The Billionaire Bomb

Just look who's funding anti-population programs!

By Steven W. Mosher 

       Bill Gates ($63 billion), Warren Buffett ($28 billion), and Ted Turner ($9 billion) have billions on their minds, and not just in their bank accounts and stock portfolios. On a planet inhabited by 6 billion people, they claim that overpopulation is the greatest threat to survival in the 21st century — “the single most important issue facing mankind today,” according to Turner, founder of the Cable News Network (CNN).

Turner statement is nothing new; he's merely embraced a way of thinking that had shaped elite opinion for two centuries — the “dismal theorem” of British economist Thomas Malthus (1766-1834), who said that growth in human numbers would eventually outrun the food supply.

Trouble is, Malthus' theorem has been thoroughly discredited. Two hundred years and 5 billion people later, human beings are living longer, healthier lives than ever before. The “gigantic inevitable famine” that would, Malthus predicted, “with one mighty blow, level . . . the population,” now seems as unlikely as a global flood. Every other year humanity sets new records in grain production. Caloric intake continues to climb. Incomes continue to rise, and now average $5,000 a year for every man, woman and child on the planet, up from $100 a year at the time of Malthus.

At the same time, due in part to more time spent in school and other demands of modern life — as well as abortion and sterilization — birthrates continue to fall. The bottom line: The world’s population will never double again. Rather, it will likely peak at 9 billion or so in 2040, and then begin to decline. Our long-term problem, in other words, is not going to be too many children, but too few.

Yet the billionaire boys club continues to divert billions to population control programs. Why? The answer is as varied as the club members themselves.

Ted Turner: Anti-People Zealot

You know Ted Turner as the man who’s described Christians “losers” and “freaks,” and divorced Jane Fonda in part over her conversion to Christianity. And you may recall that in 1997, he gave $1 billion to the United Nations, making it clear that much of this money should go to population control.

Here’s where some of that cash ended up: “improv[ing] the reproductive health of adolescent girls in rural Bangladesh” ($1,063,705); social licensing of reproductive health clinics in Honduras ($2,513,338); and “voluntary confidential counseling and testing for HIV/AIDS, distribution of condoms, treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, family planning and HIV/AIDS and sexual education” in Mozambique ($2,751,000).

Translation: Bangladeshi girls as young as 10 will be given very explicit information about sex; Honduran girls, both married and unmarried, will be encouraged to use contraception and — in case of contraceptive failure — to abort their unborn children; and young men and women in Mozambique will have their cultural and religious traditions trashed by the blatant promotion of both homosexuality and unmarried sexual activity.

Turner has said that China’s one-child policy should be adopted worldwide.

All of which, in turn, drives down the birth rate.

Turner has said that China’s one-child policy should be adopted worldwide, and his 1997 contribution is bankrolling efforts to reduce the number of children born to refugees. His U.N. foundation recently gave $5.9 million to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) “to develop and distribute emergency reproductive health information and services to refugees in emergency situations” in Central Asia and several regions of Africa.

The Population Research Institute has learned that these “emergency reproductive health information and services” include so-called "morning after" pills and manual vacuum aspirators, both of which are used to perform early-term abortions.

During the recent crisis in the Balkans, Turner’s foundation was even more explicit about its aims. One award to the UNFPA was for, in the foundation’s words, “emergency work in the Kosovo region, where about 10 percent of the 743,000 refugees are either pregnant women or newborns, and 1,000-1,500 births a month are expected among the refugees.” Thus, according to the Ted Turners of the world, refugees shouldn’t have babies.

Warren Buffet: No Project Too Controversial

Warren Buffett’s business accomplishments are certainly impressive. Beginning with one antiquated New England textile mill, Buffett built his fortune as a stock market speculator. His primary company, Berkshire-Hathaway, Inc., based in Omaha, Neb., holds stock in Coca-Cola, Dairy Queen, newspapers and candlemakers. Wall Street holds him in awe; his stock trades at about $70,000 a share.

He may own newspapers, but Buffett isn’t a media hound. He’s said very little about his philanthropy. His foundation, meager compared to that of other billionaires at $22 million, must be judged on what it does. And what it does, mostly, is hard-edged, even fanatical, population control.

