WASHINGTON — Black Christian pastors, doctors and lawyers are calling on the Department of Health and Human Services to abolish its Office of Population Affairs, an entity that they say is responsible for funding contraceptive programs that are partly responsible for a “genocide” in their communities.
In the aftermath of the 2019 March for Life, dozens gathered at Emmanuel Church of God in Christ in Southeast D.C. Friday evening for the “Sudden Uprising” conference to speak out against abortion and to call for an end to federal birth control and contraceptive funding that they argue has helped reduce the African-American population to below replacement level.
The conference was held to introduce a new report outlining the history of federal Title X family planning funding and its ties to the eugenics movement.
The document is critical of the federal government’s complicity in funding contraceptive programs that were more concerned about population control than the side effects, diseases or damage to women’s reproductive system associated with the forms of contraception being given to women by clinics.
The report was produced by The Douglass Leadership Institute, a D.C.-based national education and public policy nonprofit dedicated to issues of life, free market principles and limited government, in conjunction with the Georgia-based Restoration Project and the National Black Pro-Life Coalition.
The report’s target is the HHS Office of Population Affairs, which is housed in the HHS Office of Public Health and Science. The office was created in 1970 during the term of President Richard Nixon to administer Title X funding, which was created to “provide access to contraceptive services, supplies, and information to all who want and need them.”
In 2018, the office administered $286,479,000 in Title X appropriated funds.
“The reality many policymakers do not want to face is that the contraceptive methods that are most effective in preventing pregnancy — and thus pushed aggressively by many Title X-funded clinics — also increase women’s risk of both contracting dangerous or even fatal STD’s and facing long-term fertility challenges,” the report reads.
“This report will demonstrate that when faced with the choice between lower birthrates and women’s health, the Office of Population Affairs has consistently chosen policies and programs which prioritize the reduction of poor and minority birth rates over the reproductive health of poor and minority women.”
While fertility is decreasing across the board in the U.S., the decline in fertility for racial minority women has seen greater decline than white women. Data has shown that black women are twice as likely to face infertility as white women.
“This is not the recipe for public health and economic growth that America was promised with the creation of the OPA and Title X,” the report asserts. “It is well past time to rethink the model of federally funded family planning and begin anew with an outlook that truly prioritizes public health.”
The report criticizes the OPA’s push to fund birth control clinics that provide long-acting reversible contraception like intrauterine devices, contraceptive implants and contraceptive injections.
“The use of LARC’s and permanent sterilization are strongly encouraged by both Medicaid and the OPA through innocuous sounding ‘quality’ measures. These metrics measure the ‘quality’ of the services they provide solely on the basis of preventing pregnancy, without regard to negative side effects, disease prevention or reproductive system damage,” reads the report.
“In other words, according to both Medicaid and the OPA, a method of contraception is considered of high quality (and therefore encouraged and incentivized for use) if it prevents a woman or girl from becoming pregnant, even if it also leaves her permanently sterile, ill from side effects, or deformed or dead from an STD.”
As Planned Parenthood and other abortion organizations are highly active in African-American and racial minority communities, the trend in lower birth rates has not been associated with an improvement in reproductive health as STD rates remain high across the board and “notably worse among low-income and minorities.”
Although Title X funding can’t legally be used to perform abortions, the report objects to the fact that tens of millions of dollars each year go to clinics affiliated with the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood.
“Although in theory Planned Parenthood does not use Title X funds for abortion as method of family planning, it performs abortions in the same facilities that receive Title X funds for family planning services,” the report stresses. “Someone who pays the rent on a massage parlor that is also a brothel cannot reasonably say that he does not fund prostitution.”
The report was handed over to the Trump administration, which has been sympathetic to pro-life causes and has strived to fulfill campaign promises to the pro-life community.
“The left is talking about how they should abolish [Immigration and Customs Enforcement]. If the left can go so far as to say we can abolish ICE, I think people of conscience and minority people should reconsider Title X and OPA,” Douglass Leadership Institute founder Rev. Dean Nelson told The Christian Post. “Maybe we should rethink that. I would like to see them abolish the OPA because of its eugenic roots and because of the fact that we are below replacement level in the black community. It is almost like Margaret Sanger’s vision coming to pass.”