WHO creates demand for abortions

By Donald A. Collins | 28 January 2004
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

 Brent Castillo/Wichita Eagle
(Image: Brent Castillo / Wichita Eagle)

While all abortions at any stage in a pregnancy are evil to some, U.S. law currently accords “personhood” only after birth. However, all parties involved in what has become a bitter and divisive bone of social contention are agreed that fewer abortions would be a good thing.

Thus, when one encounters facts which support an increase in the number of abortions and in the deaths which attend pregnancies — now 600,000 such deaths per year worldwide — one might assume that the primary culprits in abortion promotion are those who most vigorously support the right to choose.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Having attended November’s International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics World Congress in Santiago, Chile, I came again face to face with the terrible truth so often suppressed: Vatican influence is promoting more abortions worldwide.

At this last conference, however, instead of the timid, off-the-record statements previously heard whispered to me in corridors by family planning expert insiders from India, China, Indonesia and others about the way this Vatican influence was exercised, those in attendance were treated to a brave documentation of this fact by an insider from the Vietnamese government, Dr. Do Trong Hieu.

His formal presentation was stunning in its public denouement of a Vatican-influenced branch of the World Health Organization (WHO), known in 1994 as the Human Reproduction Program (HRP). For years HRP has been able to wield inside power with many governments to stop the adoption of methods of family planning well-suited to the needs of these countries, including China, Indonesia, and Vietnam, as well as several in Latin America. HRP’s perfidy has never before been so publicly exposed by a developing country insider like Dr. Hieu, doubtless out of fear of retribution. It is a dreadful, sad story of abuse of power.

Some background

In 1994, I lead a group of 14 family planning experts to Vietnam to study the use of a non-surgical method of female sterilization called quinacrine sterilization, or QS. At that time, it had been accepted voluntarily by more than 50,000 Vietnamese women with no reported deaths or life-threatening complications.

Offered in clinical settings all over Vietnam, women opted for this method 11-to-1 over surgical sterilization, both offered free. The QS cost was low, something this poor nation could afford and which its women, many of whom we personally interviewed, desperately needed. By 2003 QS had been used by more than 150,000 women in 35 nations — some for over 25 years — with no reported deaths or life-threatening complications.

Just before the arrival of my expert study group in Vietnam in February 1994, this obscure, shadowy, but hugely powerful HRP group, had sent, in December 1993, a letter to Vietnam stating: “WHO experts and FDA officials have said that they would be surprised if quinacrine did not turn out to be carcinogenic.”

Further, was there a threat to cut off Vietnam’s financial aid from several international aid agencies if the highly successful QS program was continued? You be the judge. Read on.

Working against QS

This brave HRP accuser at November’s world congress was my study group’s same 1994 Vietnamese host, Dr. Do Trong Hieu, then head of the QS program as well as director of the Department of Maternal and Child Health and Family Planning at the Vietnamese Ministry of Health.

While he had previously verbally told me of this dastardly HRP perfidy, last fall in Santiago Dr. Hieu presented a paper on “The Future of QS in Vietnam.” From the paper: “By February 1994, we had determined that this HRP statement (against QS) could not be substantiated.”

However, Hieu continued, “Immediately, in the hallways of the ministry, several threatening rumors from international and U.N. agencies were heard: If the QS program is resumed, support for family planning in Vietnam could be suspended/withdrawn.”

Further, Hieu stated: “Ministry officials feared that international bilateral programs would terminate their financial support to Vietnam (especially when WHO and UNFPA departed). The decision was made not to resume our highly popular QS program.”

So, in Vietnam a principal method of birth control is now abortion.

Vietnam has achieved an average completed family size of 2.3 children. However, to get there, women have had to rely on abortion at a rate of 3.5 times that seen in the U.S. Nice going, HRP.

At this same Santiago meeting, Hieu also confirmed to me that this perfidy on the part of HRP and the failure of others to question its authority would over time cost more than 40,000 lives and access by women to a safe, reliable economical method for all these intervening years.

The Vatican connection? The head of the HRP who sent the anti-QS letter to Vietnam in December 1993 was Dr. Giuseppe Benegiano, a Roman obstetrician/gynecologist whose father was Pope Paul VI’s dentist. He was recruited for this sensitive post from a Catholic university in Rome.

‘Devious efforts’

Benegiano has made every possible effort to keep a highly favorable collection of 25 QS studies from 14 countries covering more than 40,000 QS users from arriving at the Chilean meeting. How? In the form of what became an enthusiastically received supplemental journal issue officially invited by the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Fortunately, Benegiano’s devious efforts were thwarted by strong protests from journal personnel.

Additionally, knowledgeable officials from the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the Population Council told me that HRP attacks on new family planning advances had been going on for decades.

Noted Hieu in his Santiago paper, “The government is (still) not free to implement the finding of its own risk benefit assessment.” He poignantly asked me, “Who will pay for this needless loss of women’s lives?”

No one has yet, but now it is public knowledge about who is to blame. More shocking than the Vietnam story alone must be the coercion privately reported to me at this meeting by other respected experts from bigger developing nations who knew of similar pressure by this HRP group at WHO on India (population now over 1 billion) and Indonesia (now over 234 million).

Applying the same ratio of 40,000 likely deaths projected this past decade in Vietnam (population now over 81 million), we can logically infer that there could be over 115,000 such deaths in Indonesia, and perhaps as many in India due to HRP’s unfounded attacks on QS. The connection remains relentlessly accurate: Less family planning equals more abortions, more deaths, and more unwanted children. And, ergo, more terrorism.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC., has spent over 40 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013.

From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013

By Donald A. Collins
Publisher: Church and State Press (July 30, 2014)
ASIN: B00MA40TVE
Kindle Store

During the formative years of the World Health Organisation (WHO), broad consensus existed among United Nations member countries that overpopulation was a grave public health threat and would be a major cause of preventable death not too far in the future. One of the founding fathers of the WHO, the late Prof. Milton P. Siegel, who for 24 years was the Assistant Director-General of the organisation, speaks to our Chairman Dr. Stephen D. Mumford in 1992. He explains how the Vatican successfully stymied the incorporation of family planning and birth control into official WHO policy. This video is available for public viewing for the first time. Read the full transcript of the interview here.

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