Franchising Abortion and Sterilization: Population Control Activists Descend on India

International   |   Celeste McGovern and Steven Mosher   |   Nov 13, 2013   |   2:28PM   |   Washington, DC

Think of franchises, and McDonald’s or Starbucks springs to mind. But how about franchising clinics that do abortions and sterilizations? The population control movement has thought of this too. In the developing world, so-called “reproductive health clinics” are spreading like fast food chains in America through a network of organizations that want abortion and birth control drugs as readily available as a slurpee at 7 Eleven.

With their slick marketing and eye-catching logos, these population control franchises are definitely not home-grown. They are not run by local private entrepreneurs, or by charities scraping by on donation budgets. They are global concerns, backed by a potent combination of Big Government, Big Pharma, Big Porn and Big Money. And they all have a Big Population Control Agenda.

The movement is called “social franchising,” and the idea behind it that you sell “behavior change” the way you sell Coca Cola or Apple computers. It’s a little like anti-smoking or get-out-and-vote campaigns, except it is selling the notion that babies are nuisances that one is better off without.

Governments in populous developing nations like India have long carried out crude and cruel campaigns that, for example, paid people to bring in women for sterilization. Now, however, they have signed onto sophisticated social marketing campaigns to “create demand” for the Western population control agenda, helping to underwrite anti-child advertisements in the mass media  under the guise of promoting maternal health.

The governments partner with major population control players like Population Services International (PSI), International Planned Parenthood Federation, DKT International and others. Such groups come loaded with lots of foreign aid, prepared to sell the anti-child message, train the “providers” and regulate the resulting franchises.

PRI interviewed Pritpal Marjara, managing director of PSI-India, who proudly declared, “We create the demand and we also have the products to supply it,” He should know. He has 15 years of experience in the social marketing of anti-people products.

Washington, D.C.-based PSI is the acknowledged frontrunner in the movement to franchise population control. It was founded in 1970 by Philip D. Harvey who, aside from his population control efforts, also started one of the biggest erotica retailers in the world and is a leading producer of pornography. Today  it has an annual budget of $683 million and is working to undermine fertility in nearly 70 countries.

It was PSI that established the first large-scale birth control franchise, launching Greenstar  in  Pakistan in 1991. In the years since, it has trained more than 24,000 “providers” who in turn operate some 7,000 clinics throughout the country. It offers condoms, IUDs, abortifacient emergency contraception, implants and sterilizations to low-income women, baiting them into the clinics by means of a “voucher scheme.”

Although Greenstar eschews mentioning abortion in connection with its operations in Muslim Pakistan, PSI openly provides abortions in neighboring India.

According to Marjara, “Safe abortion is also one of the program elements.” He could not say how many abortions were performed, but insisted that “PSI focuses only on first trimester abortion.” Of course, abortion is never safe for the unborn child being aborted.

Marjara also said that PSI works closely with the government of India, recruiting and training abortion providers. Through its network of 1,000 private providers in 30 districts, it also sells 180 million condoms annually, hands out 200,000 monthly doses of oral contraceptives, and implants 300,000 IUDs.

Sterilization is not on PSI’s menu in India, claimed Marjara. It is a touchy subject there, where men and women have been sterilized in assembly-line fashion over the years. So it’s hardly surprising that PSI might want to distance itself from the practice. But you can hardly say they are taking an active stand against it. For starters, they have no problem partnering with the governments that run the camps. “PSI is a public partnership,” said Marjara. “We have very strong linkages with the government.” Indeed.

What’s more, Marjara explained that the clinics PSI operates are actually “fractional franchisees”. “PSI does not own the clinics,” he explained.“We have no administrative control over the network.” In reality, this means that while PSI might be responsible for quality training and assurance (as it is called), this oversight only applies to the services to which it chooses to apply it. If one of its providers does sterilizations at the clinic, in addition to abortions and IUD insertions, PSI disclaims responsibility. Even though it is underwriting the clinic with funds from American taxpayers.

This is a win-win situation for PSI and the franchisee.  PSI can claim to have nothing to do with coerced sterilizations (or other violations of human rights), while the clinics can operate without much oversight and with generous subsidies from unsuspecting taxpayers. The big losers are the women who get whack-and-hack tubal ligations that a North American veterinarian wouldn’t do to a dog.

Still, some foreign population control groups are more uninhibited than others.  Porn king Harvey’s DKT International runs a franchising operating in India called Janani. Janani boasts that since 1996 it has sterilized over 270,000 women, 12,000 men, and surgically aborted 250,000 babies. It also brags that it has sold over 450 million condoms, 70 million oral contraceptive pills, 150,000  contraceptives, 150,000 IUDs, 250,000 medical abortion pills, and 600,000 emergency contraceptive pills. Quite a record of reproductive ruin.



PSI’s Marjara insisted that the Indian national government has publicly renounced sterilization. “The National Rural Health Mission Strategy has shifted towards birth spacing rather than sterilization,” he claimed.

What this means on the ground is that, while the government is still paying “motivators” to bring in people for sterilization, it has now added IUDs to the list of “products” that it is promoting. This is touted as “providing better maternal care.”

Listen to Marjala: “Home-based deliveries are linked to high mortality.” So the government has introduced a scheme to pay women 1400 rupees (about $30) who have their babies in a hospital franchise. Then, when the baby arrives, the doctor can easily insert a copper IUD in her uterus to prevent any future babies she conceives from implanting there. “If they are in the hospital, then everyone is there, the doctor, the nurse, and it can all be done at the same time and the woman does not have to make a long journey to return to the hospital,” said Marjara.  As if she would want to.

Such behavior might cause a stir in litigious America where women would object to being pressured into accepting an IUD when population control agendas are so obviously in play.

But in India, baby girls are selectively aborted by the millions, little girls are forced into early marriage, and older girls are offered to the Hindu goddess Yellamma as “devadasis”—or lifetime prostitutes. Population control franchises that effectively neuter women play into this anti-female mentality. Rape is, after all, the country’s fastest growing crime. And what is an IUD insertion under duress but a kind of rape?

LifeNews Note: Celeste McGovern and Steven Mosher write for the Population Research Institute.