On the Anniversary of the Cairo Conference, Clinton's Rhetoric Masks an Anti-Life Agenda

Steven Mosher
and Colin Mason
PRI Weekly Briefing
18 January 2010, Vol. 13 / No. 2
Reproduced with Permission
Population Research Institute

Are you in favor of injustice? Increased disease? More poverty? Those who oppose her "reproductive health" programs probably are, according to Hillary Clinton.

The 15th Anniversary International Conference on Population and Development was held on January 8th, and the U.S. Secretary of State was the headline speaker, asserting that America was committed to "reproductive healthcare and family planning services," to reducing "infant, child, and maternal mortality," and to opening the "doors of education to all citizens."

The Cairo conference, held 15 years ago in Egypt, was the "bulwark of what we intend to be doing and are expected to do on behalf of women and girls," Clinton said. You are either in favor of "reproductive health" - the current euphemism for population control and abortion - or you are somehow pro-disease, inequality, and death.

Lest you be confused by Clinton's use of the word "health," bears in mind that it refers here to disabling as many female reproductive systems as possible by chemical and surgical means. In this sense, a "healthy" ovary never ovulates; a healthy uterus never bears children.

Clinton recollects the Cairo conference as an enlightened gathering which addressed problems of women's health worldwide and found ways to improve it. Would that this had actually been the case.

In fact, Cairo was first and foremost a population control conference. It was the third in a series of such conferences, beginning with the 1974 Population Conference in Bucharest and continuing on through the 1984 Conference in Mexico City.

While Cairo did discuss "women's health," it was only in the limited sense of how raising awareness of contraceptives and other birth control methods would help to suppress the global fertility rate. According to Renate Nikolay, writing in 1994 for The Human Rights Brief:

The Programme of Action, the final document of the Cairo Conference, incorporates the principle of the empowerment of women as a fundamental means of contending with and managing the world's growing population ... other goals endorsed in the Programme of Action include the reduction of infant, children, and maternal mortality rates, and the universal access to reproductive health services, including family planning and sex education."

The primary thrust of the Cairo conference was population control, with "women's health" being used as a Trojan horse to that end.

What Clinton didn't say was that, thanks to the opposition of the Vatican and a consortium of Catholic and Muslim countries, abortion was specifically ruled out as a means of population control. While the final document does contain a reference to "safe" abortion, it also states that "in no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning." This is hardly the ringing endorsement of abortion implied by Clinton's speech.

Clinton passes over this point without mention, instead preferring to assure the assembled population controllers and abortion rights groups that the U.S. under Obama is firmly on their side. She specifically refers to the United States' renewal of funds for the UNFPA and the rescinding of the Mexico City Policy, both of which opened the floodgates for worldwide, taxpayer-funded abortions.

Remember Bill Clinton's "safe, legal, and rare" dodge on abortion? Well, to read his wife's speech, she wants it to be safe, legal, and common. After all, it would have to be common to bring down the world's population.

Clinton's speech contains a slippery mixture of fact and fiction. It is true that a huge majority of women in developing nations lack access to even the most basic health care. It is true that millions of women (and men) are suffering as a result of oppressive regimes, HIV/AIDS, and prostitution. But the idea that Cairo-style "reproductive health" programs will solve all the problems is nonsense. Population control programs are only one more way that the rich control the poor, and the powerful control the weak. Her programs will not "free" women from the "burden" of childbearing, they will enslave them to the abject poverty of childlessness.

Clinton promises to do more to promote the goals of the Cairo conference in 2010. Unfortunately for the world's women, that might very well turn out to be true.