Virtual Voices

Why pay for more population control?

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The late British writer Malcolm Muggeridge once puckishly observed: "There's a bright lining to this terrible abortion cloud. In a hundred years, there will be no Sweden." He didn't really mean it, of course, but Sweden is just one of the Western European countries facing a population crisis-not too many people, but too few.

Nor is it just European countries that are afflicted. One demographer dismissed fears that China's rapidly growing economy would fuel Beijing's drive to expand its military, allowing China's dictators to threaten the peace and freedom of the world. "China," he said, "will grow old before it grows rich." One of the ways China will grow old and poor, of course, is from forced abortions. Millions of unborn Chinese children are killed-especially unborn baby girls. This inhuman policy has even led to female infanticide in China.

The harmful effects of population control are truly felt worldwide. Demographer Phillip Longman wrote in Foreign Policy last month that Russia's population is already 7 million less than what it was in 1991, at the fall of the Soviet Union. If Japanese policy and practice do not change, Longman notes, demographers predict the last Japanese baby will be born in 2959.

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Well, that's a long way off. And many things can intervene between now and then. What should be clear from the best studies of our most serious scholars of population is that it is not in anyone's interest to promote population control.

American taxpayers have been paying for population control at home and abroad for generations. The federal Title X program was begun through the Family Planning and Reproductive Health Act of 1970. When President Eisenhower was asked back in 1959 if the U.S. government should get involved in population control and family planning, he said he "could not imagine an activity more inappropriate for the federal government."

Ike was right. And Ronald Reagan was, too. President Reagan zeroed out funding for Title X during all eight years of his administration. But liberals in Congress-mainly Democrats, but some Republicans, too-always put it back in the budget.

Title X has funded Planned Parenthood from the beginning. Last year, Planned Parenthood received nearly half a billion dollars in federal funds. Now, this organization doesn't receive this money for doing abortions; Planned Parenthood charged for abortions. Instead, this money goes to its "other" activities. But Planned Parenthood's so-called "family planning" has been based on eugenics and population control ideology from the start.

Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood-with all its international connections-wanted to breed "a race of thoroughbreds." To Sanger, this meant "more children from the fit, fewer from the unfit."

Is it any surprise that nearly 80 percent of Planned Parenthood facilities can be found in or near minority neighborhoods in the United States? And the tentacles of Planned Parenthood reach across the seas. Many a small country in Africa and Latin America find it virtually impossible to stand up to Planned Parenthood's bullying tactics.

Sanger didn't care about the long-term effects of population control. But Phillip Longman does: "Over time, low birth rates lead not only to fewer children, but also to fewer working-age people just as the percentage of dependent elders explodes. This means that as population aging runs its course, it might well go from stimulating the economy to depressing it."

Longman knows his history well. "Fascist ideology in Europe was deeply informed by Oswald Spengler's Decline of the West, Lothrop Stoddard's The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy, and the writings of other eugenicists obsessed with the demographic decline of 'Aryans.'"

Even before Spengler and Stoddard, Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II gave a powerful impetus to such thinking. He urged his troops to behave like "Huns" in putting down China's Boxer Rebellion in 1900 and he egged on his dim-witted "Cousin Nicky," the tsar of Russia, to go to war against Japan. Russia's humiliating defeat in the Russo-Japanese War paved the way for the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. But meanwhile, Kaiser Wilhelm went on endlessly about what he called "The Yellow Peril" from Asia.

Racism and eugenicism are the foundation of population control. It is past time when the United States government should get out of the business of planning other families. Let's cut off Planned Parenthood-at home and abroad.

With U.S. budget cutters going after federal spending with a meat cleaver-or at least promising to-now is the time to axe funds to population controllers. Their activities are something we simply cannot afford, and they cause real harm.

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