The people saving us today from Covid and economic collapse also “saved” millions from being born or dying of natural causes.
Remember when Kissinger called Luke Rudkowski “a sick person”? Here’s what that was all about:
The origins of the Commission are traced to a concern with the consequences of U.S. population growth on the part of such key individuals as John D. Rockefeller 3rd and Paul Ehrlich. Because the Commission was a statutory creation of Congress, its membership included 4 Congressmen in addition to 20 distinguished citizens representing a spectrum of groups and views. The evaluation of the consequences of growth, as opposed to the means of reducing fertility, became the major concern of the research effort. Several issues led to differences within the Commission: 1) A narrow versus a broad definition of the scope of the report; 2) differing perceptions of the population problem as manifested by the ecological view, the “unwanted fertility” school, and the social justice view. The social science work contracted by the Commission had a significant impact on the final report’s substance: 1) the demographic work on population projections was crucial to the analysis of the consequences of growth; 2) evaluating the demographic capability of national “growth center strategy” had an influence; and 3) the need to eliminate unwanted fertility was confirmed as a necessary priority. The basic thrust of the Commission’s report was to recomment slowing growth in order to maximize the quality of life.C F Westoff, “The Commission on Population Growth and the American Future: its origins, operations, and aftermath“, 1973
A History of NSSM 200: Key People and Events that Led to the Development and Implementation of NSSM-200
In some ways, the history of NSSM-200 is just a restatement of the history of the world over the course of 250 years or so. With so much information having a bearing on the subject, we can do no more than plant some sign posts for the reader to use in doing their own research. It should be noted that this ‘history’ often reflects points of interest that the advocates for population control themselves indicate. In fact, in order to generate some of the most pertinent details of this timeline, we merely started with the writings of the population control advocates themselves, noted the individuals and events that they stated were formative, and worked backwards through time. Darwin quoted Malthus, the eugenicists cited Darwin, the population control advocates invoked the eugenicists, and so on…
Darwin — quoting Malthus
Eugenicists — quoting Darwin
World War 1 — Germany in particular saw the conflict as the fitness of one culture prevailing against another. (Until they lost!)
Period between WW1 and WW2 — a full on push for eugenics starts winding down. Eugenicists begin switching their emphasis to ‘population’ studies
Margaret Sanger … The Pivot of Civilization
Guy Irving Burch … A staunch eugenicist, Burch founded the Population Reference Bureau in 1929 and was widely consulted on ‘population matters.’ His book, Human Breeding and Survival (also published as Population Roads to Peace or War – 1945) cites Malthus approvingly and was well regarded by other ‘founders’ of the population control movement, namely William Vogt. His eugenic perspective and belief that birth control, population control, and evolutionary principles go hand in hand are on display in the following passage from PRPoW, pages 73-4:
There is one tremendous value of birth control knowledge which deserves special emphasis when it is widespread instead of a class privilege. Where contraceptive knowledge has been democratized and has reached all economic and social levels of the population the most responsible and intelligent parents have the largest families. […]
Drs. Huntington, Whitney, and Phillips have found the same trend in their studies of Harvard and Yale graduates; and Dr. Thompson found similar evidence in his studies of the fertility of Negroes in our Northern cities. The most successful parents had the largest families. Here we find an intelligent and peaceful substitute for the bloody and destructive laws of the jungle which can make possible the continued evolution of human life. This is, indeed, a Vital Revolution. References for most of these studies may be found in Dr. Warren S. Thompson’s book, Population Problems, 1935, pp. 386-387.
World War 2 — Nazis enthusiastically apply eugenics principles, albeit filtered through a nationalistic prism.
Immediately after World War 2 — overt eugenics falls completely out of favor. They turn to ‘crypto-eugenics’, explicitly turning the direction of their efforts to the most ‘politically acceptable’ alternatives that were consistent with eugenics principles: family planning and population control.
Fairfield Osborn had already spent decades in the eugenics movement before pivoting to population control advocacy, presiding, for example, over the 1921 International Eugenics Congress. His book Our Plundered Planet is frequently mentioned by population control advocates in the decades following its publication in 1948. Fairfield Osborn was the uncle of Frederick Osborn, a president of the American Eugenics Society and the Population Council. In Our Plundered Planet, on page 204, Osborn thanks William Vogt for “his philosophical approach to the problem”, which is to say, he acknowledges that there is an ideological underpinning to the whole population control mindset (which he shares), and on pgs 205-206, he thanks Guy Irving Burch for providing “information regarding human populations”. One should begin to get the impression that eugenicists, birth control advocates, and population control agitators are all peas in the same pod.
