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Special Reports

Winter 2008 Life Decisions International vol. xi i no. 1


by Douglas R. Scott, Jr.
Any organization or individual that tracks the activities of Planned Parenthood will regularly visit the deadly groups websites. This would obviously include International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and its U.S. and Canadian affiliates. Paying a visit to the websites of lesser-known IPPF affiliates can also prove interesting. This is especially true when it comes to the areas of the world IPPF has targeted, such as Africa. During recent visits to the websites of these IPPF affiliates we uncovered some rather startling ways to promote family planning. Then again, knowing what we do about Planned Parenthood, maybe it is not so startling after all.


everal years ago, during a trip to Europe, I spotted a billboard advertising a motion picture called The People vs. Larry Flynt. I had seen advertising for the film before leaving the United States, but this billboard was nothing like anything I had witnessed before. Advertising in North America showed actor Woody Harrelson, who portrayed pornographer Flynt, with his mouth taped shut; the tape bearing the American flag. But this is not what I was seeing in Europe. On several occasions, I saw large billboards showing Harrelson wearing nothing but an American flag around his waist. He was being crucified across a womans private area. This would not have been accepted in North America. Executives at Columbia Pictures, which is owned by Sony Corporation, clearly believed such advertising would not lead to a public relations nightmare in notso-religious Europe. And they were apparently right. Similarly, Planned Parenthoods promotion of family planning varies throughout the world. Planned Parenthood executives would certainly argue that a variety of approaches are needed to reach people of differing religions, traditions, and backgrounds. This makes sense, but just like the executives at Columbia Pictures, Planned Parenthood uses methods overseas that would surely not be used in North America.

In 1999, the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) began a three year transformation that changed its focus from family planning for adults to sexual and reproductive health care for adolescents. The change was made because 54 percent of Ghanas population is under the age of 21. PPAG claims that providing young people with sexual and reproductive health information will help them make healthy choices for themselves and future generations. In line with IPPFs strategic plan, PPAG established several goals, including: 1. Adolescents: To empower all adolescents and young people to access sexual and reproductive health information and services to enable them to make informed sexual and reproductive health choices and decisions. 2. Abortion: To reduce the incidence of unsafe abortion. This will be accomplished by expanding abortionrelated services as an integral part of sexual and reproductive health services. 3. Access: To improve the ability of men and women, especially youth, the poor and marginalized to exercise their rights to access sexual and reproductive health information and high quality services including family planning. Amazingly, this will be accomplished by reducing [by reducing PPAG means undermining, ridiculing and generally attacking; anything but respecting] socio-economic, cultural, religious, political and legal barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive health information, education and services, including abortion. 4. Advocacy: To support adolescent sexual and reproductive health at the national level. None of this is particularly surprising. After all, every IPPF affiliate has the same agenda. Still, there are some approaches that would appall most people. Check out this PPAG poster:

Having too many babies carry serious risks for both mothers and children. The family planning ideal is for every woman not to have more than 4 children.
(The illustration is of seven children hanging on their parents and crying.)


Abstain or Use Contraception
(The illustration is of two young women, one of whom is pregnant. The pregnant woman says, Avoid the mistake I made.)

The poster is not an aberration, as evidenced by these variations on the theme:

Having babies before 18 years places mother and child at risk.
(The illustration is of a young couple, both carrying schoolbooks. The female is pregnant. Both are crying.)

PPAG sells tee-shirts that promote different aspects of family planning. One tee-shirt (below left) promotes condom use. On the front are caricatures of three condoms under the words Wear Me. The back reads, Family PlanningPPAGBetter Life. Another teeshirt (below center) is aimed at men. A man holding an infant is on the front. The message reads, Men Be ResponsiblePlan Your Family. On the back are the words, Men Be ResponsiblePlan Your Family Family PlanningPPAGBetter Life. A third teeshirt (below right) promotes family planning and PPAG. The front reads, Family PlanningBetter Life. The message on the back is Lets Plan It Together.

