Innocents Betrayed:
A side of family planning the White House does not discuss  

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The last sentence of this subparagraph of the President's Finding exposes the true motivation behind U.S. population programs in Mexico: "If USAID cannot meet its funding commitments, not only would programs suffer, but US credibility would be damaged as would US ability to leverage Mexican resources in the future."

Philippines. One of the largest beneficiaries of USAID funds is the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), which has been relentlessly promoting abortion in the Philippines for more than thirty years in flagrant disregard for the nation's customs, laws and religious beliefs. The following extract from a Hastings Center Report article shows how the IPPF assists groups in circumventing the laws of developing countries, while systematically covering up such activities:

The International Planned Parenthood Federation of London (IPPF) has been the most outspoken advocate of legal abortion services in the developing countries ... As a central body it receives funds from international donors, including AID [the United States Agency for International Development], and passes money and supplies along to the local associations ... The IPPF's stated position is that abortion should be legally available to those who desire it and that local associations, when possible, should assist in providing the necessary services ...
In the Philippines, where abortion is both illegal and explicitly against official population policy, the IPPF provided 200 'menstrual regulation' [first trimester abortion] kits for demonstration purposes ... Further controversy arose when the FPOP [the IPPF affiliate, Family Planning Organization of the Philippines] distributed 'menstrual regulation' kits to local doctors. Although the government had laws specifically prohibiting the importation of abortive devices, these kits were brought into the country as 'medical instruments' to obtain "sample tissue for examination." These examples show the potential of the IPPF and its collaborating organizations for circumventing national laws and policies ...

One of IPPF's largest projects, totalling about $62,000, was in Bangladesh, where 5,000 vacuum aspiration kits were provided to the local family planning association. These kits have also been supplied to Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam, and India. Although most of these projects have been relatively small - usually under $30,000 - the IPPF has not provided details of its activities in its published reports, even in its main report to donor agencies. One reason, apart from the illegal and controversial nature of these activities, may be that the federation is under constant scrutiny from the U.S. government to insure that it is not violating the Helms Amendment.(3)

The IPPF's abortion agenda in the Philippines was recently exposed by the head of its local affiliate, the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP). Ramon Tagle, a well-known Manila attorney and President of FPOP, resigned in protest over what he called IPPF's "hidden agenda" on abortion and its continuing efforts to use FPOP as a trojan horse to legalize abortion in his country.

Senator Juan Flavier recently criticized IPPF and the United States when he said that "We had just celebrated our 50th anniversary of independence from America, but we can still see insidious methods of imperialism trying to subvert our self-determination by using [population control] funds as subtle leverage ... I strongly oppose abortion. It is prohibited by our laws and the Philippine Constitution. Hence, we should be prepared to lose foreign funding rather than be pressured into causing the death of unborn children."(4)

By funding the IPPF through USAID, the United States is providing financial support to an organization which advocates, as a first principle, the worldwide legalization of abortion, even if this means violating the national sovereignty and undermining the traditional values and cultural norms of developing countries. Our support for such insensitive policies resurrects the specter of the "ugly American," and impedes genuine efforts to assist in the economic development of other nations.

The President's Finding states that "Progress toward global population stabilization has been recognized as vital to U.S. foreign policy interests for the past three decades."

These "foreign policy interests" are principally strategic and economic in nature and are described in the National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM) 200 of April 24, 1974, subject: "Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests."

Chapter III of NSSM 200, entitled "Minerals and Fuel," states that:

Whether through government action, labor conflicts, sabotage, or civil disturbance, the smooth flow of needed materials will be jeopardized. Although population pressure is obviously not the only factor involved, these types of frustrations are much less likely under conditions of slow or zero population growth ... The U.S. economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less developed countries [See National Commission on Materials Policy, Towards a National Materials Policy: Basic Data and Issues, April 1972]. That fact gives the U.S. enhanced interest in the political, economic, and social stability of the supplying countries. Wherever a lessening of population pressures through reduced birth rates can increase the prospects for such stability, population policy becomes relevant to resource supplies and to the economic interests of the United States.

Part Two of NSSM 200, entitled "Policy Recommendations," states that:

It is vital that the effort to develop and strengthen a commitment on the part of the LDC [less developed countries] leaders not be seen by them as an industrialized country policy to keep their strength down or to reserve resources for use by the "rich" countries. Development of such a perception could create a serious backlash adverse to the cause of population stability ...

The conclusion of this view is that mandatory [population control] programs may be needed and that we should be considering these possibilities now ... On what basis should such food resources then be provided? Would food be considered an instrument of national power? Will we be forced to make choices as to whom we can reasonably assist, and if so, should population efforts be a criterion for such assistance? ... we should recognize that those who argue along ideological lines have made a great deal of the fact that the U.S. contribution to development programs and health programs has steadily shrunk, whereas funding for population programs has steadily increased.

These statements infer that a large population in a lesser-developed countries (LDCs) leads to a strong international presence that is not easily manipulated. The United States, in order to maintain the flow of raw materials from these countries, must be certain that their populations are "stabilized" through "lessening of population pressures through reduced birth rates." LDC leaders must not see this effort as a form of imperialism by developed countries, so USAID and other government agencies funnel funds and resources through non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the Pathfinder Fund, and various United Nations organs such as the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA). These population control programs may even be made compulsory in the future (as they are now in the People's Republic of China), and aid in the form of medical assistance or food may be made contingent upon acceptance of population control measures that desperate countries and peoples would not otherwise accept.

Although the President's Finding does not baldly state its intentions, it still hints that its primary motivation is the preservation of U.S. economic options overseas. For instance, it says that "If USAID cannot meet its funding commitments, not only would programs suffer, but US credibility would be damaged as would US ability to leverage Mexican resources in the future."

