Family Planners Eye Abortion Jihad in Iraq

Steven Mosher
Vol. 5/ No. 7
Population Research Institute
Reproduced with Permission

Once Saddam Hussein is defeated, what then? President Bush has publicly declared that he would like to see a stable democracy and a free market economy spring up in the cradle of civilization. He has picked, apparently, an official from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to head the lengthy "nation-building" effort.1 The problem is that our foreign aid programs are better at promoting population control and radical feminism than in building free market democracies abroad.

If we Americans behave in Iraq as we behave in other countries, upon Baghdad's surrender we will fly in teams of population controllers and "gender advisors." They will inaugurate programs which will subject Iraqi children, especially girls, to graphic sex education programs. They will stock Iraqi medical clinics with condoms and contraceptives. They will further insist that family planning (population control) programs be in place, warning that the penalty for noncompliance will be a denial of additional aid, even in the form of loans from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

It gets worse. The "gender advisors" (this is what they are really called), will provide assertiveness training to Iraqi women, urging them out of the home into the marketplace. They will organize special courses (reserved for women, of course) in which they are urged to run for public office and start their own businesses. The "gender advisors" will insist that gender quotas govern appointments to the new government. In the name of promoting "grassroots democracy," they will fund radical feminist organizations that lobby for, among other things, the legalization of abortion.

During Iraq's reconstruction, millions of USAID dollars will flow into the coffers of abortion-promoting NGOs to help them "find innovative and culturally appropriate methods to overcome constraints [to population-control programs]."2 What kind of "constraints" is USAID referring to here? The "constraints" imposed by traditional morality and religion, that's what. In the words of one USAID program for the Middle East, "traditional Islamic culture" is the enemy because it presents "a degree of opposition to the expansion of family planning programs."3 Neither does USAID have anything good to say about Catholics -- of whom there are many in Iraq -- claiming that "Catholicism encourage(s) behaviors that are, in effect, risky for HIV transmission."4 Like what? Abstinence?

The Iraqis who wind up in refugee camps may be subjected to even worse treatment at the hands of U.S.-funded groups which continue to press for abortion in refugee camps. This threat is real. In June of 2002, PRI researchers in Afghanistan interviewed women who were repatriated from United Nations refugee camps in Pakistan. Twenty-five percent of the women said they had been given abortions, many of them late-term after "birth defects" had been "diagnosed," and sterilizations while in the camps.5

In Albania in 1999, PRI investigators discovered UN Population Fund (UNFPA) abortion kits designed for use in Kosovar refugee camps. "The refugees are too many, we have to stop them from reproducing," a UN official declared. "Don't you see they are refugees? They can't have children!"6

Many Iraqis will undoubtedly react with alarm to these assaults on life and family. The million or so Christians in Iraq (which we rarely hear about) will be as unhappy about this turn of events as their Muslim neighbors. But my real worry is this: That fundamentalist Mullahs, disgusted by the hedonistic lifestyle of Hollywood and the secular materialism of Manhattan that we are trying to impose upon Iraq, will begin to denounce us as the "Great Satan." Ultimately we may be faced with a radical Islamic revolution.


1 The official in charge of the Iraq reconstruction efforts will reportedly come from USAID. FOX News, "Pentagon Details Framework for Rebuilding Iraq," 12 March 2003. [Back]

2 USAID, RFP for new Afghanistan health program. [Back]

3 Ibid., USAID. [Back]

4 USAID, "USAID: Benin -- World AIDS Day 2001," [Back]

5 PRI, "Afghanistan: Aid Assessment Survey," June 2002. [Back]

6 PRI, "Refugees' Rights vs. 'Reproductive Rights': UNFPA Population Control Campaign Threatens Kosovars," PRI Review, April/May 1999. [Back]