Welcome to Part 2 of what I pray is a very short series of posts debunking the anti-choice screeds in a highly misleading, intellectually bankrupt publication called “Do You Have an Open Mind?”. Join me as I wade in the murks of conspiracy mongering regarding the issue of abortion, go crazy over all of the nonsense, and then sit there stunned over the fear mongering and obnoxiousness that these people are relying on to push an agenda that is anti-woman, anti-choice, and anti-science.
But first, a correction! Because I’m not ready to dive in yet!
In the previous post, I explained what the different types of surgical abortions, and as an aside, I noted that sometimes the D&E (dilation and evacuation) procedure involves a shot through the abdomen to ensure fetal death. I thought that this was because they didn’t want the fetus to suffer even more unnecessary pain or whatnot.
I then showed the post to a few friends of mine, and one of them pointed out that my presumption on why the abdomen shot was necessary was incorrect.
As it turns out, the rise of using said abdomen shot rose around the same time that D&X (partial birth abortion) was made illegal in 2003. I will try to not fall for the correlation = causation fallacy, but as this article published in the Society of Family Planning and indexed in PubMed notes, there are legal considerations in the US that may require the use of said shot.
I did not describe what D&X is in the original post, because it’s illegal and is by and large irrelevant to the whole debate at the time, a appeal to emotion attempt by the anti-choice camp. But basically, in a D&X, the fetus is aborted in such a way that makes it much easier for removal through the cervix. You can Google D&X to read the full description on Wikipedia, I won’t actually describe the procedure here.
Anyways, it’s been noted that there are legal considerations to give this shot—namely, because that way the doctor preforming the abortion won’t get into legal trouble by accidentally delivering a live fetus when they were trying to do a D&E. If the fetus is already dead, then the removal of said fetus is legal under the law and does not fall under the law that bans D&X.
Furthermore, the shot is not without risks. Women who receive dioxin (drug used to induce fetal demise) are more likely to experience spontaneous abortion, infection, and a stay in hospital. And all the while, the procedure is still the same, but now women have the risk of infection through the abdomen shot, just so that they won’t accidentally break the law by aborting their 16 week+ fetus.
I should remind anyone who’s reading this that abortions after the 13th week are not common. As I noted in my previous post, 91.4% of abortions occur up to or prior to the 13th week. And a good number of women surveyed on why they chose to have an abortion so late stated that they misjudged the gestational age, didn’t realize they were pregnant, afraid to notify their partner/parents, etc. (The survey I presume allowed for women to choose multiple reasons on why they got an abortion late, since the percentages do not add up to 100%.)
Anyways, there’s that. Digression over! Now we know!
Back to conspiracy mongering. *sigh*
Let’s get started.
We left off at “The Business of Abortion”, where we really start into the conspiracy theory stuff. Their claim? That abortion is really just a plan for stealth population control, in order to kill off minorities and the poor. Oh yeah, and the UN, Planned Parenthood, the United States Agency for International Development, The Red Cross, CARE, Heifer International, Rotary International, World Vision, HOPE, the Wild Life Fund, the Rockefeller family, the Gates, the Packard family, the Ford family, and the Turner Foundation are all in collusion to fuck the poor and minorities by KILLING THEM ALL and covertly advancing GENOCIDE.
What did I get myself into?
“The Business of Abortion” itself is a series of articles, each one more fear mongering than the next. Let’s get started with the first article, “International Genocide”.
For over half a century, the population control movement has waged war on human fertility and now includes major international organizations like the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and the United Nations Population Fund, as well as the foreign aid bureaucracies from most wealthy countries in the world.
Many governmental recipients of foreign aid object to population reduction targets and coercive contraception and sterilization policies, but often they can do little against the UN Population Fund, the IPPF, and the foreign aid agencies of the developed nations who insist on population control programs as a condition of foreign aid.
Oh gods. The fear mongering. It hurts. And these are the first two paragraphs.
Let’s start with the IPPF.
The IPPF is an organization dedicated to the goals of gender equality and providing necessary reproductive services. Some of these services include providing contraception, safe abortions, and STD/STI treatment and prevention. Part of their work helps to increase fertility among the poor, as untreated STDs and unsafe abortions (i.e. not the type of abortions you’ll find at your local Planned Parenthood clinic) have a side effect of become sterile. Really.
What else do they do? Engage more men and boys to take part in sexual and reproductive health. Safe and legal abortions, as well as treatment for complications arising from unsafe ones. Providing services for displaced persons in Georgia (not the state, the country) and offering alternatives to abortion (as in, teaching people about contraception so that they won’t turn to abortion). Providing health care (treatment for malaria, for example) to displaced people in Uganda. Reduce gender-based violence (e.g. rape, domestic abuse, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, exploitation, sex trafficking…). Preventing HIV/AIDS. Etc.
Man. It’s as if IPPF actually wants to help the poor and reduce the need for abortion, as well as helping them stay healthy and be able to not die needlessly from preventable or treatable diseases! Why would any country want that?
What about the UN Population Fund?
Well, let’s see what their goals are.
The goals of UNFPA – achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health (including family planning), promoting reproductive rights, reducing maternal mortality and accelerating progress on the ICPD agenda and MDG 5 – are inextricably linked. UNFPA also focuses on improving the lives of youths and women by advocating for human rights and gender equality and by promoting the understanding of population dynamics. Population dynamics, including growth rates, age structure, fertility and mortality and migration have an effect on every aspect of human, social and economic progress. And sexual and reproductive health and women’s empowerment all powerfully affect and are influenced by population trends.
