March 21st 2009

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: NCC denounces Labor's decision to fund abortions

EDITORIAL: Meeting the global demographic challenge

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Rudd Government faces horror budget

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS: After meltdown, who will provide for retirees?

LEGAL AFFAIRS: Unelected judges are today's new aristocracy

POPULATION: Melbourne scientist praises China's one-child policy

BUSHFIRES: Greens adopt tobacco lobby tactics

NORTHERN QUEENSLAND: No vision for Australia's vast water supplies

AUSTRALIA AND ASIA: Lucky Country or mugged by reality?

GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR: Lahore terrorist attack affects us all

UNITED STATES: More scandals surround Obama nominations

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Behind East Timor's 10 per cent growth rate

SRI LANKA: Sectarian, anti-Christian bill re-appears

CINEMA AND CULTURE: Re-writing history, Hollywood-style

AS THE WORLD TURNS: US government schools teach pro-Islamic propaganda

BOOKS: FATHER OF THE HOUSE: The memoirs of Kim E. Beazley

BOOKS: THE TRIUMPH OF THE AIRHEADS and the Retreat from Commonsense by Shelley Gare

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Melbourne scientist praises China's one-child policy

by Bill Muehlenberg

News Weekly, March 21, 2009
Melbourne University professor of reproductive technology Roger Short recently praised China's coercive population-control policies, which include forced abortions and forced sterilisations. Bill Muehlenberg reports.

Planet earth is doomed. That is the clear message coming from the population-control zealots. These anti-natalists are certain that if we do not immediately take radical steps to curb population growth we will all perish. Of course, we have been hearing this gloom-and-doom ideology for decades now.

The most recent case of Chicken Little thinking comes from Melbourne University professor of reproductive biology Roger Short. He told an international healthcare conference in Sydney on March 6 that the world is overpopulating itself to a catastrophic future of terrorism and climatic disaster.

He says that human activity is outstripping the natural world's ability to cope because of exploding and uncontrolled population growth.

According to press accounts, "He is calling for a vast increase in the availability and use of contraception to slow the birthrate worldwide, and says only one country - China, through its one-child policy - has shown the way to future stability and sustainable environmental and economic growth." (The Age, Melbourne, March 6, 2009).

His praise of the Chinese policy is ironic for many reasons, including the fact that the conference at which he is speaking is the 25th "Foetus as a Patient" international congress, which focuses on the care of pregnant women and their babies.

However, care of pregnant women and their babies is exactly what is not taking place in China. For three decades, China's notorious one-child policy has been all about coercion, brutality and eugenics. It has resulted in millions of dead babies and brutalised mothers.

Steven W. Mosher is president of the US-based Population Research Institute (PRI). Having lived in China and witnessed first-hand the terrible practices of China's population-reduction programs, he argues that this is the last nation that should be held up as any sort of example - except perhaps as a bad example.

China has been coercing women into forced abortions and forced sterilisations in unprecedented numbers. Basic human rights are being systematically violated along the way. The horror stories coming out of China are as grievous as they are revolting. Yet Western intellectuals keep insisting that China is the model to emulate.

But as Mosher warns in his 2008 book, Population Control: Real Costs, Illusory Benefits, "This message - that anything goes in the name of population control - is underscored each time the controllers extol China's one-child policy" (p.95). It simply legitimises some very illegitimate and immoral practices.

Not to be outdone, however, on the same day that professor Short was extolling China and its coercive population-controllers, another anti-natalist group was lobbying the Rudd Government.

Marie Stopes International Australia issued a media release urging the Rudd Government to change the current Australian Government's overseas aid program (AusAID) Family Planning Guidelines, which prevent government monies going to abortion services overseas.

Both the former US Bush Administration and former Howard Government in Australia banned such funding. But pro-abortion President Barack Obama has already reversed the policy in the US, and population-controllers have now (as of March 10) succeeded in pressuring the Rudd Government to do the same.

