The United States is pursuing an agenda of sexual imperialism in developing nations by imposing an ideological vision of sex and reproduction at the cost of foreign people’s health and well-being. USAID granted $30 million to the Abt Associates to pursue a policy of “generating demand” for family planning and contraception. Through the company’s family planning programs they seek to “Conduct behavior change communication interventions to overcome socio-cultural and religious barriers and stimulate demand for FP.” Essentially, the existing customs and religious beliefs of foreign peoples are viewed as barriers that prevent the gospel of family planning from being spread. But will the family planning gospel be received as good news by the peoples in India and the African continent?
Medical research suggests that the contraceptives promoted by Abt Associates will not usher in an era of increased health for women. DMPA injections, a form of long-term birth control, have been shown to decrease bone density significantly. In addition, oral contraceptives have been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer. Why would this organization try to “generate demand” for birth control and other methods of family planning that are harmful and have the risk of adversely affecting a woman’s health?
Abt Associates primarily wants to change sexual behavior and mores in these regions rather than merely make available resources. This mission will be pursued regardless of the potential health problems that may now plague these regions. This callous agenda is not unlike any imperialist policy that tried to “civilize” the “savages” of developing nations. USAID, through its support of Abt Associates, has gotten into to business of deciding nations’ values rather than aiding in their development. Is it acceptable for Western nations to impose their own secularized sexual doctrines and regulations upon foreign populations at the peoples’ peril? Certainly not if those doctrines and policies threaten the health of women! Unfortunately, organizations like Abt view cultures and religions as just obstacles to overrun as they pave the way for a brave new world. Sadly, the health of the citizens of developing foreign nations will be put in jeopardy in order to do so.