no end (and I’ve met dozens of men for whom this is the case), then I prefer we use terminology like “fighting my porn habit.” A semantic debate, certainly, but one I think is important. We need to stop struggling with porn and start fighting it.

Secondly, pornography does do devastating things to one’s sense of masculinity. We know this. Pornography enslaves men by the millions, perverting their role as protector and defender of the more vulnerable and turning them into sexual cannibals, consuming those they see on-screen to satisfy their sexual appetites.

What often starts as mere curiosity or an accidental encounter can turn into something that invades the mind and twists even the most basic attractions. I’ve met porn users who can’t believe the types of things they want to watch. They haven’t simply been using porn. Porn has actively reshaped them into something they don’t recognize and don’t like. 

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Porn is this generation’s great assault on masculinity and the role of men in society. It is essential that we win this battle for the sake of society’s survival. Contrary to what the gender-bending and family-morphing progressive elites claim, good husbands and good fathers and good church leaders are necessary for a healthy society. But pornography is destroying marriages, creating distant and disconnected fathers, and, metaphoricaclly castrating men, hindering their ability and desire to make a positive difference in the society around us.

So, with this sobering set of facts in mind let’s return to the question: what do pornography struggles, past and present, say about a man?

The proper way to respond is with everything that is good about masculinity. We have to fight pornography as men have fought countless evils throughout the ages. We need to fight pornography to protect women, and wives, and children, and our society at large. This is how pornography threatens society, by castrating men, and turning them from protectors into predators. Rooting out the evil in our own lives allows us to better fulfill the role we are called to perform in the lives of others. Battling our own demons enables us to battle the wider cultural demons. Every day without porn is another bit of virtue built. Virtue is not something you’re born with. Virtues are habits that you build. And one day without porn is the first step towards the virtue of being porn-free.

Many men ask me if men who have had past porn addictions are cut out for being in a relationship or working in the pro-life movement or in other areas where we are called to protect and defend the weak and vulnerable. And the answer to that is an unequivocal yes. Our society needs men who know what it means to fight battles and win. Our society needs men who can say that they fought porn and they beat porn, because their families and their friends were too important to risk. Our society needs men who rose to the challenge that the evils of their generation threw at them, and became better men as the result. And our society needs men who can help their friends and their sons and those around them fight the plague of pornography and free themselves from it, too—and who can understand better and offer encouragement more relevant than someone who has fought and been freed themselves?

So the answer to men is yes. Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting. Lend them support and encouragement. We cannot change the fact that porn has left an enormous path of destruction in its wake. But we can change the fact that too many people aren’t fighting it. We can change our own involvement. And we can rise to the challenge and face this threat to masculinity with all that is good about masculinity.

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Red Alert!

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By John-Henry Westen

I don’t like having to do this, but we have always found it best to be totally upfront with our readers: our Spring fundraising campaign is now worrying us! 

You see, with just 6 days remaining, we have only raised 30% of our goal, with $125,000 still left to raise. That is a long ways to go yet.

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Every year, LifeSite readership continues to grow by leaps and bounds. This year, we are again experiencing record-breaking interest, with over 6 million people visiting our website last month alone!

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Another upside to our huge growth in readers is that it should be that much easier to reach our goal. To put it simply: if each person who read this one email donated whatever they could (even just $10) we would easily surpass our goal! 

Today, I hope you will join the many heroes who keep this ship afloat, and enable us to proclaim the truth through our reporting to tens of millions of people every year!

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