Reducing maternal morality? Advocating gender equality? Seeking to empower women and allowing them to make choices? Wow, those goals are so terrible.
If you go down further on their page, one would see some of the services that they provide. So what do they provide?
Working with a range of partners, UNFPA assists governments in delivering sexual and reproductive health care throughout the life cycle of women and youths. These areas include:
- Voluntary family planning
- Antenatal, safe delivery and post-natal care
- Prevention of abortion and management of its consequences
- Treatment of reproductive-tract infections
- Prevention, care and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV
- Information, education and counselling, as appropriate, on human sexuality and reproductive health
- Prevention of violence against women, care for survivors of violence and other actions to eliminate traditional harmful practices
- Appropriate referrals for further diagnosis and management of the above.
Prevention of abortions? Safe delivery and post-natal care? Treatment of infections, which can cause one to become infertile? Preventing and treating STD/STIs? Preventing violence against women and caring for survivors of such violence? They must be some part of an population control plan to kill us all!
You see where I’m going with this, right?
And this is just on their about page, which anyone can easily Google. Does ANYTHING there sound like a sterilization program or anything like that?
The amount of dishonesty and outright lying is disgusting.
The rest of the article describes people being forced to abort their pregnancies in China due to their one-child policy and people being forcibly sterilized. The implication is that these going-ons are linked to and advocated by the IPPF and the UN Population Fund, which is essentially an ad hominem attack.
And you know what? Forced abortion and sterilization is a huge problem, and those are human rights issues. I don’t support these, it’s a violation of a person’s human rights. But to implicitly link them to the IPPF and the UN Population Fund is dishonest to the core, and it’s actually rather insulting, as it blatantly ignores all of the work they do to improve the health of millions if not billions of people worldwide with a smear campaign that has absolutely no basis in reality. Good job anti-choice people. You just made yourself look like assholes.
Next article: “Exporting Death to the World”.
The article starts off by talking about a document known in layman terms as the Kissinger Report. It was a classified document discussing population growth trends in thirteen countries (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Turkey, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Mexico, Columbia, and Brazil). The document is over 127 pages long and describes how the US government should reduce population growth in these countries. It’s a favorite of anti-choice people, as it makes it look as if the US is pushing for forced sterilization and forced abortions. This is pretty much where this article is going, linking it with imperialism, declining economies, and other rather negative things. Huzzah.
Why did I give you the whole document? Because that’s the only way to judge context.
I need to come back to this later, because, like I said, it’s over 127 pages long, and it’s going to take some time for me to read. However, from taking a glance at the document, it reads like the government was doing a study of overpopulation, noting that we might not have enough resources to feed over 10 billion people, and that food distribution would be made much more difficult. It also notes that those that are the hardest hit also happen to be poorer countries.
I need time to actually read the report. Suffice to say though that as of right now, it doesn’t read as if the US was planning to further exploit them and keep them poor, but rather to reduce suffering and famine by having enough resources to support the still growing world population.
In the meanwhile, you can read the document and draw your own conclusions.
“Who Are the Players” lists various organizations that they claim are really pushing for genocide and whatnot. Some of the groups on the list are the IPPF, Women on Waves, UN Family Planning Association (UN Population Fund), USAID, Family Health International, CONRAD, DKT International, Engendered Health, IPAS, CARE, Heifer International, Helen Keller International, HOPE, the Red Cross (I’m presuming the international organization; the American Red Cross has something similar), Rotary International (might be confusing to navigate, sorry about that), UNICEF, World Vision, and the Wild Life Fund.
“What’s with all of the links?” you might ask. Simple. I took the time to Google and look up their about pages, their advocacy pages, etc, and linked to pages that described what each charity’s goals were and/or what they do. I already debunked the IPPF and the UN Family Planning Association accusations. If I had to debunk every single OTHER organization listed here, we’d be sitting here all day.
Needless to say, the only one that’s a single issue charity is Women on Waves, and that charity seeks to provide safe and legal abortions in countries where they aren’t legal by proving services in international waters. Most of these other charities are multipurpose, providing HIV/AIDS health care, doing research in order to make better medications and whatnot, helping those living in poverty, providing other health services that aren’t related to reproduction, uplifting women and girls, reducing blindness around the world, providing needed nutrition, providing educational supplies, etc.
None of these charities seek to push a population control agenda.
The final sentence of this article states this:
What if that money had been used to promote true development such as clean drinking water facilities, rural electrification, schools, and real health care?
Just a nitpick here. Reproductive health care, such as birth control and abortion, IS health care. You people in the anti-choice camp might not see it as such because of your preconceived biases, but reproductive health care is health care. Furthermore, providing reproductive health care services IS development, because it’s part of health care. Saying that reproductive health isn’t really health care is like saying that OBY/GYNs aren’t real doctors and that it’s not a real discipline in medicine. It’s lying and it’s intellectually dishonest, and it’s wrong.
The last part, “Who’s Pushing Funding”, puts forward names of prominent people in the United States, stating that they’re really pushing for population control, and that overpopulation is a lie. I’ll be going over more about overpopulation tomorrow, since there’s an entire article on how overpopulation is a lie. However, this part of the article basically suggests that people are really being silly, and that overpopulation isn’t a real thing, because our planet is holding 7 billion people and counting, and the world hasn’t all burned to cinders or whatever.
Overpopulation. You keep using that word anti-choice people. I don’t think it means what you think it means.
There are still four more pages of this publication to debunk, plus I need to write about the Kissinger Report. Oy vey. And this post is pushing 2.3k words. *sigh*
Stay tuned for part 3 tomorrow.