The Plague of “Contraceptive Imperialism”

What is the best way to conquer a nation and subdue its people?

The great Chinese general Sun Tzu wrote in his classic The Art of War, “All warfare is based primarily on the deception of an enemy. Fighting on a battlefield is the most primitive way of making war. There is no art higher than to destroy your enemy without a fight ― by subverting anything of value in your enemy’s country.”

Twenty-five centuries after Sun, the Senegalese novelist Himidou Kane coined the expression “colonization of the mind.” He said that there are basically two ways to control a people. Historically, this has been done through brute force by waging war with bombs and guns. The primary strategic drawback of this method is that when a nation uses military force to subdue others, it must continually restrain the people from resisting the occupiers.

step into your place

A more permanent and less costly method of conquering a country is to get its people to accept new attitudes through propaganda, which is directed at breaking down the two most important custodians of a nation’s values ― the faith and the family. If this saturation campaign succeeds, the populace controls itself and the nation’s natural resources can be pillaged at will. From the invader’s point of view, the great advantage of this type of program is that the people think that they arrive at important decisions on their own. In reality, the invaders are manipulating them in subtle but almost irresistible ways through the nation’s media and other power structures.

Of course, this “colonization of the mind” must necessarily destroy the identity of the people and force them to assume the moral and ethical values of their conquerors. In other words, the indigenous population eagerly participates in its own absorption into another culture. The “developed” nations don’t inflict violence on the people of a nation we invade; we persuade them to inflict the violence on themselves.

The weapons we give them to do this are condoms, Depo-Provera, IUDs and birth control pills.

The Seven-Step Strategy

The story is the same in every nation that has been subverted by the West’s “contraceptive imperialism.” The process of corrupting and destroying the morals, traditions, and religious beliefs of “less developed countries,” or LDCs, invariably follows the same seven-step sequence. This strategy is devastatingly effective, and it has been fine-tuned by decades of experience.

1. First of all, the population controllers target the focused sources of influence — the national legislature, the court system, the medical and professional associations, and especially the print and electronic media. The people in these occupations are the elite, and are particularly susceptible to corruption with “gifts” of cash and influence. Outright bribery is especially prevalent; population control groups have attempted to corrupt several Human Life International workers in LDCs with offers of brand-new vehicles and large sums of money if they would simply agree to carry and promote condoms. The elite must be persuaded — or compelled, through the use of international pressure or “disincentives” (i.e., blackmail) — to accept the equation SMALL FAMILIES = PROGRESS. The contraceptive imperialists claim that this is the only way to achieve economic equality with the West.

Group of young African kids walking with buckets and jerrycans on their head as they prepare to bring clean water back to their village.

2. Once the national legislature approves contraception for “family planning purposes,” the population controllers flood the nation with pills, IUDs, abortifacients such as Norplant, and, most lethal of all, the “family planning” experts who maintain a hawk-like vigilance to insure that nothing goes awry. Human rights abuses become rampant as quotas are imposed and workers are awarded bonuses for recruiting women into birth control programs.

3. In the third step, the host State, which is now largely footing the bill, joins the massive propaganda campaign. Its objective is to convince the people to abandon their “backward” and “unsophisticated” lifestyles and embrace the idea that unlimited sex without children is desirable. The population controllers begin to agitate for abortion on demand, since the number of “unwanted pregnancies” skyrockets due to frequent contraceptive failures.1

4. Since the ultimate objective of the “popcon” experts is zero (or even negative) population growth, sterilization is next, because it is much more effective and long-lasting than the hormonal methods or condoms. The government offers incentives (and often disincentives) for male and female sterilization, and sets up camps to facilitate extensive sterilization programs. Women are often sterilized without their knowledge or consent as they are having their second child.

5. The fifth step is inevitable. Since contraception very frequently fails, the government legalizes abortion as a necessary backup, but naturally only for the “hard cases.” The population planners are careful to leave in place plenty of meaningless restrictions on abortion, so that the legislators and people can deceive themselves into believing that they really do care about preborn human life.

6. Next, any remaining restrictions on abortion, no matter how trivial, are eliminated one by one for “humanitarian” reasons. Once the fifth step has been taken, this is a remarkably easy process. The abortion rate skyrockets, and the total fertility rate (TFR) plunges to a replacement level and then below replacement.


7. Finally, when the population ages and health care costs rise tremendously because of this aging, the government, now fully embracing all of the practices of the Culture of Death and assisted by anti-life NGOs, begins the movement to legalize euthanasia — but only for the “hard cases,” of course.

