Brian Clowes

Opening the Gates wide to population control abuse

Brian Clowes
By Brian Clowes
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October 1, 2012 (The Wanderer) - In July 1912, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, Marie Stopes and other leaders in the early race-cleansing eugenics movement held their first international conference in London. Among the leading topics of discussion were how to stop poor and “unfit” African women from breeding.

Exactly 100 years later, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the British Government sponsored the Summit on Family Planning in the same city. This is most likely a coincidence, but the irony is stunning. The objective of the Summit on Family Planning was to raise enough money to “provide 120 million women in the world’s poorest countries with access to contraceptives by 2020,” with a heavy emphasis on Africa. Atop the list of the Gates Foundation’s partners were ― you guessed it ― International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and Marie Stopes International, the two largest abortion providers in the world, back to finish the work their founders had started a century before.

According to the Summit’s “Summary of Commitments,” getting this many women on birth control will require an additional $4.3 billion over the next eight years, one-fourth of which will be donated by the Gates Foundation.

The Summit was headlined by Prime Minister David Cameron, President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania and Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland. It was heralded by many as “A rebirth of family planning,” as if the entire international development industry had not spent the last two decades devising ever-more-aggressive but friendlier-sounding ways to stop Africans, Asians and Latinos from having children. Indeed, the so-called “developed” nations have poured one hundred billion dollars into population control in the Southern Hemisphere since 1995.1

Eighteen of the 24 nations represented at the event were African, so it not was difficult to discern the geographical emphasis of this Summit. Also present as “donors” were the dozen or so “developed” world governments that currently provide 95 percent of all population control funding.

And, of course, Big Pharma was more than adequately represented. Participants such as Bayer, Cipla, Helm, Johnson & Johnson, Merck and Pfizer stand to gain billions annually should 120 million more women be hooked on their products.

Although the more honest language of “population control” is no longer in vogue, the same old disinformation and outright propaganda was the order of the day. For example, the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, a “supporting organization” for the Summit, distributed its grandly titled “Atlas of Birth” graphic, in which it claimed, without a trace of ironic awareness, that “Access to family planning massively boosts women’s chances of surviving pregnancy,” and compares the UK’s maternal mortality rate of 12 per 100,000 live births (where contraceptive prevalence is 86%) and the MMR in Chad, which is one hundred times higher at 1,200 per 100,000 (and which has a contraceptive prevalence of only 3%).

White Ribbon Alliance is implying, of course, that all we have to do is flood Chad (and the rest of Africa) with contraception, and the MMR will miraculously plunge. This simplistic and very dangerous assumption will cost many more lives than it saves, because it entirely neglects far more effective maternal lifesaving measures ― such as prenatal care, attended childbirth in a clean environment and surgical care for obstetric complications.

In fact, the dangers posed by the Summit are so extreme that many population control groups (including the Center for Reproductive Rights, which never met an abortion it didn’t like) issued a warning before the Summit. The “Civil Society Declaration” condemns “Policies that accept or tacitly condone forced sterilization [and] the coercive provision of contraceptives. … Any return to coercive family planning programs where quality of care and informed consent are ignored would be both shocking and retrograde.”2

One certainly does not want to be perceived as “retrograde,” but these groups have good reason to be concerned. The co-sponsor of the London Summit on Family Planning was the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DfID). This government agency contributed $261.4 million to India’s most recent forced sterilization program. This type of quota- and bounty-based population program inevitably leads to gross and widespread human rights violations. Many Indian women were rounded up and sterilized without their knowledge or consent. Bribery and threats were routine; women were offered $11 and a sari if they were sterilized, or were entered in a lottery where one woman out of thousands sterilized might have won a car, which she could not have afforded to drive anyway. NGO workers who convinced women to have sterilizations received a cash bounty, so the program was ripe for abuse and corruption, as all such programs are.3

One DfID-funded doctor did 53 sterilizations in just two hours by flashlight and botched all 53 procedures, leaving women to lie in agony on a filthy straw-covered floor. He did not even sterilize his instruments between operations, because he was in such a rush to collect as much bounty money as he could.

A 2010 DFID report said that the purpose of its programs was to reduce greenhouse emissions. Since DfID knew that its money would go towards funding forced sterilizations under filthy conditions, we can properly conclude that the agency considers environmental issues more important than the most fundamental rights of poor Indian women.4

Knowing this, the Gates Foundation motto “All Lives have Equal Value” rings a bit hollow.

