A couples of days ago, I wrote about The Gates Foundation push for making contraception more widely available over the next 7 or 8 years, and the reaction of the Roman Catholic Church to her efforts.
Reactions from the religious have continued to pour in.
Kenya is one of the signatories to the agreement.
The aim of the government is to control the current population growth rate of 2.9 per cent per annum. This translates to one million more births added to the population annually.
The country’s population, which stood at 15.3 million in 1979, shot up to 38.6 million by the time the 2009 census was conducted.
John Cardinal Njue writing on behalf of Catholic Bishops of Kenya, under the Kenya Episcopal Conference, disagrees with this stance.,
The drive by foreign agencies, whose motives we hardly comprehend to target millions of girls and women in Africa for the artificial family planning programme by the year 2020 is unimaginable, dangerous and could lead to destruction of the human society and by extension the human race.
Just a touch of hyperbole here. The human race is much more likely to perish from overpopulation beyond the ability of the planet to provide resources than it is from family planning. As he indicates, the target is women, those second class citizens as defined by the Catholic Church.
We cannot allow our country to be part of an international agenda, driven by foreign funds and by so doing, losing our independence and our African values of the family and society.
Obviously, this man does not understand irony as he decries outside interference in Kenyan affairs while he stands in a pulpit whose authority is derived from Rome. He also doesn’t mention that the people who signed the agreement are Kenyans elected by other Kenyans. There are issues with the validity of the current regime, but Njue’s supposed legitimacy is entirely defined by the Vatican.
We would like to remind the Government of Kenya that many countries, which took such decisions, are now regretting with declining populations and nobody to consume or enjoy the much hyped development. This obviously means that strategies were drawn to develop countries without consideration of the centrality of the human person, the reason for any development.
There can be problems with negative population growth, but as Time Magazine points out, the issue is not as simple as family planning. Most of the countries afflicted are from the former Soviet block and share several features.
Common to almost all of them are vicious combinations of low birth rates, high death rates, low immigration and rising emigration.
It is not clear why such a large amount of money (Ksh 356 billion) is being used for contraceptives while many women are dying daily due to lack of proper medical care, food and housing.
Unlike most experts who would place women’s rights, including reproductive rights, as a priority in improving health care and opportunities for women.
There are other efficient ways of proactive and Responsible Parenthood through the practice of Natural Family Planning. This of course demands discipline through abstinence, which is a necessary value in married life. This should not be rubbished as impossible.
Kenya is not the only country, and probably isn’t the worst, where these issues exist. These comments by John Njue will, as he intends, reach a much broader audience than Kenyan Roman Catholics and affect many in the continent and beyond.
A statement from the Vatican also provides deliberate lies and makes false equivalencies to push their agenda.
“An example, little known but striking, of the success of BOM has been its adoption in China,” writes Galeotti. “The communist government of Peking was very interested in a method of regulation that cost nothing and didn’t damage the health of the woman, a method considered 98% reliable.”
However, the “original and unpardonable sin,” of BOM is that ” it is completely free, an aspect that, evidently, makes it very unpopular with the pharmaceutical industry, which, through chemical contraceptives, obtains enormous profits, as will others thanks to the philanthropy of Mrs. Gates.”
Galeotti warns that if Gates persists in “disinformation, presenting things in a false manner,” she “runs the risk” of falling into the kind of corporate exploitation carried out by Nestlé, which distributes powdered milk to pregnant women free, then charges them for it once they cease to produce breast milk, and pressures them with advertising portraying breastfeeding as “barbaric.”
Whether the Chinese government is pushing BOM (Billings Ovulation Method) I have no idea, but the 98% effectiveness claim is patently false. There just is no evidence to back up that claim. Evidence of efficacy, not profit, is behind this initiative.
Lastly, they bring up the business practices of Nestlé who purportedly provided free infant formula long enough to interfere with lactation and force mothers to continue to purchase their product. This was a major scandal 35 years ago that has virtually died out. It is certainly disingenuous to compare this contraceptive initiative to the Nestlé controversy.
Galeotti accuses Gates of “disinformation, presenting things in a false manner,” however, it is the Vatican that is twisting facts and attempting to push an agenda that is contrary to the best interests of women.
The Vatican is disavowing Melinda Gates claim to be following her Catholic conscience. Tthe further she separates herself from them, the better off the world will be.