Vogt was the National Director of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America from 1951 to 1962. His 1948 book, Road to Survival, was extremely influential. Given his prominent station at Planned Parenthood for such a long period of time, and in particular dovetailing into the 1960s, when the ‘population crisis’ was a veritable froth, it is absurd to believe that he did not imprint his population control mentality on that organization. On page 146 of his book, he uses the sub-heading “Too Many Americans.” This may have been the inspiration for Lincoln and Alice Day’s title of their book by that very name (see below). Vogt is a good illustration of the historical fact that there was direct continuity and perfect compatibility between ‘birth control’ advocates and population control activists and the eugenics movement itself.
His book lists Guy Irving Burch first in his entire list of references, saying that he was “indebted” to him, saying: “Foremost among these are […] Guy Irving Burch, who not only granted permission to quote from Human Breeding and Survival (originally published as Population Roads to Peace or War), of which he is co-author, but who has also been extraordinarily helpful with advice, bibliographic suggestions, and critical discussion.”
Not coincidentally–and again, illustrating a continuity within the ideology, Vogt mentions Malthus approvingly.
Vogt’s book is introduced by Bernard Baruch, a wealthy and influential progressive, involved in making the Federal Reserve a reality, and supporting the United Daughters of the Confederacy (which may be of particular interest to modern readers who intone a one to one correspondence between racism and the Confederate flag).
Population Control imposed on the Japanese people by the United States
1950s — Eugenicists-now-turned-population-control-advocates consolidate their change of emphasis, eschewing ‘eugenics’ per se, and focusing on genetic counseling (hereditary clinics) and calling attention to ‘over-population.’
Charles Francis Darwin
“Among the more important books designed to be read by the general public are: Our Plundered Planet by Fairfield Osborn, The Road to Survival by William Vogt,”
Grounds his arguments extensively on Evolution. Explicit eugenicist.
Cites Charles Galton Darwin at length, approvingly.
Cites Malthus approvingly.
Frederick Osborn was a propaganda officer during World War 2. After the war, he first focused on advocating for eugenics, serving as the president of the American Eugenics Society. The AES found their work to be difficult in a post-Holocaust era. He advocated for ‘crypto-eugenics,‘ for example calling for the establishment of heredity clinics and the ‘genetic counseling’ profession to persuade people to make eugenic decisions without knowing they were doing so. He called this ‘voluntary unconscious selection.’ Later, he served as the president of the Population Council, succeeded by Bernard Berelson (who is more directly implicated in NSSM-200). He never stopped thinking in eugenic terms, but, like the expert propagandist that he was, was always ready to bend and twist as circumstances warranted it. Guy Irving Burch cited him approvingly in his PRPoW in reference to linking birth control to population control: “one of the latest and most authoritative books on the subject of population [… Preface to Eugenics … by Frederick Osborn, says] the control of births can–if we will–be used to further all efforts to improve the conditions of human life.”
It may be wondered why abortion was not more frequently listed as a eugenic or population control measure, but this is not strictly true. It was a political hot potato and contemplating its use in these ways was only useful in theory to them, because it was not yet legal throughout the United States. A telling quote by Frederick Osborn testifies to the ‘crypto-eugenic’ path that the eugenicists took after WW2 as well as the recognition that abortion (and birth control, of course) had ‘eugenic effects’:
“The name [of their eugenics journal] was changed because it became evident that changes of a eugenic nature would be made for reasons other than eugenics, and that tying a eugenic label on them would more often hinder than help their adoption. Birth control and abortion are turning out to be great eugenic advances of our time. If they had been advanced for eugenic reasons it would have retarded or stopped their acceptance.”
1960s — Population Control advocates are firmly entrenched in public positions, but lack the political support to enact their proposals. Wealthy adherents launch numerous advertising campaigns to win over the public.
Hugh Moore — (see: Lawrence Lader — Breeding Ourselves to Death)
Lincoln and Alice Day — Too Many Americans
Paul Ehrlich — The Population Bomb
Bernard Berelson — President of the Population Council (replacing Frederick Osborn)
Frank Jaffe — Vice-President of Population for Planned Parenthood
Richard Nixon — in 1969 calls for a national population policy and directs money to be spent for that purpose (eg, Title X, in 1970)
Nixon commissions the Rockefeller Commission on Population in 1972, but does not implement its findings
Nixon orders Kissinger to study how ‘over-population’ in “developing countries” threatens the U.S. Kissinger’s highly classified report is turned in December of 1974
Nixon is impeached.
Gerald Ford signs an executive order implementing NSSM-200.
The Global 2000 Report under Jimmy Carter is released in 1979. The report accepts every premise of the population control advocates. Noteworthy participants include John Holdren (at present, the chief ‘science’ officer in the Obama Administration.