Another partner of the London Summit was Marie Stopes International (MSI), which makes Planned Parenthood look like a bunch of underachievers by comparison. MSI peddles pornographic posters and movies for public consumption in Great Britain and has admitted to committing illegal abortions all over the world.5 MSI is especially active in Africa, and women commonly refer to illegal abortions as the “Marie Stopes procedure.” Workers at the MSI center in Tororo, Uganda, testified that it did many illegal abortions and also injected women with Depo-Provera shots, telling them that they were malaria treatments.6 In July of this year, the government of Zambia expelled Marie Stopes International for committing hundreds of illegal abortions over a period of just five months.7

Melinda Gates takes the well-worn road that so many other lapsed Catholics have trod by claiming that “The [Gates] foundation doesn’t take a position on abortion.”8 This is like someone saying that they don’t take a position on racism while contributing millions of dollars to the Ku Klux Klan and the Aryan National Alliance.

The Gates Foundation has donated more than one billion dollars to the most virulent pro-abortion groups in the worlds specifically for “family planning” activities.9 These include the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which has lavishly praised the Chinese forced-abortion program and has actually helped to implement it; CARE International, which is pushing hard to legalize abortion in several African nations; Pathfinder International, which has been doing illegal “menstrual extraction” abortions in many nations for decades; and, of course, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which does more to push abortion all over the world than any other organization on Earth.

The most persuasive propaganda in support of the London Summit on Family Planning was provided by Melinda Gates herself, who said, “When I travel and talk to women around the world they tell me that access to contraceptives can often be the difference between life and death. Today is about listening to their voices, about meeting their aspirations, and giving them the power to create a better life for themselves and their families.”10

These encounters were obviously carefully choreographed photo ops with African women who all obediently parroted the “we must have contraception!” line they had been fed by the Gates advance teams. It seems very odd that, of all the women quoted by Melinda Gates, not a single one spoke of the need for prenatal care, delivery in a safe and clean environment and surgical treatment for obstetric problems—measures that would save many more lives in the long run.

While preparing for her carefully-planned gala Summit, Melinda Gates entirely ignored the voices of those women who disagreed with her goal of flooding the world with birth control.

One of these was a Nigerian mother who said in an open letter to Melinda Gates:

With her incredible wealth she wants to replace the legacy of an African woman (which is her child) with the legacy of child-free sex. … Even at a glance, anyone could see that the unlimited and easy availability of contraceptives in Africa would surely increase infidelity and sexual promiscuity as sex is presented by this multi-billion dollar project as a casual pleasure sport that can indeed come with no strings ― or babies ― attached. … I see this $4.6 billion buying us misery. I see it buying us unfaithful husbands. I see it buying us streets devoid of the innocent chatter of children. I see it buying us disease and untimely death. I see it buying us a retirement without the tender loving care of our children. Please, Melinda, listen to the heart-felt cry of an African woman and mercifully channel your funds to pay for what we REALLY need.

Mrs. Gates ― are you listening?


Dr. Brian Clowes is the director of education and research at Human Life International (HLI), the world’s largest international pro-life and pro-family organization. A version of this article appeared in the The Wanderer, volume 145, number 40.

Endnotes

1 United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Financial Resource Flows for Population Activities [annual reports]. Table A.1, “Primary Funds of Donor Countries for Population Assistance, by Channel of Distribution.” For complete details and calculations, see Excel spreadsheet F-18-05.XLS.

2 “Women’s Human Rights Must be at the Centre of the Family Planning Summit: Civil Society Declaration.”  http://reproductiverights.org/sites/crr.civicactions.net/files/documents/Civil-Society-Declaration_06_19_2012.pdf, September 17, 2012.

3 Gethin Chamberlain. “UK Aid Helps to Fund Forced Sterilisation of India’s Poor.” The Observer/The Guardian, April 14, 2012.

4 Ibid.

5 Paul Cornellisson, Marie Stopes International Program Director for South Africa, YouTube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Cf7Rg8zxds, September 17, 2012.

6 Face-to-face discussions with Brian Clowes and Father Jonathan Opio at Sacred Heart Parish in Tororo, Uganda, on December 15, 2010. One of the daughters of an HLI counselor went to MSI for malaria treatment but got a Depo-Provera shot instead without her knowing what it was. She lost her cycles for three months, and then started bleeding so heavily she had to seek hospitalization. I heard this very same story from several other women. MSI personnel have boasted about performing illegal abortions all over the world. In fact, abortion in Uganda is called the “MSP” ― the “Marie Stopes procedure.”

