Population control movement worries Nepal’s misogyny will lead to lower contraception use

The taxpayer-funded study made no mention of sex-selective abortion.
Wed Mar 20, 2013 - 6:30 pm EST

March 20, 2013, ( – U.S. researchers, funded by taxpayer dollars and by a powerful population control advocate, have released a new study worrying that Nepal's preference for boys over girls lowers the rate of contraceptive use. The region's strong cultural beliefs devaluing female children are a leading cause of sex-selective abortion, a concern the group did not raise.

Four professors at the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine published their findings in the March 7 edition of International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Lead author Anita Raj found that young wives in Nepal, who want to have children, have the lowest contraceptive use, but the rate is also lower among women who had not yet had a son.

A press release states that Raj found this “worrisome for a couple of reasons. First, it persists even with improvements in education. Second, it remains strong among the youngest Nepalese wives.”

“Until girls are valued as much as boys in families, we will continue to see” low rates of contraceptive use, Raj said. “We hoped generations (and modernization) would make it better, but this study is with young mothers.”

Cultural preferences for boys over girls has led to increasing concern over sex-selective abortion, which has led in several countries, including India and China, to significant gender imbalances. However, the four researchers ignored the issue.

“Aside from the fact that this male preference goes against the basic right of equality between men and women, the problem here is that it leads to sex-selective abortion and female infanticide, and not so much that it reduces contraception usage in the women who want a son,” Elizabeth Crnkovich, Media Coordinator at Population Research Institute, told

The Guttmacher Institute wrote in 2003 that the nation's birthrate showed “a clear tendency toward son-determined stopping behavior.” It concluded, “Son preference may also promote more extreme forms of discrimination, such as feticide or infanticide of females.”

A 2007 UNFPA report found that 40 percent of women who were told they were carrying a girl aborted the child.

Stephen Phelan, director of communications at Human Life International, said the U.S. researchers' assessment missed the mark. “To paraphrase Alasdair MacIntyre, this is incredibly ignorant, but it is the incredible ignorance of highly intelligent people,” he told LifeSiteNews.

“If these health experts really cared about lowering maternal mortality rates and improving women's health, they would recommend building more hospitals, training birth attendants, and improving education,” Phelan said. “They would not recommend drugs that are carcinogenic, cause deep vein blood clots, and cause several other serious side effects, when natural means are available," such as Natural Family Planning.


The new study's aversion to discussing abortion may be explained, in part, by its benefactors. It was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

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The David and Lucille Packard Foundation heavily promotes population control and abortion. Its Population and Reproductive Health program states, “Our goals are to slow population growth rates in high-fertility areas, and to ensure individual reproductive health and rights in order to improve the quality of life for more people.” That program focuses on promoting “abortion funding for low-income women by repositioning abortion as a mainstream health and equity issue” and supports “comprehensive sexuality education for young people.”

The foundation, established by one of the co-founders of Hewlitt-Packard, donated more than $7.5 million to NARAL Pro-Choice America in the third quarter of 2001 alone and supports the National Abortion Fund, an organization that pays part of the bill for low-income women to abort their children.

The UC-San Diego study was co-authored by Roan J. Vims, Lotus McDougal, and Jay G. Silverman.

Silverman is also with the UC-San Diego Center on Global Justice, which has a strong focus on “climate justice.”

The Guttmacher study credited Nepal's traditional beliefs with “slowing fertility decline.”

The mountainous nation legalized abortion in 2002 up to the tenth week of pregnancy in cases of rape, incest, or “where pregnancy poses any danger to the physical or mental health of the mother, or if the child will be disabled.” In 2009, the nation's supreme court ruled the nation must create a taxpayer-funded abortion at all stages of pregnancy, for any reason, by judicial decree.


An estimated 300,000 women had abortions from 2004-11.

  david and lucile packard foundation, nepal, population control, university of california-san diego