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

Commentary by Bryan Clowes, Research Manager, Human Life International

October 1, 2010 ( - 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

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Pelosi asked: Is unborn baby with human heart a ‘human being’? Responds: ‘I am a devout Catholic’

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By Dustin Siggins

Tell Nancy Pelosi: No, supporting abortion and gay 'marriage' is not Catholic. Sign the petition. Click here.

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 2, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Top Democrat Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, won't say whether an unborn child with a “human heart” and a “human liver” is a human being.

Pelosi, who is the Minority Leader in the House, was asked a question about the issue by CNS News at a press conference last week. The conservative news outlet asked, "In reference to funding for Planned Parenthood: Is an unborn baby with a human heart and a human liver a human being?”

Pelosi stumbled over her answer, saying, “Why don't you take your ideological questions--I don't, I don't have—”

CNS then asked her, "If it's not a human being, what species is it?”

It was then that Pelosi got back on stride, swatting aside the question with her accustomed reference to her “devout” Catholic faith.

“No, listen, I want to say something to you,” she said. “I don't know who you are and you're welcome to be here, freedom of this press. I am a devout practicing Catholic, a mother of five children. When my baby was born, my fifth child, my oldest child was six years old. I think I know more about this subject than you, with all due respect.”

“So it's not a human being, then?” pressed CNS, to which Pelosi said, “And I do not intend to respond to your questions, which have no basis in what public policy is that we do here.”

Pelosi has long used her self-proclaimed status as a “devout” practicing Catholic to promote abortion.

In response to a reporter’s question a proposed ban on late-term abortion in 2013, Pelosi said that the issue of late-term abortion is "sacred ground" for her.

"As a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this," Pelosi said. "This shouldn't have anything to do with politics."

In 2008, she was asked by then-Meet the Press host David Gregory about when life begins. Pelosi said that "as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue I have studied for a long time. And what I know is that over the centuries, the doctors of the Church have not been able to make that definition....We don't know."

The Church has always taught that unborn human life is to be protected, and that such life is created at the moment of conception.

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New video: Planned Parenthood abortionist jokes about harvesting baby’s brains, getting ‘intact’ head

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By Ben Johnson

I interviewed my friend, David Daleiden, about his important work exposing Planned Parenthood's baby body parts trade on the Glenn Beck Program. David urged Congress to hold Planned Parenthood accountable and to demand the full truth. He also released never-before-seen footage showing a Planned Parenthood abortionist callously discussing how to obtain an intact brain from aborted babies.

Posted by Lila Rose on Monday, October 5, 2015


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WASHINGTON, D.C., October 5, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) - In the newest video footage released by the Center for Medical Progress, a Planned Parenthood abortionist laughs as she discusses her hope of removing the intact "calvarium," or skull, of an unborn baby while preserving both lobes of the brain.

She also describes how she first dismembers babies up to twenty weeks gestation, including two twenty-week babies she said she aborted the week before.

Dr. Amna Dermish, an abortionist with Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, told undercover investigators she had never been able to remove the calivarium (skull) of an aborted child "intact," but she hopes to.

"Maybe next time," the investigator said.

"I know, right?" Dr. Dermish replied. "Well, this'll give me something to strive for."

Dermish, who performs abortions up to the 20-week legal limit in Austin, then described the method she used to collect fetal brain and skull specimens.

"If it’s a breech presentation [in which the baby is born feet first] I will remove the extremities first - the lower extremities - and then go for the spine," she began.

She then slides the baby down the birth canal until she can snip the spinal cord.

The buyer noted that intact organs fetch higher prices from potential buyers, who seek them for experimentation.

"I always try to keep the trunk intact," she said.

"I don't routinely convert to breech, but I will if I have to," she added.

Converting a child to the breech position is the first step of the partial birth abortion procedure. The procedure has been illegal since President Bush signed legislation in 2003 making it a federal felony punishable by two years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

According to CMP lead investigator David Daleiden, who debuted the video footage during an interview with Lila Rose on The Blaze TV, Dr. Dermish was trained by Planned Parenthood's senior director of medical services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola.

Dr. Nucatola was caught on the first CMP undercover video, discussing the side industry while eating a salad and drinking red wine during a business luncheon.

Between sips, she described an abortion process that legal experts believe is a partial birth abortion, violating federal law.

“The federal abortion ban is a law, and laws are up to interpretation,” Dr. Nucatola said on the undercover footage. “So, if I say on day one that I don't intend to do this, what ultimately happens doesn't matter.”

Daleiden told Rose he hoped that Congressional investigators would continue to pressure the organization about whether the abortion technique it uses violates federal law, as well as the $60-per-specimen fee the national organization has admitted some of its affiliates receive.

Trafficking in human body parts for "valuable consideration" is also a federal felony carrying a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

"That would be enough to construct a criminal case against Planned Parenthood," Daleiden said.