The Finding also says that "If a nine-month funding delay occurs in FY97, there could be serious contraceptive shortages ... as well as potential loss of jobs at one or more of USAID's contraceptive manufacturers in Alabama, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania ... That would result in disruptions in condom shipments to field programs and require the manufacturer to lay off most of the 200 workers dedicated to USAID contract production" (pages 15 and 16).

These statements bear a family resemblance to certain assertions contained in the Rockefeller Foundation's January 1997 report entitled High Stakes: The United States, Global Population and Our Common Future. Beginning in the late 1950s, the Rockefeller Foundation has been a relentless advocate of population control programs for developing countries. In expensive full-page advertisements in the January 30, 1997 Roll Call, and the February 2, 1997 Washington Post, the Rockefeller Foundation said that "As population growth exacerbates poverty in many developing countries, opportunities for U.S. exports could stagnate. High fertility drives down wages, encouraging the export of U.S. jobs."

We believe that the preponderance of the evidence shows that there is a generally positive relationship between population and economic growth. The most important determinants of a country's economic development, however, are its political and economic system, not the size of rate of growth of its population. But even if it were the case (and we do not believe it is) that high fertility in foreign countries "encourages the export of US jobs," is it morally justifiable to consciously and deliberately set out to reduce the populations of its potential economic competitors, as America has done for the past thrity years?

The President's Finding states that "As a matter of longstanding law and policy of this and previous Administrations, USAID funds may not be used either to fund abortions as a method of family planning or to motivate any person to have an abortion."

In fact, there is ample evidence that USAID funds go to organizations which promote and perform abortions, such as the IPPF. The Population Research Institute's February 3, 1997, report Abortion for All: How the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Promotes Abortion Around the World details this advocacy. The PRI report uses IPPF's documents, particularly its Vision 2000 Strategic Plan, to demonstrate unequivocally IPPF, both directly and through its 140 national affiliates, is aggressively agitating for legalized abortion all over the world, often in direct defiance of the laws of host nations.

The President's Finding asserts no fewer than four times (pages 2, 4, 5, and 22) that "world population will double to over 11 billion by 2050." These repeated assertions that the world's population will double in a little over a half a century and, presumably, continue to grow after that, lend the Finding a tone of calculated urgency, if not downright stridency. And it is wrong.

The population of the world will never again double. According to all Census Bureau and United Nations median and "most probable" projections, population growth will peak in the next few decades and then begin to decline. United Nations "medium variant" projection has the population of the world peaking at 9.4 billion in the year 2050.(6)

In fact, according to the UN's "low variant" population projection, which over the past decade has proven to be the most accurate of the three variants, total world population will never exceed 7.8 billion persons, and will top out between 2030 and 2040 and then sharply decline.

This means that the conclusions of the President's finding are based on population projections that, according to the UN, are at least 1.6 billion persons too high and possibly as much as 3.6 billion.

On page 23 of the President's Finding, there is a graph showing that world population will peak at about 8.6 billion with widespread family planning, and at about 12.2 billion without widespread family planning. The implication, of course, is that worldwide mandatory family planning is essential in order to avoid a global population overload.

The figures used in this particular graph date from the late eighties when the annual population increment was peaking. It is hard to understand why the Finding, which was presumably drafted by USAID researchers with easy access to the latest population figures from the US Census Bureau and the UN, would use such outdated figures. Unless, of course, the intent was to exaggerate the rate of population increase in an effort to justify additional population funding.

The Population Council, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Alan Guttmacher Institute have provided the United States government with reports whose conclusions are based upon faulty assumptions, statistics and research methods. It is therefore inevitable that President Clinton's Finding would reflect these fundamental errors when reaching its conclusion that USAID population control funding should be released early.

This report shows that United States population control funding has injured and is based on on a narrow and wrongheaded view of America's interests. We believe that the current restrictions on USAID population planning funds are reasonable and should be retained. We also recommend the formation of an independent commission to assess and evaluate the rationale, efficacy, and impact of population control spending, as compared with other forms of foreign aid.


1 USAID population control expenditures are from a table "United States Agency for International Development Population Assistance - All Accounts ($000)." Consumer Price Index from United States Census Bureau. Reference Data Book and Guide to Sources, Statistical Abstract of the United States (1995 Edition). Table 761, "Consumer Price Indexes (CPI by Major Groups: 1960 to 1994.)"

2 The World Resources Institute, in Collaboration with the United Nations Environment Program and the United Nations Development Program. World Resources 1994-5: Guide to the Global Environment. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. Table 16.2, "Trends in Births, Life Expectancy, Fertility and Age Structure, 1970-95." Total fertility rates given in the table are for the periods 1970-1975 and 1990-1995. These rates are assumed to be representative of their midpoints, i.e., 1972 and 1992. The 1965 and 1997 rates are exponentially extrapolated using the average 1972-1992 rate. The current population growth rate in Haiti is 1.6% per year; in Mexico, 1.9% per year; El Salvador, 2.0% per year; the Dominican Republic, 1.8% per year; the Philippines, 1.9% per year; Turkey, 2.0% per year; Ukraine, stable population; Russia, 0.2% per year, and Zimbabwe, 1.6% per year.

3 Donald Page Warwick. "Foreign Aid for Abortion." The Hastings Center Report, Volume 10, Number 2, page 33, April 1980.

4 Juliet Labog-Javellana. "Flavier Hits US Pressure on Abortion." Philippine Daily Inquirer, July 9, 1996, page 2.

5 David S. Broder. "A Vote for Poor Women Overseas." Washington Post, February 2, 1997, page C7.

6 "World Population Prospects: The 1996 Revision, Annex I." United Nations, Population Division, November 1996.

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