Morality and Contraceptive Imperialism

Pope John Paul’s 1987 encyclical Sollicitudo Rei Socialis demonstrates the Church’s understanding of the tactics employed by the Culture of Death:

It is very alarming to see governments in many countries launching systematic campaigns against birth, contrary not only to the cultural and religious identity of the countries themselves but also contrary to the nature of true development. It often happens that these campaigns are the result of pressure and financing coming from abroad, and in some cases they are made a condition for the granting of financial and economic aid and assistance. In any event, there is an absolute lack of respect for the freedom of choice of the parties involved, men and women often subjected to intolerable pressures, including economic ones, in order to force them to submit to this new form of oppression. It is the poorest populations which suffer such mistreatment, and this sometimes leads to a tendency towards a form of racism, or the promotion of certain equally racist forms of eugenics. This fact too, which deserves the most forceful condemnation, is a sign of an erroneous and perverse idea of true human development.

By contrast, Article 15 of Humanist Manifesto II states, “It is the moral obligation of the developed nations to provide birth control techniques to the developing portions of the globe.”

poor children indiaThis condescending attitude is at the heart of the West’s contraceptive imperialism. We have been scared into believing in the phenomenon of “differential fertility”: If we don’t do something fast, we Americans will be inundated with all of those people of color from poor, backward nations (like Mexico and India). And, even worse, these people might even revolt against U.S. commercial control of their economies and take control of their own destinies!

Obviously, contraceptive imperialism is, by its very nature, racist, and transmits loud and clear to the people of developing nations that we simply don’t care about them. As Indian Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen said, “Promoting a family planning first strategy can send a message to poor people: ‘Wish you weren’t here.’”2

Final Thoughts

If we truly cared about the people of less-developed nations, we would redirect the billions we spend each year on population control into authentic economic development that would help alleviate extreme poverty and suffering.

Even many liberals have been condemning contraceptive imperialism for decades. For example, more than forty years ago, feminist writer Lynn Phillips identified the strong link between what is euphemistically labeled “population assistance” and external coercion and control:

[Birth control] is an international strategy in application throughout the world; in Vietnam population control of uncontrollables takes the form of outright genocide, but in Latin America, India, here, and in American colonies, birth control is the favored method…. If there is any truth to the idea of a genocide campaign against black and other minority women, our sisterly concern for [illegal] abortion victims begins to look like a blind.3

The Culture of Death clothes its deadly programs in the camouflage of caring, because these initiatives would not be accepted by the people of developing nations if their true nature were known. The ten billion dollars spent on population control each year fund the Trojan Horse programs that inject the deadly poison of anti-God and anti-family practices into the hearts of these nations.

+ Endnotes

[1] For an example of this kind of program (the USAID saturation campaign in Nigeria), e-mail Brian Clowes at

[2] Amartya Sen, Indian winner of the 1998 Nobel Memorial Prize for Economic Sciences, quoted in Eve Tushnet. “Save the Children by Elimination?” National Catholic Register, August 13-19, 2000, pages 15 and 16.

[3] Lynn Phillips. Everywoman. January 22, 1971, pages 17 and 18. Reprinted from the December 14, 1970 Liberated Guardian.

Another example is Socialist writer K. Agnes White, who makes a disturbingly accurate analysis of the real reason behind our meddling in the affairs of other countries: “The willful distribution of such dangerous forms of birth control [i.e., IUDs banned in the United States for health reasons] in Third World women and the restriction of their use in industrialized countries makes it clear that population control is a racist as well as sexist policy. Along with the fear that the poor and hungry will rebel is the fear that the poor and hungry ― by and large people of Color ― will out-breed Whites” [K. Agnes White. “When is a Decision a Choice?” The Portland (Oregon) Alliance. April 1989, page 10].

Dr. Brian Clowes has been HLI’s director of research since 1995 and is one of the most accomplished and respected intellectuals in the international pro-life movement. Best known as author of the most exhaustive pro-life informational resource volume The Facts of Life, and for his Pro-Life Basic Training Course, Brian is the author of nine books and over 500 scholarly and popular articles, and has traveled to 70 countries on six continents as a pro-life speaker, educator and trainer.


  1. Terry on July 3, 2019 at 4:38 PM

    Get used to it… The future of war will be control of reproduction.

    The great Chinese general Sun Tzu wrote in his classic The Art of War.. There is no art higher than to destroy your enemy without a fight

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