7 “Zambia: Gov’t ‘Aborts’ Marie Stopes.” AllAfrica.com, July 26, 2012.

8 Deborah Solomon. “Questions for Melinda Gates: The Donor.” The New York Times Magazine, October 22, 2010, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/24/magazine/24fob-q4-t.html, September 18, 2012.

9 “Search Awarded Grants” feature on the Gates Foundation Web site at http://www.gatesfoundation.org/grants/Pages/search.aspx.

10 Julio Godoy. “Family Planning Essential for Development.” Inter Press Service News Agency, July 18, 2012.

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Vatican’s doctrine chief: ‘Absolutely anti-Catholic’ to let bishops conferences decide doctrine or discipline

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By John-Henry Westen

VATICAN, March 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has rejected outright the idea floated by Germany’s Cardinal Reinhard Marx that various bishops’ conferences around the world would decide for themselves on points of discipline or doctrine. 

“This is an absolutely anti-Catholic idea that does not respect the catholicity of the Church,” Cardinal Müller told France’s Famille Chrétienne in an interview published today

The question was raised because Cardinal Marx, the head of the German Catholic bishops’ conference and a member of Pope Francis’ advisory Council of Nine, told reporters that the German bishops would chart their own course on the question of allowing Communion for those in “irregular” sexual unions.

“We are not a subsidiary of Rome,” he said in February. “The Synod cannot prescribe in detail what we should do in Germany.”

Vatican Cardinal Müller remarked that while episcopal conferences may have authority over certain issues they are not a parallel magisterium apart from the pope or outside communion with the bishops united to him.

Asked specifically about Cardinal Marx saying that the Church in Germany is “not a subsidiary of Rome,” the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said pointedly “the president of an Episcopal Conference is nothing more than a technical moderator, and as such has no special teaching authority.”  He added moreover, that the dioceses in a particular country “are not subsidiaries of the secretariat of an Episcopal conference or diocese whose Bishop presides over the Episcopal Conference.”

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The CDF head warned that “this attitude makes the risk of waking some polarization between the local churches and the universal Church.” He did not however believe that there was the will for Episcopal conferences to separate from Rome.

The important interview also saw Cardinal Müller contest the notion that the pastoral practice or discipline could change while retaining the same doctrine. “We can not affirm the doctrine and initiate a practice that is contrary to the doctrine,” he said.

He added that not even the papal Magisterium is free to change doctrine. “Every word of God is entrusted to the Church, but it is not superior to the Word,” he said. “The Magisterium is not superior to the word of God. The reverse is true.”

Cardinal Müller rejected the notion that we would have to modify Christ’s unflinching words totally forbidding divorce and remarriage.  We cannot “say that our ministry should be more cautious than Jesus Christ Himself!”  Nor could we, he added, say that Christ’s teaching is out of date or that “we need to correct or refine Jesus Christ because He lived in an idealistic world.” 

Rather, the cardinal said, bishops must be ready for martyrdom.  Quoting Jesus he said, “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and if we speak all kinds of evil against you because of me.”

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‘Groundbreaking’: Kansas may become first state to ban dismemberment abortions

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By Ben Johnson

TOPEKA, KS, March 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Kansas will become the first state in the country to ban a procedure in which unborn children are dismembered in the womb, if Gov. Sam Brownback signs a bill that recently passed the state legislature.

The state House passed a ban on dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortions, called dismemberment abortions in common parlance, by 98-26 on Wednesday.

The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, which had already passed the state Senate in February 31-9, now heads to Gov. Brownback's desk.

Brownback, a staunch defender of life, is expected to sign the act into law.

"Because of the Kansas legislature's strong pro-life convictions, unborn children in the state will be protected from brutal dismemberment abortions," said Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, which has made banning dismemberment abortions a national legislative focus.

The procedure, in which an abortionist separates the unborn child's limbs from his body one at a time, accounts for 600 abortions statewide every year.

Nationally, it is “the most prevalent method of second-trimester pregnancy termination in the USA, accounting for 96 percent of all second trimester abortions,” according to the National Abortion Federation Abortion Training Textbook.

“It’s just unconscionable that something happens to children that we wouldn’t tolerate being done to pets,” Katie Ostrowski, the legislative director of Kansans for Life, told The Wichita Eagle.

