Adam Cassandra

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Wikileaks cable: U.S. gov’t largest supporter of Philippines population control in past 40 years

Adam Cassandra
By Adam Cassandra
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September 9, 2011 (HLIWorldWatch.org) - A diplomatic cable recently published by the controversial website Wikileaks confirms the depth of support by the U.S. government for population control initiatives in the Philippines over the past 40 years, including support for the highly contested Reproductive Health (RH) Bill currently under consideration in the Philippine legislature.

“Landmark appropriations and draft legislation reflect increasing commitment within the Philippine Government to further expand and sustain programs started forty years ago with U.S. Government’s assistance through USAID,” former U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenny said in the cable. “The U.S. Government continues to be the largest donor in the Philippine population sector supporting efforts to improve local government service delivery and increase private sector contributions to family health outcomes.”

The cable, sent from Manila to Washington, D.C. in July of 2008, was released by Wikileaks at a time of intense debate within the Philippine legislature, and among the Filipino people, about the state funding of contraceptives, abortifacients and other “family planning” services through the RH Bill. As the cable notes, the Catholic Church in the Philippines has led the opposition to the bill with the backing of pro-life organizations across the country.

“The new bill and its previous versions have raised the volume of the vigorous public debate on reproductive issues among between [sic] civil society, NGOs, the Catholic Church and legislators,” said Amb. Kenny. “The controversy has generated news media coverage and editorial commentary from all sides.”

Many Filipinos have openly questioned the international support of the bill by organizations pushing a population control agenda.

Philippine Senate Majority Leader Vicente Soto recently expressed concern over the “sinister” population control motives of some of the bill’s backers, saying, “We find groups, NGOs, pharmaceutical companies or business interests behind the bill or supporting people behind the bill, so this adds to our fears.”

“The same bill has been filed and re-filed since 1998’s 11th Congress (it is now the 15th), but as we have seen, its Western promoters have no intention of taking ‘no’ for an answer this time around,” said Dr. Ligaya Acosta, Regional Coordinator for Asia and Oceania for the international pro-life organization Human Life International (HLI), earlier this year. “Why, one might ask, does it keep reappearing, sometimes with different names or slightly revised content, if the people of the Philippines have so clearly rejected it? It reappears because it is fueled by mind-boggling amounts of money from international population control organizations, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), who have long expressed their concern that there are too many poor Filipinos for their comfort.”

Rep. Kimi Cojuangco of the Pangasinan province in the Philippines, a co-sponsor of the RH Bill, actually admitted that the bill was a means of population control during an exchange with another representative, saying the bill was “definitely” a population control measure, and agreeing that to curb poverty, the country needs a smaller population.

Another pro-RH Bill legislator Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago also admitted Monday that the bill still needs to be cleaned up of all references to population control, while acknowledging the influence in the bill of U.S. National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM) 200 during Senate debate.

NSSM-200, authored by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, “explicitly laid out a detailed strategy by which the United States would aggressively promote population control in developing nations in order to regulate (or have better access to) the natural resources of these countries,” according to Dr. Brian Clowes, Director of Research at HLI, in his 2004 publication Kissinger Report 2004: A Retrospective on NSSM-200.

“According to NSSM-200, elements of the implementation of population control programs could include: a) the legalization of abortion; b) financial incentives for countries to increase their abortion, sterilization and contraception-use rates; c) indoctrination of children; and d) mandatory population control, and coercion of other forms, such as withholding disaster and food aid unless [a country] implements population control programs,” wrote Dr. Clowes. “[T]he U.S. government has never renounced NSSM-200, but has only amended certain portions of its policy. NSSM-200, therefore, remains the foundational document on population control issued by the United States government.”

While it is highly unlikely that parties involved in promoting the RH Bill in the Philippines, or elsewhere, are directly familiar with NSSM-200, it is clear that its goals and assumptions have now become fundamental to the human development policies of the U.S. and other international governments and non-governmental organizations.

“USAID technical assistance enables pharmaceutical companies to launch lower-priced contraceptive products,” Amb. Kenny said in the cable, later adding, “Within the past three years, annual funding levels for population and family planning from the US Government have increased from around $13M to $15M.”

Under a section titled “So far, so good,” the ambassador noted that, “The use of oral contraceptive pills has increased steadily among the poor (by 30% in the past five years),” adding, “The poor spend around US$0.40 for pills, and the rich pay about US$1 for the same method.”