The Family Planning ideal is to space births at least 2 to 3 years.
(The illustration is of a mother and father with their seven children, all of whom are hanging on their parents and screaming.)

Most approaches used by PPAG are common to IPPF affiliates, but the emphasis on having too many children and the misery it will cause is rather foreign to many people who live in North America. But such messages seem to be common in Africa.

The mission of the Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN), as told by PPFN:
The original core mission of PPFN, a private, not-for-profit organisation founded in the late 1950s, was to promote adoption of child spacing and contraceptive practices among individuals and couples. Over the years, PPFN has evolved from this initial narrow emphasis to a broader, more comprehensive mission which takes on board the implications and needs arising from ICPD [International Conference on Population and Development], the Beijing International Womens Conference, the concern with adolescent RH [reproductive health], and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The resulting package of activities and services focuses on adolescents and young people, designed to promote, protect and enhance their SRH [sexual and reproductive health] and rights along with those of adults. Within the long-term perspective, PPFN envisions a Nigeria where citizens freely and fully exercise their rights to a wide range of quality sexual and reproductive health and rights information and services. Towards this vision, PPFN will continue to grow and develop as a national, non-profit and non-governmental federal organisation affiliated to IPPF. During the strategic plan period, PPFN will renew and
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Needless-to-say, some PPAG material is aimed at men:


(The illustration is of a happy family of four walking together. The husband is carrying a child on his shoulders while blissfully thinking about a condom, which he credits for his good life.)

Some PPAG posters are clearly meant to intimidate or scare girls into using birth control.
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revitalize its efforts at leading, coordinating and supporting the SRH NGO [nongovernmental organization] community to develop its pioneerng and innovation capabilities to complement government efforts in SRH and rights.

DONT have the CHILDREN you cannot Cater for

Start Family Planning Today
(The illustration is of a man with a suitcase with his hand on his wifes shoulder. She is grabbing at his shirt and holding an infant while four other children surround her.)

As previously noted, every IPPF affiliate has the same agenda. But PPFN is bolder than most when it comes to spreading its message of population control. Yes, you are reading the sticker correctly. The FewerThe Merrier. (The PPFN logo is prominently displayed.) Plan your family today for a better tomorrow. Notice that the sticker shows a couple with only two children, which PPFN implies is the secret to happiness. Using this logic, if two will make a couple happy, one would make them thrilled and none would make them ecstatic! According to this PPFN poster, far from being a blessing from God, children are burdens. Why Carry More Burdens? the poster asks. One way to help alleviate the problem that is offspring is to Space Your Children Adequately. Failure to do so could result in catastrophic consequences. Reading such rubbish, what are people, especially youth, supposed to think about having and raising children? Other PPFN posters present the same kind of message in a somewhat more palatable way. The text of this poster reads, Family planning is to have a baby only when you want one. Planned familyplanned and happy, enough food, good health, best education. Family planning is to have the number of children you can care for. Unplanned familyunplanned and in great need A happy planned family is illustrated in the top circle. An unhappy, penniless, unplanned family is depicted in the bottom circle. A shockingly large number of PPFN publications employ the appalling birth control will make you happy, healthy, wealthy, and wise approach:
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Youre better-off with Fewer Children

Start Family Planning Today
(The illustration is of a happy couple with two children, one of whom is an infant.)

Family Planning

Good Health Good Education


Good Food
For Clinical Services and Further Information Contact: Family Planning Clinics
(The illustration is of a financially well-off family.)

For Good Food, Health, Clothing and Education A Planned Family is the Happiest
Visit family planning clinic at...
(The illustration is of a destitute family of five.)

I am happy and contented because mine is a planned family.

Visit family planning clinic at...
(The illustration is of a happy family of four.)

You dont have to be in this MESS! Let us help you plan your family.
Visit family planning clinic at...
(The illustration is of a desperately poor family of eight.)
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The PPGN posters could not get more dreadful, but how about this newspaper advertisement?

PLAN YOUR FAMILY and be happy.

