UNICEF Tries To Coopt the Church

Author: Jean Guilfoyle


by Jean M. Guilfoyle

The United Nation's Children's Fund (UNICEF) is creating confusion among Catholics throughout the world by claiming endorsement from the Roman Catholic Church. Such claims imply that the Church is willing to overlook UNICEF's population control programs, which advocate abortion and utilize bookjuggling antics to fund abortifacients and sterilizations throughout the world.

UNICEF seeks the appearance of Church support despite the fact that the Catholic Church has specifically condemned "contraceptive imperialism" in Third World countries and has called for "respect for traditional cultures, where women do not want abortifacients, where men do not want their children to be aborted, where sterilization is an affront to human dignity and integrity because it destroys the sacred fruitfulness of women and men" (Submission of the Catholic Church to the Conference of the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences, Thailand: HLI, 1988; reprinted from "L'Osservatore Romano," 18 July, 1988).

In addition, Archbishop Renato R. Martino, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, in a statement to the executive board of UNICEF in April 1990, warned that:

"... the Holy See views with great alarm some repeated proposals to the effect that this United Nations agency, established for the well-being of children, become involved in the destruction of existing human life, even to the point of suggesting that UNICEF become an advocate for abortion in countries whose sovereign legislation does not allow it. The Holy See firmly opposes such proposals not only on moral grounds, but also because they would bring a totally unacceptable deviation from the stated purpose of UNICEF in favor of children.

"Moreover, such proposals appear to reveal a dangerous form of neo- colonialism--to which the developing countries are justifiably sensitive-- where the mighty will try to impose on the less powerful the adoption of practices contrary to those cultural, social, moral and religious values which have historically formed their heritage and have sustained them in their difficult path to independence and development.

"The Holy See maintains that the interests of children will be promoted and assured by the real development of their countries. that will provide them with the educational, economic and social rights to which their right to life entitles them."

UNICEF assertions that a Vatican donation of $3000 is a symbolic gesture of support for the UNICEF world population control agenda are also contradicted by Archbishop Martino's April 1990 statement. In that statement he carefully describes the limited purpose of the Vatican donation as ". . . earmarked for the budget for mobilization activities related to the forthcoming World Summit for Children" on behalf of ". . . the Pontifical Society of the Holy Childhood--an agency which aims at forming in children and adolescents awareness of and solidarity for the resources and needs of their fellow children throughout the world."

UNICEF networks are a major vehicle for abortion pressures, abortifacient drugs, devices and sterilizations promoted by the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank, and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). UNFPA has been denied funding by the United States Congress because of its involvement in the direction and management of the coerced abortion and sterilization program in China. Both UNFPA and IPPF are noted for their abortion advocacy and activity. IPPF has supplied vacuum aspiration kits for abortions, illegally, to the Philippines, Bangladesh, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam and India. Yet UNICEF has provided funds for both organizations ("The Hastings Center Report," Vol. 10, No. 2, April, 1980). UNICEF's financial linkage with IPPF programs has been based on that organization's "pioneer work in linking family planning with women's development" (IPPF Update, 1985).

UNICEF's collaborative organizational efforts in Third World countries saturate desperately needed survival care programs with pressures for the acceptance of abortifacient drugs, devices and sterilizations. Village "motivators" and Traditional Birth Attendants trained with UNICEF funds directly propagandize rural populations and pregnant women. Intervention between family members in order to promote these methodologies is common in such community efforts and programs.

It must be observed that the lack of access to alternative health care options, combined with the high-pressure tactics of population control idealogues, destroys patients' abilities to give informed consent in health care settings. Such conditions exist in UNICEF Maternal and Child Health care clinics (MCH) where patients are subjected to the politicized propaganda and health-destroying technologies of international population control idealogues such as UNFPA, IPPF, WHO and the World Bank.

UNICEF denies that it advocates any particular family planning methods or abortion. It denies that it funds contraceptive supplies and sterilization programs. In fact, the public record shows that UNICEF "does not advocate any particular view on the choice of the family planning method" but instead promotes all methods, indiscriminately.