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Nancy Flanders


He used to be an abortionist; now, he fights to save the lives of the preborn

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By Nancy Flanders

October 5, 2015 (LiveActionNews) -- In 1976, Dr. Anthony Levatino, an OB/GYN, graduated from medical school and was, without a doubt, pro-abortion. He strongly supported abortion “rights” and believed abortion was a decision to be made between a woman and her doctor.

“A lot of people identify themselves as pro-life or pro-choice, but for so many people, it doesn’t really touch them personally; it doesn’t impact their lives in the way that I wish it would. If nothing more than in the voting booth, if nowhere else,” said Levatino in a speech for the Pro-Life Action League. “But when you’re an obstetrician / gynecologist and you say I’m pro-choice – well, that becomes rather a more personal thing because you’re the one who does the abortions and you have to make the decision of whether you’ll do that or not.”

Levatino learned how to do first and second trimester abortions. Thirty to forty years ago, second trimester abortions were done by saline injection, which was dangerous.

"For the first time in my life, after all those years, all those abortions, I really looked, I mean I really looked at that pile of goo on the side of the table that used to be somebody’s son or daughter and that’s all I could see."

At that same time, Levatino and his wife were struggling with fertility problems and were considering adoption. They knew however, how difficult it was to adopt a newborn.

“It was the first time that I had any doubts about what I was doing because I knew very well that part of the reason why it’s difficult to find children to adopt were that doctors like me were killing them in abortions,” said Levatino.

Finally, in 1978, the couple adopted their daughter, Heather. Right after the adoption, they discovered they were expecting a baby, and their son was born just 10 months later.

Levatino describes a “perfectly happy” life at this time and says that despite those first qualms about abortion, he went right back to work performing them.

In 1981, after graduating from his residency, Levatino joined an OB/GYN practice which also offered abortions as a service. Saline infusion was the most common method for second trimester abortions at the time, but it ran the risk of babies born alive. The procedures were also expensive, difficult, and required the mother to go through labor. Levatino and his partners trained themselves to perform the D&E abortion procedure, which is used today.

In his speech, he describes what it’s like to perform the now routine procedure:

You take an instrument like this called a sopher clamp and you basically – the surgery is that you literally tear a child to pieces. The suction is only for the fluid. The rest of it is literally dismembering a child piece by piece with an abortion instrument […] absolutely gut-wrenching procedure.

Over the next four years, Levatino would perform 1,200 abortions, over 100 of them D&E, second trimester abortions.

But then everything changed. On a beautiful day in June of 1984, the family was at home enjoying time with friends when Levatino heard tires squeal. The children were in the street and Heather had been hit by a car.

“She was a mess,” he explained. “And we did everything we possibly could. But she ultimately died, literally in our arms, on the way to the hospital that evening.”

After a while, Levatino had to return to work. And one day, his first D&E since the accident was on his schedule. He wasn’t really thinking about it or concerned. To him, it was going to be a routine procedure he had done many times before. Only it wasn’t.

“I started that abortion and I took that sopher clamp and I literally ripped out an arm or a leg and I just stared at it in the clamp. And I got sick,” he explained. “But you know something, when you start an abortion you can’t stop. If you don’t get all the pieces – and you literally stack them up on the side of the table […] your patient is going to come back infected, bleeding or dead. So I soldiered on and I finished that abortion.”

But by the time the abortion was complete, Levatino was beginning to feel a change of heart:

For the first time in my life, after all those years, all those abortions, I really looked, I mean I really looked at that pile of goo on the side of the table that used to be somebody’s son or daughter and that’s all I could see. I couldn’t see what a great doctor I was being. I didn’t see how I helped this woman in her crisis. I didn’t see the 600 dollars cash I had just made in 15 minutes. All I could see was somebody’s son or daughter. And after losing my daughter this was looking very, very different to me.

Levatino stopped performing second trimester abortions but continued to provide first trimester abortions for the next few months.

“Everybody puts doctors on a pedestal and we’re all supposed to be so smart but we’re no different than anybody else,” he said.

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He realized that killing a baby at 20 weeks gestation was exactly the same as killing one at nine weeks gestation or even two weeks gestation. He understood that it doesn’t matter how big or small the baby is, it’s a human life. He has not done an abortion since February 1985 and says there is no chance he will ever perform one again.

Adamant that he would never join the pro-life movement because of the media’s portrayal of pro-lifers as crazy, he was eventually invited to a pro-life potluck dinner where he met people who he realized were intelligent volunteers who spent their time defending preborn humans.

After that, Levatino began speaking out against abortion specifically with young people, graphically describing for them what an abortion really is.

Levatino has also testified before Congress, asking our government to end legal abortion.

Reprinted with permission from Live Action News

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