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PRI Weekly Briefing - anti-pregnancy vaccineSat, 3 Mar 2001 13:57:55 -0800
Dear Members and Friends -
The misguided search for an anti-pregnancy vaccine continues, at the University of Virginia and elsewhere, in order to cope with "overpopulation" in the world's less-developed countries. China is an eager collaborator with the U.S. National Institutes of Health in such ventures. The possibilities for abuse are enormous.
Steven W. Mosher President PRI Weekly Briefing 2 March 2001 Vol. 3 / No. 6 A "Stick" in Time Saves Nine By Steven W. Mosher
In Paul Ehrlich's crude fantasy, The Population Bomb, "compulsory birth regulation" was to be achieved by polluting the water supply with "mass sterilizing agents."
More sophisticated population controllers dreamed of a contraceptive vaccine that would, with the stick of a needle, sterilize women (or men) for years at a time. The zealous among them, and there were many, argued that the seriousness of the problem made it necessary to administer the shots by force.
"Our country and our world is presently engulfed by a pregnancy epidemic which threatens to destroy us all," wrote Edgar Chasteen in 1971. "Public health and safety is now in as much danger from the pregnancy epidemic as it was from smallpox in the eighteenth century, and the solution is the same: the development of effective immunization and the enactment of compulsory legislation."
Efforts to develop an anti-pregnancy vaccine began shortly thereafter. Early research focused on human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), a hormone produced early in pregnancy that facilitates the growth of the human embryo and its implantation in the uterus. By tricking the woman's immune system into attacking her own HCG, the vaccine caused an early miscarriage. The anti-HCG vaccine, which has been used in India and elsewhere, is thus an abortifacient.
As science has become more sophisticated, however, so have the efforts to develop an anti-pregnancy vaccine. At the University of Virginia, Dr. John Herr is carrying out research on something called "recombinant gamete contraceptive vaccinogens." What Herr hopes to do, put in plain English, is develop a vaccine that will cause a woman's body to react to sperm in the same way that it does to, say, germs. The immune response that follows will disable and destroy any sperm that enter the Fallopian tubes before they reach any egg that might be present, thus preventing conception.
Dr. Herr's vaccine is intended for use abroad, as he himself readily admits. The world's population is expected to increase from 6 billion to more than 7 billion by 2025, he says, claiming that half (!) of all pregnancies are unintended. "We need new contraceptive options. We need new strategies that are complementary to many different cultures."
The National Institutes of Health (NIH), which helps to fund Dr. Herr's research, is even more direct about the intended use of the vaccine. According to the NIH news release announcing Dr. Herr's grant, "The future of human population growth is largely being decided by the world's less-developed countries (LDCs). Indeed, 99 percent of global natural population increase - the difference between the numbers of births and deaths - occurs in the developing world."
What the press release doesn't say is that the reason that the population is only increasing in the developing world is that it is falling - or will soon begin to fall - everywhere else. Europe, North America, Australia, and large parts of Latin America, Asia and Africa are now at or below replacement rate fertility. In a world of falling birth rates, continuing to inflame fears of overpopulation is irresponsible, to say the least.
And what about needing a new contraceptive vaccine that is "complementary to many different cultures?" Such as China's, perhaps. One has to admit that Dr. Herr's new contraceptive vaccine would be perfect for China's population control police. One can almost imagine Chinese women being lined up to receive their injections of contraceptive vaccine, just as they have been rounded up to have their IUDs inserted, or their pelvic regions examined, or their pregnancies terminated, for the last twenty years.
This is not idle speculation. It turns out that one of the countries with which Dr. Herr's Center is collaborating is China. And that, courtesty of NIH funding, no fewer than six researchers from China will come to the University of Virginia to study contraceptive vaccines in the years to come. The one-party dictatorship that so brutally rules China may one day soon have yet another weapon - er, "contraceptive option" - in its war on families and women.
The National Institutes of Health, not Dr. Herr, bears the principal responsibility for these lapses. It is off base when it advances outdated Malthusian theory to justify its ongoing war on people. Virtually everyone now agrees that the population of the world will peak in a few decades and begin to decline. But it is completely out in left field in funding Chinese researchers. In bringing population controllers from China to the University of Virginia, the University of Michigan and the University of North Carolina, it violates its own program guidelines.
Here is what the NIH says about its International Training and Research in Population and Health Program (ITRPH): "The intent of this program is to . . . extend research and training efforts to developing countries and emerging democracies in support of population issues of mutual priority . . . . [and to] strengthen ability of scientists from developing nations to . . . advance knowledge in support of population policies appropriate for their home countries and established international guidelines."
China is not a democracy, as everyone knows, but a one-party dictatorship that rules by force and the threat of force. Nowhere has its rule been harsher in recent years than in its suppression of births by means of forced contraception, sterilization, and abortion. China's one-child-per-couple policy flies in the face of "established international guidelines," which mandate voluntarism and reserve to parents - not the state - the right to decide for themselves the number and spacing of their children.
It is an embarrassment for the National Institutes of Health to fund, and for American universities to train researchers from China's state-run population and family planning institutes. Will they not return to China to wield their newly honed skills in the service of Beijing's assault upon women and families? And will we not be complicit in the violations of human rights that will surely result? [End]
Steven W. Mosher is President of the Population Research Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to debunking the myth that the world is overpopulated.
 The Population Bomb (Ballintine, 1968), pp. 135-8. Ehrlich went on to
say that he preferred to tax large families into poverty.
________________________________ Population Research Institute 1190 Progress Dr. Suite 2D P.O. Box 1559 Front Royal, Virginia 22630 USA http://www.pop.org Media Contact: Vince Criste 540-622-5240 Ext. 206