Project Afghanistan

Steve Mosher
President, Population Research Institute
Reprint with permission

The Population Research Institute is making plans to establish a pro-life office in Afghanistan. The purpose of PRI's pro-life outreach to the war-torn country is to assist Afghan women and families in their fight against the anti-natal agenda of UN agencies and anti-child NGOs. The office will also conduct surveys to quantify and express the real health needs of the Afghan people to the international community. The details of PRI's Project Afghanistan will be unveiled at PRI's Gobal Family Life Conference, April 3-7, 2002, in Santa Clara California. (See )

The recent legalization of abortion by Kabul's interim government was the catalyst for Project Afghanistan. Abortion in Afghanistan is now legal up to the third month of pregnancy. Although, according to reports, three doctors must certify that the abortion is a medical necessity, such regulations have quickly degenerated in other countries to abortion on demand.(1)

While no evidence of direct pressure by the international abortion lobby on the Afghan government has yet come to light, the Muslim press has already begun expressing concerns about the UNFPA's promotion of chemicals and equipment for first-trimester manual suction abortions to NGOs who specialize in performing abortions.

Long-time allies of UNFPA, Marie Stopes and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), have made no secret of their desire to bring abortion to the longsuffering women of Afghanistan.(2) The international death peddlers equate shedding the burka of Taliban oppression with abortion. The Feminist Majority Foundation has flaunted abortion as the way to crush the "gender apartheid" of the Taliban.(3)

Abortion cannot be a remedy for the Taliban's enslavement of women.

The United States is committed to sending about $400 million in aid to Afghanistan. Since none of this aid is classified under "family planning," any amount of it can be used to promote abortion. This would circumvent current laws prohibiting family planning funds from going to groups that counsel or lobby for abortion.

There are also concerns about violations of federal laws prohibiting the direct funding of abortion by U.S. funds, since UNFPA, and other abortion providers, simply rename abortion as "safe delivery" or "failed miscarriage" procedures.

So often in abortion programs abroad, violations to the rights of women and families are routine. PRI will expose the use of force and lack of informed consent by the Afghan abortion peddlers.

Another pressing problem with abortion zealotry in Afghanistan is that it is a backwards approach to addressing the high infant and maternal mortality rates in Afghanistan. Staggeringly high death rates exist in this country for women, babies and children. Of every 1,000 births, 165 infants and 17 women die for lack of basic infant survival or maternal health provisions. One out of every four Afghan children dies before the age of five for lack of child survival provisions.(4)

UNFPA, Planned Parenthood, the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, the U.S. Committee for the UNFPA and other members of the pro-abortion lobby claim that the $34 million (currently withheld from UNFPA) would save the lives of 4,700 women and 77,000 children.(5)

These claims by the UNFPA and other pro-abortion groups are false and misleading. Spending $34 million on maternal tetanus immunizations--instead of on UNFPA -- would save the lives of 270,000 babies. Spending $34 million on attending births -- instead of on UNFPA -- would save the lives of over 10,000 mothers. If the $34 million were spent on infant re-hydration, it would save the lives of millions of children. The fact is, $34 million for "family planning" would cost the lives of thousands upon thousands more women and children than it would save.

The real needs of Afghan women must be promoted, defended and demanded in Afghanistan. At PRI, we're committed fighting the abortion agenda of the Culture of Death, and to promoting life-saving basics.


1. "Afghans relax abortion bans," Agence France Presse, 15 January 2002.

2. "Family Planning Agencies Looking to Operate in Afghanistan," CNS News, 6 February 2002.

3. "Testimony of Mavis Leno, National Board Member, Feminist Majority Foundation, Before Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Member of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan," 2 March 1998.

4. "United Nations and Afghanistan," Afghan Children a Fact Sheet,

5. "Administration Threatens to Withhold Funding for UN Family Planning Programs," National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, Press Release, 17 January 2002.