The Buffett Foundation is known for funding projects that other foundations, even those similarly inclined to limit human numbers, keep well clear of, including the abortion drug known as RU-486. Back in 1994, Buffet provided $2 million to RU-486's chief U.S. promoter, the Population Council, for clinical trials that led the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve the drug. 2

Another $2 million went to North Carolina’s Family Health International (FHI) for an equally questionable drug — quinacrine hydrochloride. Originally developed to combat malaria, quinacrine has in recent years been used to perform chemical sterilizations. Inserted into the upper part of a woman's uterus, quinacrine hydrochloride tablets dissolve to form a powerful acid which burns away the lining of the upper uterus and fallopian tubes. The resulting scarring usually renders a woman sterile. Even if her fallopian tubes are not completely blocked, fertilized eggs can no longer implant.

Family Health International (FHI) began testing quinacrine as a sterilization agent as early as 1976. But its 1981 application to the FDA to approve the drug for sterilizations (it had previously been approved to treat malaria) was rejected on the grounds that, as FHI later explained, “rigorous studies are needed to ensure the safety and efficacy of quinacrine.” 3 Buffet’s fresh infusion of cash will apparently jump start this process by enabling the testing to go forward.

In the meantime, quinacrine’s proponents are doing brisk business overseas. The Vietnamese government has sterilized tens of thousands of poor women using the drug, many without their foreknowledge or consent. 4 Recent reports suggest that ethic minorities, such as the Hmong and Montagnard, have been specifically targeted. Although quinacrine sterilizations are officially banned in India, New Delhi newspapers report that more than 30,000 impoverished, illiterate women have been subjected to the painful procedure. Informed consent is often lacking, and follow-up care is nonexistent.

Yet Buffet’s favorite charity, judging by his giving, is an obscure entity with the studiously neutral name of International Projects Assistance Services (IPAS). According to a Business Week report, the Buffett Foundation’s “1999 contribution of $2.5 million is part of a five-year, $20 million commitment, which will enable IPAS to double its capacity.”

Double its capacity for what? Aborting very small babies — up to 12 weeks gestational age — by means of a hand-held suction pump, that’s what. As it turns out, IPAS is the principal manufacturer and distributor of the manual vacuum aspirators, or MVAs, used by the UN Population Fund, among other groups. This deadly device is actually a manually operated suction pump that can be used perform, in IPAS words, ”elective abortion through the first trimester.” When the tip is inserted into the uterus, and the operator pulls the plunger on the 50cc syringe, enough vacuum is created at the tip to suck a tiny baby right out of her mother’s womb. 5

Nor is IPAS’s abortion advocacy an anomaly. 6 A list of Buffet’s charitable contributions reads like a veritable rogue’s gallery of abortion promoters and providers.

Why is Warren Buffet obsessed with ridding the globe of so-called “excess” baby humans?

Such groups as the National Abortion and Reproductiove Rights Action League (NARAL), the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, and Pathfinder International all figure prominently. What's more, Buffett's funding of Planned Parenthood is specifically earmarked for particular abortion clinics around the country. 7

What would possess a man of obvious intelligence and untold wealth to spend tens of millions of dollars to finance aggressive programs of sterilization and abortion? To put it even more bluntly, why is Warren Buffet obsessed with ridding the globe of so-called “excess” baby humans?

Buffett’s biographer, Roger Lowenstein, reports that Buffet has “a Malthusian dread that overpopulation (will) aggravate problems in all other areas — such as food, housing, even human survival.” And, like Turner, Buffet developed a strong antipathy to Christianity.

Bill Gates: Billionaire in Conflict?

At 44, he's the youngest member of the Billionaire Boys Club — and by far the wealthiest — but Bill Gates appears not to have much in common with the other two, either personally or professionally.

Unlike Ted Turner, who was diagnosed as manic-depressive in the 1980s, Bill Gates seems pretty normal considering he's the world’s best-know computer guru. He is, by all accounts, happily married to Melinda French Gates, a devout Catholic. And the pre-nuptial agreement that Melinda had Bill sign calls for their children (they presently have two) to be raised in the Christian faith.

