Tuesday, 15 February 2011 08:58

U.S. Government Funds Rwandan Sterilization Campaign

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One more reason to terminate all foreign aid: The U.S. Agency for International Development — funded, of course, by American taxpayers — is providing money to at least two population control groups to engage in a program of essentially forced mass circumcisions and vasectomies in Rwanda.

The New Times reports that Rwanda’s “Minister of Health, Dr. Richard Sezibera, has said that about 700,000 Rwandan men are expected to, voluntarily, enroll for vasectomy in the next three years” as part of a circumcision and vasectomy campaign. “We included circumcision,” Sezibera explained, “because it allows us get to the men’s reproductive system and in the process we advise them on condom use and vasectomy.”

The purpose, obviously, is to curb population growth in a country where the average woman bears five children in her lifetime — “a number that has been deemed too high by international population control groups,” according to LifeSiteNews.com.

Clearly, however, population growth is not a problem in and of itself. The population of the United States, for example, grew quite rapidly over the course of the last two centuries, yet Americans prospered like no other people in history. Problems such as poverty that appear to population control ideologues to be rooted in “too many” people are generally the result of cultural and political factors, not the mere fact of a quickly-growing population.

Nevertheless, these organizations, with the mostly unwilling assistance of both American and Rwandan taxpayers, are now poised to sterilize one-seventh of Rwanda’s entire male population and fully one-half of those of reproductive age, writes Steven W. Mosher of the Population Research Institute, an organization dedicated to opposing the anti-population growth crowd.

Among the population control groups funded by USAID that are pushing this initiative in conjunction with the Rwandan government are IntraHealth International and Family Health International, both of which boast of their participation in this despicable scheme.

Don’t be fooled by Sezibera’s use of the word voluntarily. Mosher points out that the government “has a hard quota of 700,000 vasectomies … over the next three years”; and, he adds, “in PRI’s experience, every single time a sterilization campaign has had a target and a timetable, it inevitably involves coercion and other human rights abuses, just as surely as night follows day.”

As proof, Mosher points to the circumcision campaign that preceded the vasectomy campaign. Allegedly to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS, the circumcision campaign was to target newborns as well as soldiers, police, and university students, according to a 2008 BBC report. The report notes that “while it will be nominally voluntary, correspondents say many in the armed forces will regard it as an order.” Undoubtedly they will respond similarly to strong suggestions from their commanding officers to be sterilized. Civilians, too, will probably submit “because they feel that they must, or risk punitive measures,” Mosher told LifeSiteNews. Governments, after all, do not take kindly to being disobeyed.

“The consequences of sterilizing half of all men of reproductive age will have a serious negative impact on the Rwandan family and economy, and cause additional human suffering among an already-traumatized population,” writes Mosher. One form of suffering it might very well cause, he says, is a restarting of “the Rwandan genocide, as the majority Hutus target the minority Tutsis for sterilization. We at PRI have documented many cases where U.S.-funded population control campaigns have been directed by an ethnic, racial, or religious majority at a despised minority.”

American taxpayers, therefore, are being forced to fund the coerced sterilization of much of the adult male population of Rwanda, a policy that is horrific enough in itself but is made even worse by the fact that it may very well be used for the genocide of an entire ethnic group. Such an expenditure of taxpayers’ money is both unconstitutional and illegal under U.S. law, which prohibits the spending of public funds for forced abortion or sterilization. Even if it were permissible under the Constitution and the law, it would still be wrong on moral grounds for it violates both the God-given liberties of Rwandans and the consciences of many Americans.

PRI is right to call on Congress to investigate this misuse of taxpayer dollars. Congress should do PRI one better and simply cut off all foreign aid. Future generations of Rwandans — not to mention Israelis, Egyptians, Palestinians, Pakistanis, and so on, ad infinitum — will thank them.

Photo: Some of the 23 former Rwandan government soldiers and militia captured by the Rwandan army, sit in a military barracks, May 22, 2001, in Ryinyo, northwest Rwanda: AP Images

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