Sunday 22 March 2009

IPPF attacks Pope to protect "big business"

It's little wonder that International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has led the attacks on Pope Benedict's for declaring that condoms are not the solution for AIDS. It's bad for big business.

As long ago as 1973, IPPF highlighted "family planning" as "big business" at their Planning for the Future International Conference held at Brighton, England, October 22-27, 1973. The report of a key paper at the conference states: "It is noted that family planning is big business … the role of the IPPF is to persuade people throughout the world to accept the need of family planning."

“Family planning” for IPPF, of course, includes “contraception”. And what could be worse for the promotion of condoms than a supremely authoritative figure as the Pope suggesting that condoms may make the AIDS problem worse?

How ironic that the very IPPF press statement attacking the Pope refers to the World Health Organization statement that "consistent and correct" condom use reduces the risk of HIV infection by 90 per cent, a point made in an excellent letter in The Times from Liz Todd.

Supposing research was to indicate that children reduced the risk of injury or death by 90% when playing with fire if they have a good water supply readily available. How would society view parents who allowed their children to play with matches on such a basis? Most reasonable people might conclude that sooner or later the children would have a serious accident, with or without a readily available water supply, whereas not playing with matches would eliminate the risk completely.

As Liz Todd points out: "If one’s partner has Aids or is HIV-positive, abstinence will eliminate the risk of contagion or death completely; condom use, however, will mitigate these risks by 90 per cent at best. Even the WHO report and statistics on condom use in Aids and HIV cases acknowledge this fact." And as Cardinal Murphy O'Connor points out on the same day in The Times: "It is certainly true that the widespread distribution of condoms can run the risk of greater promiscuity and that the best way to combat the Aids epidemic is by healthcare, education and fidelity in married life."

The Cardinal's observation regarding “the risk of greater promiscuity” leads us to another reason why IPPF attacks the Pope in order to protect big business. IPPF, as the world's largest non-governmental organization working to promote and provide "reproductive health services", promotes abortions worldwide. ("Reproductive health" is a term defined by IPPF as including access to abortion on demand: See IPPF's definition of "reproductive health" which includes the right to "their choice for regulation of fertility which are not against the law"; and see IPPF's definition of "fertility regulation" which includes "interrupting unwanted pregnancies".

Greater promiscuity can lead to more pregnancies which, in its turn, leads to more abortions.

In a different social context, for example, Professor David Paton, who holds a chair in Economics at Nottingham University, has shown in a paper entitled The economics of family planning and underage conceptions" (this paper is not available free online, but if you would like a copy please contact me) that family planning, and increased access to it, increases the likelihood that teenagers will engage in sexual activity. Prof. Paton says: "I find no evidence that greater access to family planning has reduced underage conceptions or abortions. Indeed, there is some evidence that greater access is associated with an increase in underage conceptions..."

Elsewhere, Professor Paton discusses a principle which in the insurance industry is called “moral hazard”. The principle is that the greater the level of coverage afforded by any insurance scheme the more likely the insurance holder will be to take chances. Applying this principle to the current debate, Prof. Paton explains: "For those youngsters who are not opposed in principle to abortion, it provides a way in which, if pregnancy occurs, birth can be avoided, i.e. if pregnancy occurs either through failed or non-use of contraception, there is a possible let out clause."

Yesterday in Angola, Pope Benedict called on his listeners to be aware of the "adverse conditions to which many women have been -- and continue to be -- subjected, paying particular attention to ways in which the behavior and attitudes of men, who at times show a lack of sensitivity and responsibility, may be to blame … This forms no part of God's plan."

It’s Pope Benedict, not IPPF, who is defending the dignity of women – by opposing condoms which he rightly says can lead to the spread of AIDS and an increase in abortions. But then, unlike IPPF, Pope Benedict does not have a “big business” to protect.