Another Threat to Afghan Women


(Steven W. Mosher is President of the Population Research Institute, and author of Hegemon: China’s Plan to Dominate Asia and the World.)


Given the great unmet need for food, shelter, water and basic health supplies — along with strong opposition to abortion throughout the Islamic world — the UNFPA’s Afghan refugee operations are gaining little ground against the intended recipients.

Early reports confirm that war traumatized refugees, approached by UNFPA workers pandering abortion services, wander away quickly. And a few brave refugees — in an attempt to protect their female population and progeny — have confiscated morning-after abortion pills provided by UNFPA.

Still, the UNFPA offers only abortion and “family planning” services to Afghan women and their families. Infant and maternal mortality rates rank among the highest in the world in this refugee setting, yet basic life-saving aid from UNFPA remains in want.

The immediate goal for the UNFPA is to break down cultural resistance to abortion and contraception within the refugee camps. UNFPA’s long-term goal is to establish permanent operations in Afghanistan. In conjunction with international abortion providers Marie Stopes and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), UNFPA plans to spend an estimated total of $20 million for abortion services within Afghanistan over the next few years.

In this way, establishing permanent operations from a refugee setting, UNFPA’s campaign against Afghan refugees resembles its 1999 campaign aimed at Kosovar refugee women. PRI interviewed several Kosovar women in Pristina who described the “genocidal” function of UNFPA’s abortion services as a “White Plague.”

During investigations of UNFPA operations in refugee settings, PRI discovered that abortions were conducted without adequate informed consent.

War trauma and Taliban atrocities now provide the UNFPA with the opportunity to engage in coercive family planning programs in Afghanistan, under the guise of women’s health.

In Washington last week, negotiations on the FY 2002 foreign aid bill ground to a halt because of controversies surrounding the UNFPA. The bill, totaling more than $15 billion, contains millions for life saving aid for Afghanistan women and children. Tragically, however, this bill also contains tens of millions for the UNFPA, an organization which promotes coercive abortion and sterilization in China (see: www.pop.org/china).

Steven W. Mosher

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Steven W. Mosher is the President of Population Research Institute and an internationally recognized authority on China and population issues, as well as an acclaimed author, speaker. He has worked tirelessly since 1979 to fight coercive population control programs and has helped hundreds of thousands of women and families worldwide over the years.

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