Amb. Kenny also pointed out that USAID assistance is “expanding the availability of accurate information on modern family planning methods within grass-roots communities.” [emphasis added]. The RH Bill currently contains a provision to fine and jail opponents who spread as-yet-undefined “malicious” falsehoods about the bill.

Dr. Acosta, who lives and works in the Philippines, said in an excerpt of a soon to be released interview while visiting the U.S. last month, “The American people have to know that America, very sadly, has become the greatest exporter of the culture of death – abortion, contraception – all of these things.”

“There’s so much money…I’m so amazed. I know that America is in crisis, but why is it…that America is giving billions of dollars, not only to my country, the Philippines, but all over Asia, Oceania and all over the world, to promote abortion and contraception?”

“What is important to note is not so much the scary-sounding name of a forty-year-old document like NSSM-200 that very few people have read, but to note how this new cable shows that its policy recommendations have been so perfectly implemented, and how language has evolved to make it sound like a positive thing for poor nations to stop having children for the sake of wealthy nations,” said Dr. Clowes in response to the release of the Wikileaks cable. “Even a proponent of the Philippines RH Bill, Senator Santiago, admits the concerns about population control, and stresses the need to use less offensive language – women’s health, poverty alleviation, and the like – to achieve the very same ends.”

“The question remains unanswered,” added Dr. Clowes. “When did it become acceptable for rich nations to pour billions of dollars into poor nations, all in an effort to get the poor to behave as the rich would prefer?”

This article reprinted with permission from HLIWorldWatch.org

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Lisa Bourne

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Pressure mounts as Catholic Relief Services fails to act on VP in gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne
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Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services' Vice President of Overseas Finance, is in a same-sex "marriage," public records show. Twitter

BALTIMORE, MD, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Nearly a week after news broke that a Catholic Relief Services vice president had contracted a homosexual “marriage” while also publicly promoting homosexuality on social media in conflict with Church teaching, the US Bishops international relief agency has taken no apparent steps to address the matter and is also not talking.

CRS Vice President of Overseas Finance Rick Estridge entered into a homosexual “marriage” in Maryland the same month in 2013 that he was promoted by CRS to vice president, public records show.

Despite repeated efforts at a response, CRS has not acknowledged LifeSiteNews’ inquiries during the week. And the agency told ChurchMilitant.com Thursday that no action had been taken beyond discussion of the situation and CRS would have no further comment.

"Nothing has changed,” CRS Senior Manager for Communications Tom said. “No further statement will be made."

LifeSiteNews first contacted CRS for a response prior to the April 20 release of the report and did not receive a reply, however Estridge’s Facebook and LinkeIn profiles were then removed just prior to the report’s release.

CRS also did not acknowledge LifeSiteNews’ follow-up inquiry later in the week.

“Having an executive who publicly celebrates a moral abomination shows the ineffectiveness of CRS' Catholic identity training,” Lepanto Institute President Michael Hichborn told LifeSiteNews. “How many others who hate Catholic moral teaching work at CRS?”

CRS did admit it was aware Estridge was in a “same-sex civil marriage” to Catholic News Agency (CNA) Monday afternoon, and confirmed he was VP of Overseas Finance and had been with CRS for 16 years.

“At this point we are in deliberations on this matter,” Price told CNA that day.

ChurchMilitant.com also reported that according to its sources, it was a well-known fact at CRS headquarters in Baltimore that Estridge was in a homosexual “marriage.” 

“There is no way CRS didn't know one of its executives entered into a mock-marriage until we broke the story,” Hichborn said. “The implication is clear; CRS top brass had no problem with having an executive so deliberately flouting Catholic moral teaching.”

“The big question is,” Hichborn continued, “what other morally repugnant matters is CRS comfortable with?”

While the wait continues for the Bishops’ relief organization to address the matter, those behind the report and other critics of prior instances of CRS involvement in programs and groups that violate Church principles continue to call for a thorough and independent review of the agency programs and personnel.

“How long should it take to call an employee into your office, tell him that his behavior is incompatible with the mission of the organization, and ask for his resignation?” asked Population Research Institute President Steven Mosher. “About thirty minutes, I would say.”

“The Catholic identity of CRS is at stake,” Hichborn stated. “If CRS does nothing, then there is no way faithful Catholics can trust the integrity of CRS's programs or desire to make its Catholicity preeminent.” 