The family is important. You have to space the children properly. Ensure that the family is comfortable and healthy. Both husband and wife should jointly plan how many children they should have and when.. Get involved in family planning now. Visit the nearest
(The illustration is of a happy family of four in front of their house.)

your family members depends on your leadership. Failure to plan your family can leave you unhappy and frustrated if you cannot provide enough to meet your family needs.

The brochure lists several reasons why it is in the best interest of a man to accept birth control, including:
The breakdown of the extended family system in Nigeria means you are now entirely responsible for raising your children. Without this support, many men become ill or die prematurely due to the stress of caring for too many childrens needs. Does your version of the good life include constantly worrying about whether your family will have enough to eat?

According to the PPFN brochure, experts advise men to take six steps to ensure the health of their families:
Delay childbearing until your wife is at least 19 years old. Space births at least two years apart. Have no more than four children. Stop childbearing when your wife reaches 35 years old, or when you reach 50 years old. Prevent your wife from pregnancy if she is not fit. Limit your family size to the number you can care for. This will promote self-reliance and help prevent poverty.

PPFN is big on getting the message to men that they are responsible for family planning. These posters bear the same message; in English (left) and the native tongue (center). On the right is the message in pamphlet form:

The brochure ends by making it clear that a man who does not use birth control is putting his family at risk:
In these hard and uncertain times, it is important to practice family planning to keep a balance between the size of your family and your income. It may make the difference between long life and early death. The Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria urged you to love with care for your health, happiness, and prosperity.


Several other PPFN publications target men. Why Men Should Also Practise Family Planning presents an overall look at the subject and encourages men to take an active role in birth control. A list of various form of birth control, along with the cost of each, is provided. The pamphlet concludes by saying, The condom is an effective contraceptive method for men. Rather than covering the various forms of birth control, Men and Family Planning concentrates heavily on encouraging men to actively promote the use of birth control in the family. As a man, your job as head of the family is all about making important decisions on family matters, the pamphlet begins. (Planned Parenthood leaders see the man as head of the family?) That is why more and more men are getting involved in planning their families. Family planning practice means making decisions about family formation. The introduction continues:
As the head and leader of your family, it is your responsibility to give your family the best opportunity in life. The health and welfare of
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Rumours and Concerns About Family Planning (subtitled, Man!, You Are Responsible for Your Family Welfare; Plan It Well) is a 20-page booklet written in a Rumor/Truth and Concern/Explanation format. Alleviated rumors include: Family planning encourages promiscuity and infidelity amongst women, Family planning is against our culture, Women who take the pill will never be able to have a baby, because the pill afPPGN booklet cover: fects the womb, Pills are unsafe, Nigerian men playing a board game. The pill causes cancer, The IUD causes infections, The IUD will make the women to be sterile [sic], and A woman who uses IUD [sic] will have deformed children later. Alleviated concerns include: Family planning methods fail, Family planning should not be practised because children are a gift from God, Religion is against family planning, The condom does break [sic] during lovePage 4

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making, The IUD causes infections, and A woman who has had a tubal ligation may not get pregnant if she reincarnates. PPFN uses posters (below) to make it seem as though most men are falling in line:

In addition, PPFN uses posters to promote birth control:

I use the CONDOM To plan my family To protect myself against Venereal Diseases (VD) and AIDS Why dont you do the same?
(The illustration is of a smiling man holding up and pointing to a condom.)

In these posters (below), a PPFN employee uses a graphic to make a point about injectable birth control (Depo Provera). The poster at the far right is aimed at Muslim women:

A PPFN sticker bears a similar message but adds another reason for condom use is to ensure reproducetive health and better life expectancy.

Many posters are aimed at women in an effort to convince them that PPFN personnel can be trusted:

I trust her advice so I can plan my tomorrow now

Visit the nearest PPFN clinic
For confidential counselling on safe, modern and reliable child spacing methods suitable for both of you, make a stop at the nearest Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria Clinic. (The illustration is of a mother with a baby consulting with a PPFN employee.)

