Demographic control: the WHO joins forces with the European abortion lobby

Demographic control: WHO Joins Forces

By Louis-Marie Bonneau1697469413820

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the European parliamentary lobby for world family planning formalized their alliance on August 25, 2023. The WHO hopes to benefit from the lobby’s expertise and network to promote population control among parliamentarians. In return, the lobby will benefit from the WHO’s prestige and political legitimacy. More specifically, the memorandum of understanding commits the WHO’s Human Reproduction Programme (HRP) and the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (EPF). This news once again highlights the WHO’s population control project and strategy, and its historic links with the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). From the creation of scientific standards intended to be neutral, to their imposition on governments in the name of human rights, these organizations are working to extend fertility reduction methods throughout the world.


The instrumentalization of science in favor of demographic control

Created in 2000, the EPF is a direct offshoot of the IPPF.[1] It is not a group of the European Parliament but a lobby acting as a cooperation platform for European parliamentarians committed to the promotion of abortion and contraception in Europe and worldwide. The EPF thus promotes the IPPF’s interests within the European institutions. The HRP is older. It was set up in 1970 within the WHO to produce scientific data with a view to reducing the population. This objective had been advocated by the UN since the 1950s for economic and development reasons. The IPPF has been a permanent member of the HRP’s decision-making body since 1977, while informal collaboration between the EPF and the HRP dates back to 2014.

The HRP, an international public body, has decided to formalize its alliance with the EPF, a private lobby under Belgian law. Both organizations receive substantial funding from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The latter joined the HRP in 1988 and is one of its main financial contributors, having paid out more than 68 million euros since its creation. The UNFPA has also become the main funder of the EPF, with more than 250,000 euros paid out in 2021. EPF is also funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, WHO and IPPF.

The role of the HRP is to publish scientific data. These various lobbies then disseminate it to decision-makers in the name of “science”. However, without disputing the scientific results themselves, it appears that over the course of its history, the HRP’s research programme has been influenced by a limited number of governments and private players, who were its main funders and administrators. What’s more, with research running out of steam since 2000, the fundamental biomedical research carried out within the HRP has given way to the human sciences and communication. The Programme nevertheless retains its influence, as governments interpret its recommendations in the light of the scientific authority conferred on it by the WHO.

In this memorandum, the EPF and the WHO are not saying that they want to control demographics, but rather that they want to “strengthen the bridge between science and policy to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.” This is a “marketing” discourse designed to get the HRP’s demographic message across to politicians. For strategic reasons, these organizations began to stop talking officially about population control in 1994 at the Population Conference in Cairo, in response to the power struggle between the Holy See and the poor countries. The discourse had become more consensual and focused more on human rights: “Abortion” and “contraception” then became synonymous with “women’s health” and “sexual and reproductive rights.”


Behind “sexual and reproductive health and rights”: demographic control

Behind this rhetoric, the plan to control and reduce the world’s population remains unchanged. An article published by the WHO on February 8, 2018 still stated that “Family planning is key to slowing unsustainable population growth and the resulting negative impacts on the economy, environment, and national and regional development efforts.” This article was amended in 2020 and this reference was deleted. Similarly, in 2022, the EPF for Population and Development officially changed its name to EPF for Sexual and Reproductive Rights. This is a marketing strategy designed to conceal their demographic control objectives.

This strategy was confirmed in 2020 when the WHO published its updated guidelines on abortion. In the name of “sexual and reproductive health and rights”, this document promotes a complete liberalization of abortion that is unprecedented in the world. Among other things, it recommends legalizing abortion on demand and unconditionally until the end of the pregnancy. However, as ECLJ has revealed[2], this document was drafted by activists and major pro-abortion foundations and organizations. Of the 142 people who worked on the guidelines, 91 (64%) were activists. Despite this militant work, the document is presented to the Member States as supposedly scientific and neutral. All that remains is for lobbies such as the EPF to promote and impose these guidelines on politicians.

The EPF is also heavily involved in a battle against Christian, pro-life and/or conservative organizations, including the ECLJ, which it presents as forming a secret global network (which is, in fact, none other than the Church). EPF publications are dedicated to denouncing the Vatican and, more generally, all Christian organizations that defend human life, for allegedly fomenting a form of global conspiracy against “sexual and reproductive rights”. The methods used by the EPF are unworthy and border on the legal, in that they attack people rather than their arguments. Already in 2012, the EPF published a “blacklist” of pro-life personalities (including Grégor Puppinck, director of the ECLJ) giving details of their private lives, in particular religious and family details, including details of their children.

Op-Ed published on October 4, 2023 in French, in Valeurs Actuelles.


[1] Neil Datta, biography on the EPF website “Neil founded the organization with a select group of parliamentarians and with the support of IPPF in 2000”. https://www.epfweb.org/node/73

[2]  http://media.aclj.org/pdf/List-of-contributors-to-the-WHO-“Abortion-care-guideline”-ECLJ-June-2022.pdf

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