There exists an extraordinary connection between the rise in demand for abortion rights around the world and US foreign policy. Henry Kissinger, former National Security Advisor and US Secretary of State under Nixon and Ford, is a political ghost who refuses to go away. In the early 1970s he was behind the drafting of the secret ‘Memorandum 200 (declassified in 1980),’ a security report that adopted a horrific and clinical Malthusianism scheme for the furtherance of United States strategic influence abroad. This document sets out an understanding of worldwide population growth as a threat to US interests at home and internationally. The theory runs that population growth will destabilise nations, and the resultant chaos would either be an obstacle to US expansionism or create a growing threat to America’s national security.
Before even the People’s Republic of China introduced its barbaric One Child Policy Kissinger’s solution was population control. This had nothing to do with women’s liberation or reproductive rights but everything to do with the politics of global domination. Memorandum 200, the terrifyingly named “Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for US Security and Overseas Interests (1974),” goes 123 pages of fantastic detail into the measures the United States should – and did – take to curb the upward trend in global population. Key to this project was the use of foreign aid:
Beyond seeking to reach and influence national leaders, improved world-wide support for population-related efforts should be sought through increased emphasis on mass media and other population education and motivation programs by the UN, USIA, and USAID.
– Memorandum 200, page 82.
The Kissinger Plan would use every means possible to educate the world and so fabricate a fashion for family planning; a trend already anticipated by the 1968 Papal Encyclical Humanæ Vitæ (Paul VI). Irrespective of the merits of individual’s choices regarding their relationships and families, this was a move to impose, through coercion and deceit at the highest levels of international politics, a programme that deeply compromised the fundamental human right of people to privacy and the foundation of a family. What Kissinger was doing was directing the might of the United States and the United Nations into a war on the family.
Other than education and contraception – certainly not bad things in and of themselves – abortion, as a means of population control, was high on Kissinger’s agenda. He mentions abortion 44 times in the 123 pages, strongly indicating his opinion that this should be pushed on the Developing World, but, unfortunately for him, Section 114 of the Foreign Assistance Act (1964) prohibited the use of US foreign aid funds to “be used to pay for the performance of abortions as a method of family planning or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortions.” Yet this legal hindrance was overcome by his diplomatic manœuvring wherein he directed US efforts towards a more personal “reach and influence” strategy directed at national leaders.