(NEW YORK – C-FAM) Participants at the Fifth Canadian Conference on International Health, held this week in Ottawa, freely discussed deceptive techniques employed by international aid agencies and feminist groups to implement abortion and artificial contraception services in developing countries. The conference, entitled “Partnerships in Health: A Work In Progress,” was sponsored by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Pan-American Health Organization, and three departments of the Canadian government.
“Reproductive health” was a primary focus of the conference. A session on Tuesday afternoon, for example, discussed four “reproductive health” initiatives in developing countries. Dr. Pilar Ramos-Jimenez reported on the Philippines Task Force on Social Science and Reproductive Health, an interdisciplinary team established at a Manila university in 1992. Ramos-Jimenez said that the Task Force, which is funded by the US-based Ford Foundation, chose from the outset to promote “reproductive health” rather than directly advocating abortion and artificial contraception services, because of the constitutional and social impediments in the predominantly Catholic Philippines. “A more comprehensive view of reproductive health has a better chance of surviving in a Catholic environment,” she said.
Ramos-Jimenez added that being based at a Catholic university was an advantage for the Task Force, as it suggested that Catholics supported its views. Moreover, whenever her group discussed abortion, she said they carefully framed it as an unavoidable discussion of a “public health issue,” not as pro-abortion advocacy. In terms of promoting access to abortion, “we are still at the first stage,” said Ramos-Jimenez.
In spite of these efforts to camouflage the Task Force’s real objectives, Ramos-Jimenez admitted that both Church authorities and pro-life groups had periodically attacked the Task Force. But, she insisted, the “Catholic hierarchy” does not speak for all Catholics. She added that the Task Force wished it could exclude all pro-life voices from its deliberations, since they refuse to modify their unqualified opposition to abortion. “If we could help it, we would not include pro-lifers.” [..... Read more]