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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Lisa Bourne

‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

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Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

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Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

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By Ben Johnson

TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” the pugnacious governor said.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

However, this year Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree Scott Walker have eclipsed Christie as the preferred candidates of the boardroom donors – who sometimes prefer Democrats to Republicans.

Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

Christie is reportedly spending this weekend with Mitt Romney and his family at Romney's New Hampshire home. Romney declined to enter the 2016 race himself and may be able to open his donor list to Christie's struggling campaign.

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After having a girl with Down syndrome, this couple adopted two more

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By Ben Johnson

LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

When they saw a picture of Emie striking the same pose as their biological daughter in one of their photographs, they knew they would come home with two children.

Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

“The unvarnished truth,” Lee told the Press, is that adopting the Russian-speaking special needs children “was really disruptive to our family. They came with so many issues that we had not anticipated.”

After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

Every year in the past seven years has been better and better, they say.

“I think my girls can do almost anything they want to do,” he said, “and that’s what I want to help them become.”

The family's devotion is fueled by their faith, and it informs the sense of humor Lee showed in a tweet during the 2014 midterm elections:

It takes a special person to believe in the potential of the “mentally retarded,” as they were once labeled. Today, 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb will be aborted. The percentage is higher in some countries. Some have even spoken of "a world without people with Down syndrome."

Their God, and their experience, tell them that every child has infinite worth and potential, Lee told local media, and he would encourage anyone to follow his footsteps and adopt a Down syndrome child – or two.

“The message is that it really doesn’t matter where you started or where you came from,” Lee said. “There are endless opportunities for everyone, whether they have disabilities or not. They deserve a shot.”

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