New Book Exposes Eugenics Mandate in Reproductive Rights Agenda

By Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D. | July 24, 2008

Part III: Feminist “Reform” Makes Population Control More Coercive

(NEW YORK – C-FAM) A new book by Columbia University professor Matthew Connelly documents the way the “reproductive rights” leaders at the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) rose to power by exposing the abuses of the population control movement but then supported even larger and more coercive programs.

 In 1973, twenty years after formally establishing global population control, the movement’s leaders believed it was spinning beyond their control. In response to bad press about out-of-control sterilization campaigns in India and elsewhere followed by a groundswell of popular backlash, John D. Rockefeller was persuaded to re-brand the movement from a “war” on population to a campaign for women’s rights. Likewise, General William Draper’s Population Crisis Committee sponsored the “feminist unity” platform at the 1974 World Population Conference in Bucharest.

In Connelly’s view, “reproductive rights” advocates exploited protests against population control beginning with the Bucharest conference and managed to gradually take over the movement by the time of the UN’s 1994 population conference in Cairo. Connelly believes the feminist focus on abortion rights essentially returned the movement to Margaret Sanger’s original vision of eugenics which maintained that poor women needed government-funded birth control and abortion because they could not be left alone to make their own choices about fertility.

According to Connelly, it is for this reason that UNFPA and IPPF supported China’s one child policy “with eyes wide open” from its inception in 1980. “As the IPPF and UNFPA stepped up support, China’s program became ever more coercive,” he says, citing eyewitness reports of women “handcuffed, tied with ropes or placed in pig baskets,” while “every day hundreds of fetuses arrive[d] in the morgue.” IPPF officials, “untroubled” by the reports, reassured donors that Chinese government policies were not compulsory, even during a campaign that resulted–in 1983 alone–in 16 million women and 4 million men undergoing mandatory sterilization, 18 million IUD insertions (required for all mothers) and 14 million abortions of “unauthorized pregnancies.” Connelly says IPPF and UNFPA did not even issue “a pro forma injunction to avoid coercion–something that was standard in previous campaigns,” and senior UNFPA staff argued against “too narrow an interpretation of voluntarism.”

That same year, UNFPA awarded the architect of the one child program, Soviet-trained army general Xinzhong Qian, its first Population Award. Indira Gandhi, whose reelection as India’s prime minister was thwarted by populace outraged over her government’s abusive population policies, was the co-winner. UN Secretary General Perez de Cuellar offered them his “deep appreciation” for “marshal[ing] the resources necessary to implement population policies on a massive scale.”

Connelly concludes that the entire population control movement was not just brutal but unnecessary since fertility rates have fallen equally in countries with or without population programs. He wrote the book in hopes that his account of the world’s first transnational movement will make readers skeptical of other global governance movements. Unaccountable to people, he says, they too can bring great human suffering in the name of making the world a better place.

Read Part I

Read Part II