I have previously written about this on my website (February 5). In that piece I not only discussed the foreign aid funding issue, but quoted a leading American eugenicist and population controller, Margaret Sanger (1879-1966), who was the founder of Planned Parenthood International.

She once said: "[Woman's] instincts are fundamentally creative, not destructive. But her sex-bondage has made her the dumb instrument of the monster she detests. For centuries she has populated the earth in ignorance and without restraint, in vast numbers and with staggering rapidity. She has become not the mother of a nobler race, but a mere breeding machine grinding out a humanity which fills insane asylums, almshouses and sweat shops, and provides cannon fodder that tyrants may rise to power on the sacrifice of her offspring."

Sterilisation and eugenics

Sanger had a counterpart in the United Kingdom, Marie Stopes (1880-1958). Both women had much in common, as did their respective organisations, Planned Parenthood International (PPI) and Marie Stopes International (MSI). Both advocated abortion, sterilisation and eugenics, and both helped prepare some of the ideological ground for the rise of the Nazis.

In fact, Stopes was quite infatuated with Hitler. British columnist Gerard Warner, writing late last year, picks up the story with a quote from a letter Stopes wrote to the German dictator: "Dear Herr Hitler, Love is the greatest thing in the world: so will you accept from me these (poems) that you may allow the young people of your nation to have them?"

Warner goes on: "These gushing words from an ardent fan (she was lucky Unity Mitford did not scratch her eyes out) were written in August 1939, just a month before [Britain] went to war with Nazi Germany, by Marie Stopes, the 'woman of distinction' who will ornament [Britain's] 50p stamps from October.

"Sending the Fuhrer a book of her sentimental poems was an appropriate gesture. This keen advocate of eugenics and subverter of family life had a long career of activity in the politics of human reproduction.

"In 1919 she urged the National Birth Rate Commission to support mandatory sterilisation of parents who were diseased, prone to drunkenness or of bad character. In 1920, in her book Radiant Motherhood, she demanded 'the sterilisation of those totally unfit for parenthood be made an immediate possibility, indeed made compulsory'. Her 1921 slogan was: 'Joyful and Deliberate Motherhood, A Safe Light in our Racial Darkness'.

"Her organisation was called the Society for Constructive Birth Control and Racial Progress and her clinics were situated in poor areas, to reduce the birth rate of the local residents. ...

"In 1935 she was present at the International Congress for Population Science in Berlin, held under the auspices of the Third Reich. On her death she bequeathed her clinic and much of her fortune to the Eugenics Society.

"Today, Marie Stopes International has nearly 500 centres in 38 countries, performing more than half a million sterilisations a year, and is a major abortion provider."

Warner concludes, "Considering the hysteria nowadays attaching to issues of race, at first sight it seems extraordinary that Stopes should have earned commemoration on a stamp.

"To the PC establishment, however, even racist peccadilloes can be ignored to honour a pioneer who helped promote the anti-life culture and relieve women of the intolerable trauma of giving birth to a child with a cleft palate.

"Eugenic abortion accounts for an increasing proportion of the 7 million 'terminations' in Britain since 1967.

"Poor old Josef Mengele was not eligible for a stamp, being a dead, white male. Perhaps in 2009..." (Gerald Warner, The Telegraph blog, UK, August 28, 2008).

Sanger, Stopes, Short - birds of a feather flock together. Sure, Short would undoubtedly distance himself from eugenics and the Nazis. But given his praise for China's coercive population-control policies, perhaps he is not all that different from Sanger and Stopes after all.

Regardless of difference of opinion over means, all three share an anti-natalist fatalism. They are convinced that we are over-populated, and radical measures must be taken immediately to deal with the problem.

The result is always the same: more death and depersonalisation, all in the name of humanity.

- Bill Muehlenberg is a commentator on contemporary issues, and lectures in ethics and philosophy. His website CultureWatch is at:

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