Steven Mosher

The Gates’ family planning initiative: the summit kicks off

Steven Mosher
By Steven Mosher
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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.

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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.

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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.

We have no choice but to reach our minimum goal of $175,000 if we are going to be able to continue serving the 5+ million readers who rely on us every month for investigative and groundbreaking news reports on life, faith and family issues.

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!

This unprecedented growth in turn creates its own demand for increased staff and resources, as we struggle to serve these millions of new readers.

And especially keep this in mind. As many more people read LifeSite, our mission of bringing about cultural change gets boosted. Our ultimate goal has always been to educate and activate the public to take well-informed, needed actions.

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!

Your donations to LifeSite cause major things to happen! We see that every day and it is very exciting. Please join with us in making a cultural impact with a donation of ANY AMOUNT right now. 

You can also donate by phone or mail. We would love to hear from you!

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