At a conference in London on 11 July 2017, billions of pounds were pledged by Western countries towards the funding of abortions and contraceptives in African countries where abortion is supposed to be illegal.
Donors included the UK Department for International Development (UK DFID) who committed £1 billion over the next 5 years. Canada has pledged to spend $650 million on access to abortion overseas (sexual and reproductive health programmes) over the next three years. Trudeau has been criticised by the interim leader of Canada’s conservative party, Rona Ambrose who argues that funding access to abortion overseas is divisive and illegal.
In January 2017, President Trump withdrew US federal funding for abortions overseas by reinstating the ‘Mexico City Policy’ (or ‘Global gag rule’). The policy states that US federal funds cannot be given to foreign Non Government Organisations that perform abortions or provide women with information about other abortion services, or lobby for abortion to be made legal or more available in the country. The policy was first created in 1984 by Reagan, rescinded by Clinton and reinstated by George W Bush.
Abortion is illegal in many African countries. In Nigeria, abortion carries a heavy jail sentence – up to 14 years imprisonment, unless it is performed to save the life of the pregnant woman. Western countries have been acting illegally in many African countries via funding NGOs to provide abortion services in African countries where abortion is illegal.
Sweden went one step further by pledging to discontinue aid to organisations that concur with the Mexico City policy to stop abortions in overseas countries. Sweden’s development aid agency’s (SIDA) Director General, Carin Jamtin said that, “They have to defend the right to abortions for girls and women in poor countries, and when the United States implements a policy that will hit the poorest countries and the most vulnerable groups –women and girls in need of care, Swedish development aid will make sure that the Swedish aid goes to the activities that they have pledged on’
Some Africans think that wealthy countries have not considered the consequences of breaking laws in less developed African countries, or have no regard for their government, people or values.
In Belgium, representatives from more than 45 Governments attended a conference following President Trumps’ withdrawal fund where almost $200 million was raised to make up the deficit of $600 million caused by President Trump’s withdrawal.
The control of more powerful nations over less powerful nations by influencing and dominating their culture is cultural imperialism. What is in it for the west?
One scholar on colonialism suggests that although most countries have gained independence from their colonisers, they are still indirectly subjected in one way or another to the forms of neo- colonial domination’ (Ashcroft et al.).
Neo-colonialism is the continuation of the economic model of colonialism after a colonized territory has achieved formal political independence. According to another writer, an economic and cultural but not political control is often called neo-colonialism.
Economic interest in Africa by Western countries dates back to the 18th Century. According to a famous write on African studies, Thomas Pakenham in his book, “The scramble for Africa,”
“On 7th January 1876, King Leopold the second, of Belgium read in ‘The Times’ report of a Lieutenant Cameron, who had just finished an arduous three-year journey across Africa which was widely assumed to be barren and inhospitable, but Cameron described a ‘magnificent and healthy country of unspeakable richness ripe for some enterprising capitalist that might take the matter in hand”.
Germany, France, Great Britain, Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal and Spain were involved in this struggle for Africa. Bear in mind that it is the natural resources in Africa that drew them to Africa. Africans were forcefully exploited for hard labour for extraction of their own natural resources which were exported to Europe for raw materials and economic gains, the details of which the present generation prefer not to remember.
Is the Western funding of abortion for philanthropic or economic benefits?
The National Security Study Memorandum-200 is a 200 page document on ‘Implications of worldwide population growth for U.S. security and overseas interest.’ compiled by the United States National Security Council under the direction of Henry Kissinger, the United States National Security Adviser on December 10, 1974 (source: USAID, NSSM-200).
The document explicitly laid out a detailed strategy by which the United States would aggressively promote population control in developing nations in order to regulate the national resources of these countries.
It was adopted in 1975 under President Ford, then classified for many years and declassified in the early 1990’s.
The document identified 13 nations that would be primary targets of U.S. funded population control efforts. Elements of the implementation of population control programs should include the legalisation of abortion, indoctrination of children, mandatory population control and financial incentives for countries to increase their abortion, sterilisation and contraception-use rates.
NSSM-200 also declared that the United States was to cover up its population control activities and avoid charges of imperialism by inducing the United Nations and various NGOs to do the work.
This has resulted in Western countries funding abortions in countries where it is illegal, lobbying and pushing law makers for legalisation of abortions, giving out sterilizations and contraceptive without explaining the negative efforts. Marie Stopes in Nigeria continues to be funded by USAID, UK DFID and other donors.
Despite massive demographic changes in the world over the past 30 years, NSSM-200 is the foundational document on population control issued by the United States Government.
NSSM-200 advocates the violation of the human rights of millions of people, and calls for the United States to have unfetters access of the natural resources of developing nations. Countries have spent billions of dollars to control the populations of developing countries, while basic healthcare priorities such as clean drinking water remain underfunded.
In Africa, abortion is unacceptable because of traditional moral values. Abortion groups such as Marie Stopes, funded by Western funds, were able to establish in African countries because of their disguise under family planning and also corruption in Government. The abortion groups recruit African workers by paying as high as 5 times the salary of the position of other companies. 60% of Nigerians live on less than a dollar a day.
If Western nations must give aid to Africa, they could use funds to create jobs, sponsor education, provide infrastructure, equip hospitals rather than the destruction of unborn child.