But Gates appears to be of two minds when it comes to population growth. Gates the Entrepreneur said in a 1996 interview with Forbes magazine that population growth advocate Julian Simon "is right and [population doomsayer] Paul Ehrlich is wrong. . . I think the world is progressing. . . Resources are becoming more abundant. I’d rather go into a grocery store today than to a king's banquet a hundred years ago.” 8,9

Just three years after this ringing endorsement of human progress, however, the associate director of the William P. Gates Foundation was claiming that her chairman held much more pessimistic views: “Bill Gates . . . has a very legitimate concern over the burgeoning population of the world. Within the month the population of the world will reach 6 billion people, with nearly two-thirds of them malnourished, uneducated, and lacking the skills and training necessary to cope with their lives.” 10

That gloomy outlook is evident in some of the grants made by the Gates Foundation:

  • The German Foundation for World Population (Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevolkerung) received a $545,000 grant to help bring about “a humane decline in world population growth.” 1
  • Population Communications International used a Gates grant to produce a video called Jam Packed, a pessimistic commentary on population growth. Gates may like American grocery stores but, in Jam Packed, they are a symbol of American decadence. 12 

  • The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) affiliate in the Dominican Republic, PROFAMILIA, has received Gates funding, even though Cardinal Nicolas Lopez Rodriguez, the Archbishop of Santo Domingo, has compared PROFAMILIA’s sterilization campaign against local women to the work of “death squads.”
  • Grant recipient the Peruvian Institute of Responsible Fatherhood (INPARRES for short), another IPPF affiliate, has collaborated with the Peruvian government's coercive sterilization campaign, in which women were sterilized in unhygienic conditions under a quota system.
  • Tanzania’s state family planning organization, UMATI, has also received funding from the Gates Foundation. Tanzanian women complain that UMATI routinely violates their human rights, injecting them with contraceptives such as Depo-provera and Norplant without their consent. The group also performs forced abortions and sterilizations.

Still, Gates refuses to be typecast. He and his wife recently announced that the Gates Foundation will put up millions to establish the Global Fund for Children's Vaccines and to combat meningitis epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa. Among their goals is to immunize every child in the world against diphtheria, measles, polio, tetanus, tuberculosis and whooping cough. If they are successful, they will save 1.5 million children each year from these deadly but preventable diseases. And in years to come these diseases, like smallpox, will exist only in memory.

So, which Bill Gates will ultimately prevail? Will it be the Bill Gates who sees the value of human life in the form of a child spared from polio, or the Bill Gates whose foundation funds forced sterilization?

There is a lot riding on the outcome. About $63 billion, in fact.

Steven W. Mosher is president of the Population Research Institute in Front Royal, Va.



2 The Buffett Foundation has helped finance research on the abortion pill, RU-486. See

3 Report in Celebrate Life, originally from the Omaha World Herald.

4 Alix M. Freedman, "Population Bomb: Two Americans Export Chemical Sterilization to the Third World," The Wall Street Journal, June 18, 1998


6 “The availability of safe, effective and acceptable technologies for pregnancy termination is an important component of women's reproductive health. Approximately 1.5 million abortions are performed annually in the United States, making legal induced abortion the most frequently performed, and one of the safest, surgical procedures in this country. Despite the documented safety of the procedure, many women have limited access to abortion services because of logistical, administrative, legislative and social obstacles. A recent survey by the Alan Guttmacher Institute found that 84 percent of counties in the United States have no abortion provider, limiting access for many poor or adolescent women and for women living in rural areas (Forrest and Henshaw, 1993). “This document examines the usefulness of an array of technologies to offer early abortion services; to expand access to services; and to increase women's satisfaction with the services they receive. Specific focus will be given to how manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) can be used as a convenient and acceptable early abortion alternative and an effective back-up technology to medical abortion.” “Early Abortion Services: New Choices for Providers and Women,” by Judith Winkler, MEd; Paul D. Blumenthal, MD, MPH; Forrest C. Greenslade, PhD, Advances in Abortion Care Volume 5, Number 2.

7 Buffett money has enabled dozens of Planned Parenthood clinics to add abortion services.

8 Forbes magazine, December 2, 1996.

9 For more on Julian Simon, see

10 September 13, 1999 letter from Gates Foundation to American Life League,

11 (a German Foundation web site)


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