By John-Henry Westen

  WASHINGTON, May 2, 2007 ( – An attempt by the United States to get the World Bank out of the population control business has failed after opposition from EU countries led the United States to back down.  On Tuesday, the World Bank approved a new health policy retaining support for abortion after the United States dropped its insistence that the Bank which is funded primarily by the United States, halts its promotion of abortion.

  The Bush Administration sought to insert language in the health policy update which would distance it from forcing abortion on recipient countries.  The language would have asked countries to provide “age appropriate access to sexual and reproductive healthcare” rather than the currently worded “reproductive health services” which include abortion.

  In an April 19 letter, a copy of which was obtained by, Bank Directors from Belgium, Switzerland, France, Germany and Norway demanded that the bank continue its coercive population control policy. (see the letter here: )

  World Bank sources told Reuters that the United States did not formally submit any objection to the strategy by a midnight deadline on Monday.  Instead, reports Reuters, the United States said it would note its concerns about the language referring to underage sex and access to abortion in the official minutes of last week’s board discussion.

  A World Bank press release on the new health policy says it intends to continue to promote population control.  “In its new strategy, the Bank commits itself to work on population issues in countries with high unmet needs in sexual and reproductive health,” says the release.  The release says explicitly that the Bank will be “providing financial support and policy advice for comprehensive sexual and reproductive health systems and care, including family planning.”  And further that it will be “generating demand for reproductive health information and systems.”

  Population Control expert Stephen Mosher, the founder and director of the Population Research Institute was disappointed with the development.  He was upset at the Bush Administration’s “failure to stay the course” on the issue.

  Mosher noted that World Bank documents report that the organization is in fact funding a lobby effort for abortion.  In Africa, he quoted from a World Bank report, Word Bank projects have included “mobilizing public awareness and political support for abortion and other reproductive health services.”  Thus, he said they are lobbying for abortion.  “So World Bank money is going directly to lobby for the legalization of abortion, something that most Americans would find offensive.”

  Beyond offending Americans, promoting population control in the developing world is highly offensive [to] the majority of the populations in those same countries.  “The World Bank representative of the United States wanted to do the right thing and take out these reproductive health programs that are so offensive to developing world sensibilities,” Mosher told

“I had here in Washington representatives from a dozen Latin American countries two weeks ago, people in those countries are very offended by these programs for multiple reasons, and yet we continue to run roughshod over their values, over their traditions, over their moral convictions.” 

  Mosher noted that the US-controlled World Bank has spent much of its resources designated for the developing world on population control rather than on the real needs of these countries. A 2000 World Bank report notes that it had already spent 2.5 billion dollars on population control programs the world over.

“A true concern for women in the developing world would be taking into concern their own desires,” said Mosher.  He explained that a survey of women in the developing world found so-called reproductive health care a very distant desire compared to immediate needs.

“We need to be standing up for the women in developing countries who say ‘we need clean drinking water, we need penicillin, we need antibiotics for our children when they become stricken with infectious disease, we need inoculations, we need vitamin tablets’,” he said.  “‘We don’t need your family planning programs, we don’t need your so-called reproductive health care, we don’t need your population stabilization programs.’”

  Mosher concluded saying that the continued US push for population control is at the heart of some of the anti-US sentiment coming from the developing world.  “It’s very obvious to me,” he said, “that this is an aspect of US foreign policy that is deeply resented around the world and has made it difficult for us to achieve our other aims like promoting democracy and economic development.”

  See related stories:

European Nations Demand World Bank Continue Forcing Abortion on Developing Nations

  The UN, the IMF, the World Bank, and abortion


  Stephen Mosher responsible for US Government De-Funding of UN Population Fund