Leading pro-life advocacy groups have made shifting the debate to dismemberment a national priority, with similar legislation being considered in Missouri and Oklahoma. Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D., who is NRLC's director of state legislation, called the bill's passage in Topeka “groundbreaking.”

"When the national debate focuses only on the mother, it is forgetting someone," she said.

The abortion lobby has made clear that it is uncomfortable engaging in a public relations tussle on this ground.

Elizabeth Nash, the senior state issues associate of the Guttmacher Institute, said that dismemberment is “not medical language, so it’s a little bit difficult to figure out what the language would do.”

On the state Senate floor, Democrats tried to alter the bill's language on the floor by replacing the term “unborn child” with fetus. “I know some of you don’t believe in science. But it’s not an unborn child, it’s called a fetus,” said state Senator David Haley, D-Kansas City.

If the bill becomes law, the abortion industry has vowed to fight on.

Julie Burkhart, a former associate of late-term abortionist George Tiller, said the motion's only intention is “to intimidate, threaten and criminalize doctors.”

“Policymakers should be ashamed,” she said, adding, “if passed, we will challenge it in court.”

Gov. Brownback has previously signed conscience rights protections and sweeping pro-life protections into law.

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How NOT to move beyond the abortion wars

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By Anne Hendershott

March 26, 2015 (CrisisMagazine.com) -- A few years ago, when an undergraduate student research assistant of mine—a recent convert to Catholicism—told me that he was planning to meet with a well-known dissenting Catholic theology professor who was then ensconced in an endowed chair at a major metropolitan Catholic university, I told him: “Be careful, you might end up liking him too much.” I jokingly told my student not to make eye contact with the theologian because he might begin to find himself agreeing with him that Catholic teachings “really allow” for women’s ordination and full reproductive rights—including access to abortion.

I was reminded of that conversation this week when I began reading a new book by yet another engaging Catholic theology professor at a major metropolitan university who also claims (pg 6) that the argument he puts forward in his book, Beyond the Abortion Wars, is “consistent with defined Catholic doctrine.” Written by Charles Camosy, associate professor of theology at Fordham University, the new book purports to be in line with Catholic teachings and promises “a way forward for a new generation.” But, Camosy delivers yet another argument for a woman’s right to choose abortion when confronted with an unborn child that he has described—in the past—as an “innocent aggressor.”

Indeed, Camosy has spent much of his career trying to convince us that he knows Catholic teachings better than the bishops. Criticizing Bishop Olmsted for his intervention and excommunication of a hospital administrator for her role in the direct abortion at a Phoenix Catholic hospital, Camosy suggested in 2013 that “the infamous Phoenix abortion case set us back in this regard.” Implying that Bishop Olmsted was not smart enough to understand the moral theology involved in the case, Camosy claimed that “The moral theology in the case was complex—which makes the decision to declare publicly that Sr. McBride had excommunicated herself even more inexplicable. The Church can do better.” For Camosy, “Catholics must be ready to help shape our new discussion on abortion. And we must do so in a way that draws people into the conversation—not only with respectful listening, but speaking in a way that is both coherent and sensitive.”

This new book is likely Camosy’s attempt to “draw people into the conversation.” But, there is little in his book that is either coherent or sensitive. Claiming to want to move “beyond” the abortion wars, Camosy creates an argument that seems designed to offend the pro-life side, while giving great respect to those who want to make sure abortion remains legal.

Especially offensive for pro-life readers will be Camosy’s description of the abortifacient, RU-486 as a form of “indirect abortion.” The reality is that RU-486, commonly known as the “abortion pill,” effectively ends an early pregnancy (up to 8 weeks) by turning off the pregnancy hormone (progesterone). Progesterone is necessary to maintain the pregnancy and when it is made inoperative, the fetus is aborted. For Camosy, who claims that his book is “consistent with settled Catholic doctrine,” this is not a “direct” abortion. To illustrate this, Camosy enlists philosopher Judith Jarvis Thompson’s 1971 “Defense of Abortion”—the hypothetical story of the young woman who is kidnapped and wakes up in a hospital bed to find that her healthy circulatory system has been hooked up to a famous unconscious violinist who has a fatal kidney ailment. The woman’s body is being used to keep the violinist alive until a “cure” for the violinist can be found. Camosy makes the case—as hundreds of thousands of pro-choice proponents have made in the past four decades—that one cannot be guilty of directly killing the violinist if one simply disconnects oneself from him. Likewise, for Camosy, simply taking the drug RU 486 is not “directly” killing the fetus. He writes:

