(CNSNews.com) -- The Tanzanian government has suspended radio and television advertisements for family planning funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), according to a Sept. 19 letter by the Tanzanian Minister of gender and health.
“The ministry intends to revise the contents of all your ongoing radio and TV spots for family planning, thus I request you to stop with immediate effect airing and publishing any family planning contents in any media channels until further notice,” the letter states.
The letter addressed FHI360, “a U.S.-based group that receives millions in U.S. funding contracts to increase contraception usage in African countries,” according to the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-Fam).
C-Fam pointed out that FHI360 continues to increase contraception availability in African countries despite African women “self-reporting near saturation in access to contraception.”
“In 2017, FHI360 reported receiving over $700 million from the U.S. government – 85% of their budget for family planning, HIV and other health program areas,” C-Fam reported.
FH360’s Tulonge Afya project, funded by USAID, targets women and youth between ages 15 and 24 to address “social and cultural norms” and sexual behaviors.
Tanzanian President John Magufuli expressed concern that the promotion of birth control could contribute to a detrimental decline in population growth.
“I have traveled to Europe and elsewhere and have seen the harmful effects of birth control,” Magufuli stated. “Some countries are now facing declining population growth. They are short on manpower.”
C-Fam reported that Magufuli spoke in front of a United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) representative.
“UNFPA is known for its involvement in coercive family planning programs which is why the Trump administration has ceased funding for the past 2 years,” C-Fam wrote.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion organization, the United States, through USAID, donates $607.5 million per year in international family planning aid, including contraceptive services and supplies. This number includes the $32.5 million contributed by UNFPA.
Magufuli also told Tanzanians that the government was working to combat maternal mortality in the country.
According to C-Fam, Magufuli “encouraged Tanzanians to disregard the pressure coming from foreigners and to keep reproducing, promising that the government will improve healthcare delivery, specifically maternal health with the building of 67 new hospitals.”
According to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Tanzania’s maternal mortality rate (MMR) was 398 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2015. By contrast, the MMR of the United States in 2015 was only 14 deaths per 100,000 live births.
Despite its relatively high MMR, Tanzania also has “a relatively high fertility rate” of 5.4 children per woman, according to C-Fam.
“Though when comparing the actual and desired fertility rates of Tanzania with the countries bordering it, the gap between these two numbers is smallest in Tanzania, suggesting their existing family planning practices are relatively effective,” C-Fam added.
Obianuju Ekeocha, the president of Culture of Life of Africa, told C-Fam’s Friday Fax that “she is heartened an African leader is asking important questions about western donor countries ‘flooding Africa with artificial contraception under the guise of poverty eradication.’”
“Africa should not become the social experiment of wealthy western ideologues,” Ekeocha added.