A calendar, the publication of which was funded in part by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), is called the Responsible Parenthood Almanac. Depicted are a mother and father showing great pride in their daughter who just received a college diploma. Two children look on, dreaming of their graduation. This PPFN poster shows what could have happened to the college graduate depicted in the calendar had she not turned to Planned Parenthood. A young woman, holding a baby, cries as she watches her friends walk to school. The poster reads, Had I KnownI would have waited to finish my education. What the poster does not address is how the birth of the child would have been avoided. PPFN does not offer to help the woman with the child to find ways to get an education. PPFNs message is clear. If you want to have a family that is in good health, your children to get a quality education, and to eat good food, you better pay a visit to your local Planned Parenthood.

Not surprisingly, PPFNs most common publications concern birth control. The following pamphlets and booklets are good examples:

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South Africa

Planned Parenthoods South African branch was established in 1931; not long after eugenics advocate and elitist Margaret Higgins Sanger founded the deadly group. Planned Parenthood Association of South Africa (PPASA) uses posters that have a similar look and overall theme, but the specific messages differ. Each poster includes a key message, which is presented in several different languages (boxed on right side of poster).You will notice that PPASA seems to have a poster for virtually every kind of group.

I have used emergency contraception for preventing pregnancy after unprotected sex. It's your choice.
(The photograph is of a young woman.)

Its your life: use a condom. It's your choice.

(The photograph is of five young people.)

I have chosen vasectomy as my method for preventing pregnancy. It's your choice.
(The photograph is of three men talking to each other.)

I have chosen sterilization as my method for preventing pregnancy. It's your choice.
(The photograph is of a young woman.)

We have chosen condoms for protection against HIV/AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Disease and pregnancy. It's your choice.
(The photograph is of a young couple.)

I have chosen intrauterine device (IUD) as my method for preventing pregnancy. It's your choice.
(The photograph is of a middle-aged woman.)

We have chosen female condoms for protection against HIV/AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Diseases and pregnancy. It's your choice.
(The photograph is of a young couple.) Zambia

I have chosen contraceptive pills as my method for preventing pregnancy. It's your choice.
(The photograph is of a young woman.)

I have chosen the contraceptive injection as my method for preventing pregnancy. It's your choice.
(The photograph is of a woman.)
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Planned Parenthood Association of Zambia (PPAZ) communicates in a much more fundamental way than most IPPF affiliates. A farming analogy is used on one poster. A foolish farmer does not space and weed his crop. For a good harvestToo close a family and too many children means an unhealthy family. A wise farmer spaces his crops to get a good harvest space your children. Illustrated are an unhappy farmer
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with several children and a happy farmer with only two children. No other information is provided. Consider this poster called Mr. Mother? which is aimed at men.


Depends on Your Resources But whatever number you decide to have, space them to ensure the good health of both mother and children Responsible family planning requires serious decisions. We provide Family Planning Counselling and Services.
(The illustration is of a happy family of six surrounding the mother and a newborn.)

Mr. Mother?
Why not let your wife decide when you want the next child? After all it is her body. How would you feel if you were in this state? Sad, isn't it? Then why not allow your wife to rest? Why not space your children? Family planning is the answer. Visit our branches or nearest family planning clinic
(The illustration is of a pregnant man carrying a baby on his back while his wife and son look on.) Sierra Leone

Enough Food for All.
(The illustration is of a family of five having a good meal.)

Advertising by Planned Parenthood Sierra Leone (PPSL) is on a scale similar to that done by PPAZ. Despite the lack of sophistication, the message is made clear in posters:

For Materal and Child Welfare



Wise parents make decisions towards having well planned families. Come for Advice. Visit our Clinics. We will help your family to be HAPPY!
(The illustration is of a pregnant woman with a basket on her head and a crying child on her back.)

A healthy and happy Family; Enough Food for the Family; Adequate attention and care for each child; Good education for each child; Good medical care for the Family; It also helps mothers to regain their health!
(The illustration is of a pregnant mother holding a child by the hand.) Thailand

Space your children for a strong and healthy family.