Since the late 1960s, UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) joint committee have operated on the assumption that "family planning was an integral part of comprehensive health service." The WHO began to stress that "any measure for preventing or interrupting pregnancy must be integrated with MCH services." UNICEF complied with the effort to make family planning a part of health services. It was by that time already understood that family planning included condoms, pills and IUDs. In 1966, Henry Labouisse, executive director of UNICEF, proposed that UNICEF help might be used to establish family planning elements in expanded MCH services. By the end of the 1960s, UNICEF was willing to "provide contraceptive supplies" (Maggie Black, "The Children and the Nations, The Story of UNICEF," 238-259 at 254).

With the assistance of the United States and Sweden in 1968, a trust fund, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) was established within the United Nations. UNFPA provided UNICEF with funds for family planning components of health programs which UNICEF was already supporting (254-5).

At the World Population Conference in 1974, WHO, supported by UNICEF, worked to establish a public policy "link between health care and family planning." Formulating an individualized, promotional approach, Henry Labouisse stated, ". . . to be really effective, national policies in the population field must be translated into specific measures that directly touch the lives of individual families" (257).

James Grant, the present UNICEF executive director, attending the conference in his capacity as president of the Overseas Council, echoed the theme in the opening statement of his address when he said, "The central issue of our time may well turn out to be how the world addresses the problem of ever-expanding human numbers" ("National Concord," Friday, Jan. 18, 1991).

Following through on these goals, by the late 1970s the family planning issue formed a significant "link in the chain of UNICEF's overall policy evolution." A new WHO/UNICEF strategy for "alternative health care" developed in which "village health workers" operated as "a tier of satellites at the outermost edge" in carrying out government population control policies.

Since that time UNICEF and WHO have cooperated within the domain of UNFPA programs "in creation of population awareness for policy makers and opinion leaders...." This cooperation has included "contraceptive prevalence and fertility preference." Population control pressures and methodologies were also integrated into sanitation, parasite control and nutrition programs (1987 Report by the Executive Director of UNFPA).

Citing even a small selection of specific UNICEF activities provides an illustration of their organizational commitment to using all available means to accomplish their worldwide population control objectives:

Jamaica: UNICEF received $720,684 in UNFPA funds for the purchase of contraceptives for National Family Planning Program (UNFPA Inventory of Population Projects in Developing Countries Around the World 1987/88, p. 281).

Kenya: UNICEF received $0.7 million from the World Bank for a Population Project which established an interagency information and education program for the promotion of a small family norm; and provided funds for the establishment of 300 new Maternal and Child Health Family Planning (MCH/FP) units and an additional 300 Health Centres to be operated by the Ministry of Health. "In order to increase the projects impact on fertility, the project was amended in 1985 to include the establishment of surgical contraceptive facilities in 13 district hospitals and family planning clinics" (292).

Malawi: UNICEF received $1.8 million from the World Bank to participate in a "Family Health Project" whose components included MCH services, primary health care, child spacing and nutrition. The project would assist in the development of surgical contraception services (sterilization) and expand urban and rural family health services, training staff, traditional birth and village health attendants. The population increase would be slowed through an increase in women using modern contraceptive methods (333).

Nepal: UNICEF received $795,569 from UNFPA to participate in a joint project to support FP/MCH activities; provide selected contraceptives; and organize, expand and improve the quality of sterilization in mobile units country-wide and in regular health institutions in non-integrated districts (395).

Further examples of their self-described efforts to promote population policies and programs, maternal and child health care, primary health care and "other health services with family planning components" (UNFPA Guide to Sources of Population Assistance 1985, pp. 23-4) include:

Bangladesh: UNFPA provided $5,453,023 to UNICEF to "support integrated maternal and child health/family planning services and the Population Control and Family Planning Division ("Inventory of Population Projects in Developing Countries Around the World" 1988/1989, p. 28).

Cape Verde: UNFPA funds in the amount of $59,719 went to UNICEF to participate in a program for the purchase of contraceptives for MCH/FP project (97).

Burundi: World Bank funds in the amount of $1.8 million were given to UNICEF for the purposes of engaging in a Population and Health Project "to improve maternal and child health status" by strengthening MCH/FP services and nutrition and "to increase contraceptive prevalence to 14 per cent by 1992" (86).

