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Why is Congress trying to supply the world with contraceptives? June 15, 2007

Posted by Daniel Downs in abortion, economics, family, foreign policy, freedom, globalism, law, news, politics, sex, wealth.

Did American voters elect congressional democrats to spend millions of dollars on contraceptives for foreign peoples? Apparently, House Democrats think they did. According to the Catholic Families and Human Rights Institute (C-Fam), US House Appropriation Committee approved a new foreign aid bill that will give millions of condoms to NGOs for family planning. Because condoms will be given to NGOs known to promote abortion, C-Fam regards the intended policy as an “in-kind” support of abortion. This change not only reflects the Carnahan bill but is also undermines foreign aid restrictions.

When President Bush took office, he reinstated the Mexico City Policy that was original established by President Ronald Reagan. The policy prohibits foreign aid funding for abortion or its promotion in any way. In a letter addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Bush promised to veto any bill that weakens current abortion law and policy. It is clear the new appropriations bill will undermine it. That is why C-Fam and other opponents hope he will veto the new appropriation bill, especially since it reflects the Carnahan bill.

Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-Missouri) sponsored a related bill entitled Ensuring Access to Contraceptives Act of 2007. The legislation promises to introduce more effective population control by providing contraceptive (condoms) to more than 200 million people in developing countries. Providing contraceptives to the third world …

“would avert approximately 52 million pregnancies each year, and as a result, would prevent an estimated 23 million unplanned births, 22 million induced abortions, 7 million spontaneous abortions, 1.4 million infant deaths, 142,000 pregnancy-related deaths, and 505,000 children from losing their mothers.”

In addition to improving global population control, the bill would also help reduce cases of HIV and would ease environmental problems related to increasing population growth. Even though the amount needed for contraceptives worldwide is $1.3 billion, America’s meager $75 million contribution has been woefully inadequate. Therefore, Carnahan’s bill would increase U.S. aid to $150 million; but is protecting the health and lives of third world people the only reason for the proposed increase?

In the article “Foreign Aid Effectiveness, Political Rights and Bilateral Distribution” that was published in the Journal of Humanitarian Assistance, Daniel Ehrenfeld writes, “national interest shapes the style of aid in the hopes that it may allow [donor governments] to strengthen ties with recipients for economic, political, strategic or cultural reasons.” He also wrote, “This strategy is intended to create job opportunities and promote export industry domestically by securing increased sales to the recipient country, and allowing domestic firms to penetrate these new markets,” but is this the case with the new foreign aid bill? There is reason to believe some politicians are hoping to keep America’s remaining condom manufacturers from moving to Asia. In an Oct. 29, 2006 New York Times article, Celia W. Dugger reported US condom makers are not able to compete with Asian manufacturers. Their survival depends on contract sales to the United States Agency for International Development (US AID). Therefore, the real goal behind the foreign aid bill is to make American drug and condom makers more competitive in the global market.

Besides increasing sales for American condom manufacturers and drug companies, why should the United States government funding birth control (population control) of foreign nations? Congressman Carnahan represents those who say it is to save lives. Are not third world governments capable of saving the lives of their own people? Are they not capable of budgeting to supply their citizens with family planning services? Maybe the U.S. has been bilking third world nations of so much of their resources and wealth that we are morally obligated. If so, would not allocating most foreign aid to assist those governments to build up a sustainable economy in order to deal with their citizens’ family and population issues make more sense? America might decrease its global control but it would increase its reputation as a nation actually concerned for other people’s welfare and freedom.

For more information about the US House Appropriations Bill, visit the Committee on Appropriations website and check out the bill’s status at Thomas.gov.

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1. in2thefray - June 18, 2007

I don’t know if I agree that the supplying of condoms is “in-kind” to supporting abortion.I do think there is merits to the proponents position on paper. The world doesn’t live on paper though. The funds could be better used for sure. One thought that comes to my mind is abstinence programs. The world populations that are very active sexually with little clue to reproduction are actually killing themselves with over population and the spread of disease. A population that believes intercourse w/three y/o s can cure HIV AIDS is not a population that benefits from Trojans in their pockets.
On the side Daniel I hope all is well w/u

2. Daniel Downs - June 18, 2007

Thank you for your concern. I am well. I have been doing a lot of research, unrelated to blog writing, and looking for lucrative jobs. The greens haven’t been flowing through the blog. I hope to get back to doing more blogging.

3. United Nations: Liberalism’s Strong Arm for Abortion « The State of America - July 27, 2007

[…] abortion policies important to Americans? One reason was mentioned in a previous article entitled Why is Congress trying to supply the world with contraceptives. In that article, it was briefly explained how governments structure their foreign aid to bolster […]

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