International Planned Parenthood Universal access to Abortion; Is this the future for the Solomon Islands? Part Three

Read Part Two Here.

IPPF and overcoming cultural and religious opposition:

With regards to the Pacific region IPPF acknowledge; “Although non-government family planning organisations in the Pacific have shown a marked increase in clients if a wider range of methods were available, lack of staff training, lack of support, religious teachings against particular methods all pose a barrier to diversifying available methods.”(IPPF:2010)

Reviews of the Pacific Region also point out that the diversity of the Pacific region, means establishment of family planning programs is complex and not achieved quickly (Menyon & Power).  Reduction in fertility rates is achieved through changes in cultural perspectives as well as providing the means for contraception (Menyon & Power).

 To hasten progress pragmatic tactics are called for such as “analyze opposition messages and tactics and formulate messages and strategies that anticipate, respond and counteract them.” With this strategy in force IPPF then recommend employing social marketing of family planning (Strategic Plan:2010 Framework: 2005).

IPPF also aim to identify and engage at national, provincial and local level with the gatekeepers who can support or undermine Family Planning activities and use them to promote IPPF’s agenda (Menyon&Power).  IPPF acknowledge that Public servants direct policy and funds, individual teachers and headmasters can censor sex education in schools or give their own version(IPPF:2010).  

This approach has led IPPF to work through the local organisation Solomon Island Planned Parenthood Association, the YWCA and Christian groups (IPPF:2010).  IPPF also work with the Population Education and Youth Family Life Campaign which provides information to young women and girls by trusted local women (IPPF:2010).  SIPPA’s outreach programmes provide family planning through its clinics, community-based distribution activities and attempt to develop a positive awareness of “population issues” and family planning inormation by targeting specific radio programmes broadcast throughout the country and training primary school teachers in family planning to integrate it into the national curriculum (IPPF:2010). 

Targeting children is another primary aim which is achieved through introducing family planning philosophy to the national curriculum.  This is a favoured approach of the IPPF as it is a chance to offer family planning ideology to children when they are separated from their family and cultural networks where they are likely to be influenced more effectively (Sedlak:1997).  It also serves to present IPPF doctrine through teachers who are often trusted role models (Sedlak:1997).

By far the most effective proactive outreach programme is connected to the ICPD Plan of Action for 55% use of contraceptives in developing nations.   IPPF use SIPPA in a contact outreach method where health workers go door to door promoting and explaining contraceptive and family planning ideology.  This outreach has increased Contraceptive use by 300% (Chevalier in Menyon & Power:2010)). In conjunction with house calls IPPF have incorporated community based distribution of contraceptive supplies into their outreach programs through mobile clinics and peer educator programmes (Menyon & Power: 2010).

Contraceptives and the direct link to Abortion

It is important to be clear what is entailed when contraceptives are accepted in a country. The next stage of IPPF strategy will be pushed which is to bring the Solomon’s to MDG requirements of access to “safe” abortion.   

IPPF openly state that contraception does not occur without abortion being offered.  Malcolm Potts; past  IPPF Medical Director, talks of coming to the realisation that it is impossible to initiate a family planning program whose purpose is to limit population without widespread abortion. (Vision:2000) “Abortion and contraception are inextricably intertwined in their use.  As the idea of family limitation spreads through a community there appears to be a rise in the incidence of induced abortion at the point where the community begins to initiate the use of contraceptives. .. Abortion is the horse that pulls contraceptive practice into the community.  When abortion is omitted, then family planning programmes often lose direction.” (Potts:2000)

This ideology goes through all leavels of family planning associations with Crane and Horn; researchers for the United Nations Millennium Project and ICPD, recommending that; “to stabilise population, promoting use of effective means of contraception – as a substitute for abortion – is generally regarded as a desired policy goal.  At the same time, while supporting contraception, governments should also ensure access to legal, voluntary and safe abortion” (Horn & Craw:2006).

Conclusion:

It is vital to be prepared and initiate a strategy to counter IPPF aims for the Solomon Islands.  IPPF’s early stages of family planning are only one step in a long term strategy to bring abortion to the country and the Pacific Region.   Solomon Islanders are at a cultural crossroad where those who wish to preserve their religion and kastom and avoid the degradation to culture which comes with abortion need to formulate a strategy and actively and openly oppose IPPF.   IPPF will not stop at offering contraceptives, contraceptives and abortion are intertwined.

References:

“Abortion for All: How the International Planned Parenthood Federation promotes abortion around the world” lifeissues.net: clear thinking about crucial issues.  Report published by the Population Research Institute www.lifeissues.net 

Ben, Sarah & Siama, Crispin “IEC strategies on the prevention of teenage pregnancy among young people in Honiara” Supported by: Ministry of Health, United Nations Population Fund, Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

Bernstein, Stan.  Juul Hansen, Charlotte.  2006  “Public Choices, Private Decisions: Sexual and Reproductive Health and the Millennium Development Goals”  Millennium Project

Bulatao, R 1998 “The Value of Family Planning in Developing Countries RAND Santa Monica USA

C-Fam Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute “ IPPF Unveils Ten-Year Plan for Worldwide Abortion”

Chevalier, Christopher “Solomon Islands: Cultural and Social Considerations” www.acfid.asn.au

 Crane, Barbara B, Horn Smith Charlotte E:  2006 “Access to Safe Abortion : An Essential Strategy for Achieving the Millennium Development Goals to Improve Maternal Health, Promote Gender Equality, and Reduce Poverty” Prepared at the request of the UN Millennium Project

“Contraceptive Prevalence (% of Women Ages 15 – 49) in the Solomon Islands” www.tradingeconomics.com

Family Planning Association International Development Submission : To the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee On the Inquiry into New Zealand’s Relationship with South Pacific Island Countries 25 May 2007

Freedman, R.  Do Family Planning Programs affect fertility preferences? Studies in Family Planning Vol 28 number 1 March 1997 www.globalhealthfacts.org

Haberkorn, G Fertility and Mortality in the Pacific Islands , Pacific Health Dialog Vol 2 Number 1 March 1995

www.icomp.org.my “Identification of Gaps and Issues” UNFPA and ICPMP Asia and the Pacific Regional Consultation Family Planning In Asia and Pacific – Addressing the Challenges 

International Family Planning “Cost-benefit analyses of family planning” www.fpi.org.nz

International Planned Parenthood Federation “Projects: Solomon Islands”  www.ippf.org

International Planned Parenthood Federation “Solomon Islands Planned Parenthood Association (SIPPA) www.ippf.org

International Planned Parenthood “Framework 2005 – 2015” 2005

International Planned Parenthood Federation “Strategic Plan 2010 – 2015” Western Hemisphere Region, Inc :2010

Menyon, Maggie.  Power, Jennifer. “Family Planning in the Pacific Region: Getting the basics right” Paper presented at the International Symposium “Population Change in Asia and the Pacific: Implications for Development Policy” Australian Reproductive Health Alliance.

Pacifika Medical Association “Strategic Plan 2009 – 2014”

Paterson, Janis.  Tumanama Cowly, Esther.  Teuila, Percival and Williams, Maynard.  2004 “Pregnancy planning by mothers of Pacific infants recently delivered at Middlemore Hospital”   Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 30 January 2004, Vol 117 No 1188

Sedlak, James W: 1997 “Deadly Deception” Human Life International

United Nations Social Development Division, Social Policy and Population Section. “Towards Health, Choice and Rights” Strategic Plan 2004 – 2008 International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network Regional Office.

 

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