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Thousands of marriage activists gathered in D.C. June 19, 2014 for the 2nd March for Marriage. Dustin Siggins / LifeSiteNews.com
The Editors

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Watch the March for Marriage online—only at LifeSiteNews

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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- At noon on Saturday, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and dozens of cosponsors, coalition partners, and speakers will launch the third annual March for Marriage. Thousands of people are expected to take place in this important event to show the support real marriage has among the American people.

As the sole media sponsor of the March, LifeSiteNews is proud to exclusively livestream the March. Click here to see the rally at noon Eastern Time near the U.S. Capitol, and the March to the Supreme Court at 1:00 Eastern Time.

And don't forget to pray that God's Will is done on Tuesday, when the Supreme Court hears arguments about marriage!

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Hillary Clinton: ‘Religious beliefs’ against abortion ‘have to be changed’

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By Ben Johnson

NEW YORK CITY, April 24, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Speaking to an influential gathering in New York City on Thursday, Hillary Clinton declared that “religious beliefs” that condemn "reproductive rights," “have to be changed.”

“Yes, we've cut the maternal mortality rate in half, but far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health,” Hillary told the Women in the World Summit yesterday.

Liberal politicians use “reproductive health” as a blanket term that includes abortion. However, Hillary's reference echoes National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O’Neill's op-ed from last May that called abortion “an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful added that governments should throw the power of state coercion behind the effort to redefine traditional religious dogmas.

“Rights have to exist in practice, not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources, and political will,” she said. “Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs, and structural biases have to be changed.”

The line received rousing applause at the feminist conference, hosted in Manhattan's Lincoln Center by Tina Brown.

She also cited religious-based objections to the HHS mandate, funding Planned Parenthood, and the homosexual and transgender agenda as obstacles that the government must defeat.

“America moves ahead when all women are guaranteed the right to make their own health care choices, not when those choices are taken away by an employer like Hobby Lobby,” she said. The Supreme Court ruled last year that closely held corporations had the right to opt out of the provision of ObamaCare requiring them to provide abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilization to employees with no co-pay – a mandate that violates the teachings of the Catholic Church and other Christian bodies.

Clinton lamented that “there are those who offer themselves as leaders...who would defund the country's leading provider of family planning,” Planned Parenthood, “and want to let health insurance companies once again charge women just because of our gender.”

“We move forward when gay and transgender women are embraced...not fired from good jobs because of who they love or who they are,” she added.

It is not the first time the former first lady had said that liberal social policies should displace religious views. In a December 2011 speech in Geneva, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said perhaps the “most challenging issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens.” These objections, she said, are “not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation.”

While opinions on homosexuality are “still evolving,” in time “we came to learn that no [religious] practice or tradition trumps the human rights that belong to all of us.”

Her views, if outside the American political mainstream, have been supported by the United Nations. The UN Population Fund stated in its 2012 annual report that religious objections to abortion-inducing drugs had to be overcome. According to the UNFPA report, “‘duty-bearers’ (governments and others)” have a responsibility to assure that all forms of contraception – including sterilization and abortion-inducing ‘emergency contraception’ – are viewed as acceptable – “But if they are not acceptable for cultural, religious or other reasons, they will not be used.”

Two years later, the United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child instructed the Vatican last February that the Catholic Church should amend canon law “relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services may be permitted.”

At Thursday's speech, Hillary called the legal, state-enforced implementation of feminist politics “the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” which must be accomplished “not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.”

“These are not just women's fights. These have to be America's fights and the world's fights,” she said. “There's still much to be done in our own country, much more to be done around the world, but I'm confident and optimistic that if we get to work, we will get it done together.”

American critics called Clinton's suggestion that a nation founded upon freedom of religion begin using state force to change religious practices unprecedented.

“Never before have we seen a presidential candidate be this bold about directly confronting the Catholic Church's teachings on abortion,” said Bill Donohue of the Catholic League.

“In one sense, this shows just how extreme the pro-abortion caucus actually is,” Ed Morrissey writes at HotAir.com. “Running for president on the basis of promising to use the power of government to change 'deep seated cultural codes [and] religious beliefs' might be the most honest progressive slogan in history.”

He hoped that, now that she had called for governments to change religious doctrines, “voters will now see the real Hillary Clinton, the one who dismisses their faith just the same as Obama did, and this time publicly rather than in a private fundraiser.”

Donohue asked Hillary “to take the next step and tell us exactly what she plans to do about delivering on her pledge. Not only would practicing Catholics like to know, so would Evangelicals, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and all those who value life from conception to natural death.”

You may watch Hillary's speech below.

Her comments on religion begin at approximately 9:00. 

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