THURSDAY
March 16, 2000
volume 11, no. 54
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

IS US AGENCY FUNDING STERILIZATION OF PERUVIAN WOMEN?

    WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - Republican congressmen on Tuesday called for an investigation into the US Agency for International Development and allegations the Peruvian government is using US aid to force poor women to have sterilizations.

    Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kansas, was responding to a report by the Population Research Institute (PRI) which showed that poor women were coerced into sterilization, forced to receive injections of contraceptives during pregnancy, sterilized without their knowledge after caesarian delivery, and the subject of population control quotas by government officials.

    Although USAID told Congress last year that it had curbed the abuses in the Peruvian population control programs, PRI said its investigations found that abuses are rampant, with the Peruvian Ministry of Health setting quotas for sterilizations among poor minority women.

    In response to PRI's revelations of Peru's use of US aid in these programs in 1997, Tiahrt sponsored legislation in October 1998 that prohibits US funds from going to non-voluntary foreign population control programs. Based on the latest findings, Tiahrt said USAID should begin an internal investigation into the allegations.

    Steven W. Mosher, PRI president, said victims and Peruvian doctors who furnished investigators with evidences of abuses declined to testify in public for fear of reprisals by Peruvian authorities. PRI investigators cited examples of women who told them that Peruvian medical personnel had recommended last-minute cesarean deliveries and sterilization, in violation of the Tiahrt amendment.

    The Clinton administration has promised to increase foreign aid for family planning to record levels this congressional year. But abuses in existing programs such as those found in Peru should be corrected before consideration is given to additional funding, Mosher said.

          

March 16, 2000
volume 11, no. 54
NEWS & VIEWS

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