Space your cassava for strong and healthy plants.
(The illustration is of three children standing in a filed of cassava.)
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Africa is not the only continent where IPPF affiliates take a rather bold approach to family planning. Planned Parenthood Association of Thailand (PPAT) uses underwear to spread the message. A drawing of four condoms is on the garment. The first condom in line is covering its mouth. The second is covering its ears. The third is covering its eyes and the fourth is blasting off. PPAT sells tee-shirts that also feature drawings of condoms. In this case, there are three condoms. The first is putting a condom on its head. The second is pulling a
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condom over its body. The third condom is smiling with its arms crossed. The message is I am safe now! North Korea The one thing you can say about Kim Jong-il is that he sure likes Planned Parenthood. After all, they have much in common: failed policies and programs, the use of execution to eliminate those they see as inconvenient or problems, and a desire to impose beliefs on others. The dictators inability to care for his people has led him to turn to Planned Parenthood for help. If you cannot feed the people, he surmises, decrease the number of people you need to feed. This poster from Planned Parenthood Federation of Korea shows a father, mother and daughter feeding birds in a park. It reads, Have one child; bring him up with love.
By Contrast Happiness

People are not just the cause of the population problem. Theyre also the victims.
(The photograph shows the victims people crowded into a subway car. The ad is also part of PPFAs Children by choice. Not chance series.)

It is really quite amazing to see how much bolder Planned Parenthood leaders are in some parts of the world. Planned Parenthood has assured people that happiness is directly related to childbirth. Every child you allow to be born reduces your level of happiness. How does any of this make sense? It depends on how we measure happiness? The birth of a child means more work for mother and father (if there is a mother and father). There is far less discretionary income, especially if starting a college fund. If there are other children it will be necessary to give them less time so the most recent addition can have some attention. An uncle once told me that when my three sisters and I were children (all 13 months apart in age), my mother would care for us all day and, after putting us to bed, she would sit at the kitchen table. She was dead tired every night, he said. But if any of you kids made a sound she was up in an instant to check on you. A few days later, I told my mother about the conversation I had with her brother. (But if any of you kids made a sound she was up in an instant to check on you.) What was her response? Of course I did! You were my babies! Those were the days when parents willingly and gladly put their children first. Me was not in my mothers vocabulary. She wanted to make the lives of her children better than the one she had lived. My grandmother had wanted the same for her children. It is the natural way; parents want better for their children. But if this is true, why does it seem like so many parents put themselves first and their children second or thirdor fourth? I dont know; maybe Im wrong. I truly hope I am wrong.
Douglas R. Scott, Jr., is president of Life Decisions International. Special Reports, an official periodical of Life Decisions International (LDI), is published quarterly. Send changes of address to LDI at P.O. Box 439, Front Royal, VA 22630-0009 (USA). Comments made herein do not necessarily reflect the views of every member of LDIs Board of Directors, Board of Advisors, or staff. Visit us online at This publication may be copied so long as it is done in full. It may be quoted so long as proper citation is provided with the quotation.
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Take a look at two print advertisements from Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). Some of the points will sound familiar.

An unexpected child can really rock the cradle.

Dont get us wrong. We think children are priceless, too. But if a child happens to be unplanned, it could mean financial pressures. You see, a child is not just an extra mouth to feed. Its a whole other life to be provided for. And that takes money. Fact is, the cost to raise a child to age 18 ran around $25,000 (more for some, less for others, dependent on family income) in the mid-1960s. And what inflation will do to the cost in the future is anybodys guess! But no matter what the amount is, its easy to see that the cost of rearing children is an economic reality one cant ignore. That is, if each child is to get what he or she deserves. Which is why we advise every couple to plan how many children they want. And when they want them; when they can be a welcome addition rather than an accidental burden. Because, as we all know, its awfully hard to give with a full heart when ones pockets are empty.

Children by choice. Not chance.

There is no need to read the entire text of the next ad as one can ascertain the point with a brief glance at the heading and the accompanying photograph:
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