The drugs present in RU 486 do not by their very nature appear to attack the fetus. Instead, the drug cuts off the pregnancy hormone and the fetus is detached from the woman’s body…. Using RU 486 is like removing yourself from [Judith Jarvis Thompson’s] violinist once you are attached. You don’t aim at his death, but instead remove yourself because you don’t think you have the duty to support his life with your body…. Some abortions are indirect and better understood as refusals to aid (pp 82-83).

Perhaps there are some readers who will find Camosy’s argument convincing, but I am not sure that many faithful Catholic readers will agree that it is consistent with settled Catholic doctrine.

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As one who is hardly a bystander in the abortion wars, I wanted to like this book. As an incrementalist who celebrates every small step in creating policy to protect the unborn, I had high hopes that this book would at last begin to bridge the divide. A decade ago, in my own book, The Politics of Abortion, I joined the argument begun by writers like Marvin Olasky in his Abortion Rites: A Social History of Abortion in America, that it is more effective to attempt to change the hearts and minds of people than to create divisive public policy at the federal level. I share Charles Camosy’s desire to end the abortion wars—but this war cannot end until the real war on the unborn ends. This does not mean that the two sides cannot work together—battling it out at the state level—where there is the opportunity for the greatest success. But, complex philosophical arguments on whether RU 486 is a direct or indirect form of abortion are not helpful to these conversations.

Camosy must know that we can never really “end” the abortion wars as long as unborn children are still viewed as “aggressors” or “invaders” and can still be legally aborted. Faithful Catholics know that there is no middle ground on this—the pro-life side has to prevail in any war on the unborn. It can be done incrementally but ground has to be gained—not ceded—for the pro-life side. Besides, Camosy seems a bit late to the battlefield to begin with. In many ways, he seems to have missed the fact that the pro-life side is already winning many of the battles through waiting periods, ultrasound and parental notification requirements, and restrictions on late term abortion at the state level. More than 300 policies to protect the unborn have been passed at the state level just in the past few years. The number of abortions each year has fallen to pre-Roe era levels—the lowest in more than four decade.   Much of these gains are due to the selfless efforts of the pro-life community and their religious leaders. Yet, just as victory appears possible in many more states, Camosy seems to want to surrender by resurrecting the tired rhetoric—and the unconscious violinists—of forty years ago.

While it is disappointing, it is not unexpected considering Camosy’s last book lauded the contributions of Princeton’s most notorious professor, Peter Singer—the proponent of abortion, euthanasia and infanticide. Claiming that Singer is “motivated by an admirable desire to respond to the suffering of human and non-human animals,” Camosy’s 2012 book, Peter Singer and Christian Ethics: Beyond Polarization, argues that, “Though Singer is pro-choice for infanticide, on all the numerous and complicated issues related to abortion but one, Singer sounds an awful lot like Pope John Paul II.”  In a post at New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, a progressive organization led by Rev. Richard Cizik (a former lobbyist for the National Association of Evangelicals who was removed from his position because of his public support for same sex unions, and his softening stance on abortion) Camosy wrote that he found Singer to be “friendly and compassionate.”  Camosy currently serves on the Advisory Board of Cizik’s New Evangelical Partnership—where he has posted Peter Singer-like articles including: “Why Christians Should Support Rationing Health Care.”

One cannot know the motivations of another—we can never know what is in another’s heart so it is difficult to know why Charles Camosy wrote this book. It must be difficult to be a pro-life professor at Fordham University—a school known for dissenting theologians like Elizabeth Johnson. But, if one truly wants to advance a culture of life in which all children are welcomed into the world, it would seem that inviting Peter Singer to be an honored speaker to students at Fordham in 2012 is not the way to do it, nor would claiming that RU-486 “may not aim at death by intention.” Perhaps it is unwise to continue to critically review Camosy’s work from a Catholic perspective because it gives such statements credibility—and notoriety. But, as long as Camosy continues to claim that his writings and policy suggestions—including his newly proposed “Mother and Prenatal Child Protection Act”—are “consistent with defined Catholic doctrine,” faithful Catholics will have to continue to denounce them.

Reprinted with permission from Crisis Magazine. 

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