The escalation of UNICEF population control and family reduction activities are demonstrated further in the "UNFPA Inventory of Population Projects in Developing Countries Around the World" 1989 /1990. One reads about:

China. This is of particular note since the U.S. continues to deny funds to UNFPA because of its involvement in the coercive population control policies in China. UNICEF has received monies from UNFPA to sponsor a consultant for the technical aspects of a joint UNICEF/UNFPA project to strengthen MCH/FP at the grassroots level. Budget: 1990, $95,000; 1991, $120,000 (115).

UNICEF/Kenya, UNICEF/United Republic of Tanzania, and UNICEF/Uganda distributed a primary school education magazine, "Pied Crow Environmental Special Magazine." The publication is a seven issue series on awareness of population growth for primary school children (296).

Malaysia: UNICEF participated as executing agent in a $6.5 million UNFPA Project to consolidate current population programs and further integrate family planning with other family development programs (331).

UNICEF attempts to beg the question of their complicity by crying, "clean hands, clean hands!" while funding the clinics, stocking the shelves, training the midwives and village health workers (patterned after the Chinese 'barefoot doctor' program) and, at the same time, slyly using World Bank and UNFPA funds to pay for the vans which tour the countryside of developing nations sterilizing the people. The public record provides a clear chronicle of UNICEF's operations which fund abortion advocacy, abortifacient/contraceptive supplies and sterilization.

No opportunity is lost by UNICEF to dive behind the respectable mask of the Catholic Church in order to mimic and exploit a religious and cultural milieu which speaks to the people in a language they trust. As an organization with access to large numbers of people, the Catholic Church furnishes ready opportunities for influence peddling and fund raising among congregations naturally sympathetic to the well-being of children.

Further, many of the populations which UNICEF, UNFPA, the World Bank and others would like to "reduce" live in countries with predominantly Catholic populations, such as Latin America, Asia and the Philippines.

Pope John Paul II enunciated Catholic ethical values, which contrast sharply with UNICEF's manipulative policies, as he addressed the UNICEF Directors of Latin America and the Caribbean. "We are all called to join," he said, "efforts to preserve life, including life before birth, and to offer all children the resources they need for their physical and spiritual growth, to which every person has an inalienable right .... I encourage you to continue with untiring enthusiasm in your task . . . to work for the integral good of children; to maintain and improve evermore a culture of life that respects all the moral principles; to assure children, especially the poorest and most defenseless, the necessary conditions so that they can be fittingly inserted into society" ("L'Osservatore Romano," English language edition, 23 Jan. 1989).

In contrast to these principles, UNICEF policies attempt radically to alter the cultural values of countries in order to incorporate technologies which ultimately restrict the full development of individuals in their personal relationships and deny the right of existence to the children of the poor and defenseless.

Complicating this situation is the almost exclusive "ownership" of medical and health care resources by the major industrial nations. It is these nations which are the major government financiers and promoters of "integrated" population control methodologies in UNICEF/UNFPA/WHO/World Bank/IPPF maternal and child health care centers. In particular, UNICEF maternal and child health care programs have become riddled with the aggressive politics of "those-who-know-best" among the population controllers. It is not unusual for Catholic Church officials, who are attempting to provide health care for mothers and children within their jurisdictions, to be trapped between the urgent plight of the needy poor and the knowledge that their people will be exposed to these destructive and manipulative policies and practices.

UNICEF efforts reveal a tragic exploitation and victimization of children through the imposition of doctrinaire population control programs which kill their brothers and sisters, intervene in family relationships and subject their parents to life-threatening surgeries and abortifacients.

It is imperative that UNICEF officials be pressured to stop their deceptive claims of endorsement by the Catholic Church, claims which give scandal to the world and unjustly burden the spiritual well-being of informed, faithful Catholics in all nations. Further, the Vatican should withdraw all Church funding of UNICEF until that organization ceases its abortion promotion and contraceptive/ abortifacient/sterilization activities among God's people.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- Under the banner "Safe Motherhood," an interagency partnership composed of UNICEF, the World Bank, the U.N. Development Program, WHO, UNFPA, IPPF, and the U.S. AID-funded Population Council has been formed. It is a political/economic tool to break down abortion restrictions in developing nations, the "partnership" plans to make the fear of death the motivating passion needed to drive mothers toward acceptance of government-sponsored "choices." The World Bank will use economic coercion and fund the agenda. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------