Ronald Reagan, in the so-called “Mexico City” policy, forbids the use of taxpayer dollars to fund any international program that promotes or finances abortions… population control advocates have a royal conniption that lasts to this very day. Evidently, without abortion on demand, they feel they can do very little to achieve their goals.
George H. Bush re-implements the Mexico City policy.
Bill Clinton reverses the Mexico City policy.
NSSM-200 is declassified as the result of a Freedom of Information Request, which itself was spawned by suspicions overseas that certain programs were in fact population control programs.
George W. Bush reinstates the Mexico City policy.
Barack Obama revokes the Mexico City policy.
and the American Future
The Report of The Commission on Population Growth and the American Future
March 27, 1972
To the President and Congress of the United States:
I have the honor to transmit for your consideration the Final Report, containing the findings and recommendations, of the Commission on Population Growth and the American Future, pursuant to Sec. 8, PL 91-213.
After two years of concentrated effort, we have concluded that, in the long run, no substantial benefits will result from further growth of the Nation’s population, rather that the gradual stabilization of our population through voluntary means would contribute significantly to the Nation’s ability to solve its problems. We have looked for, and have not found, any convincing economic argument for continued population growth. The health of our country does not depend on it, nor does the vitality of business nor the welfare of the average person.
The recommendations offered by this Commission are directed towards increasing public knowledge of the causes and consequences of population change, facilitating and guiding the processes of population movement, maximizing information about human reproduction and its consequences for the family, and enabling individuals to avoid unwanted fertility.
To these ends we offer this report in the hope that our findings and recommendations will stimulate serious consideration of an issue that is of great consequence to present and future generations.
Respectfully submitted for the Commission,
John D. Rockefeller 3rd
The President of the Senate
The Speaker of the House of Representatives
John D. Rockefeller 3rd
Food for All, Inc.
Christian N. Ramsey, Jr., M.D.
The Institute for the Study of Health and Society
Joseph D. Beasley, M.D.
The Edward Wisner Professor of Public Health
Tulane University Medical Center
David E. Bell
Executive Vice President
The Ford Foundation
The Population Council
Arnita Young Boswell
Associate Field Work Professor
School of Social Service Administration
University of Chicago
Dept. of Behavioral Sciences and Dept. of Epidemiology
School of Hygiene and Public Health
The Johns Hopkins University
Marilyn Brant Chandler
Housewife, Volunteer, Student
Paul B. Cornely, M.D.
Dept. of Community Health Practice, College of Medicine
Assistant to the Executive Medical Officer
Welfare and Retirement Fund United Mine Workers of America
United States Senator
Lawrence A. Davis
Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical & Normal College
Otis Dudley Duncan
Professor of Sociology
University of Michigan
John N. Erlenbom
United States Representative
14th C. District of Illinois
Joan F. Flint
R. V. Hansberger
Chairman and President
Boise Cascade Corporation
D. Gale Johnson
Department of Economics
University of Chicago
John R. Meyer
National Bureau of Economic Research
Professor of Economics Yale University
United States Senator
James S. Rummonds
Stanford School of Law
Stephen L. Salyer
Howard D. Samuel
Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America
James H. Scheuer
United States Representative
22nd C. District of New York
George D. Woods
Director and Consultant
The First Boston Corporation
This report represents the official views of the Commission, particularly as to the listed recommendations. Clearly, in the case of a Commission with such diverse membership, not every Commissioner subscribes in detail to every suggestion or statement of policy.
Because he deepened our conviction that each individual has a unique contribution to make to the dignity and worth of all mankind, the Commission and staff dedicate this report to the memory of our colleague, staff member, and friend.
Ritchie H. Reed
For the first time in the history of our country, the President and the Congress have established a Commission to examine the growth of our population and the impact it will have upon the American future. In proposing this Commission in July 1969, President Nixon said: “One of the most serious challenges to human destiny in the last third of this century will be the growth of the population. Whether man’s response to that challenge will be a cause for pride or for despair in the year 2000 will depend very much on what we do today.” The Commission was asked to examine the probable extent of population growth and internal migration in the United States between now and the end of this century, to assess the impact that population change will have upon government services, our economy, and our resources and environment, and to make recommendations on how the nation can best cope with that impact.
In our Interim Report a year ago, the Commission defined the scope of our mandate: “. . . to formulate policy for the future”— policy designed to deal with “the pervasive impact of population growth on every facet of American life.” We said that population growth of the magnitude we have experienced since World War II has multiplied and intensified many of our domestic problems and made their solution more difficult. We called upon the American people to begin considering the meaning and consequences of population growth and internal migration and the desirability of formulating a national policy on the question.
Since then, the Commission and staff have conducted an extensive inquiry. We have enlisted many of the nation’s leading scientists in more than 100 research projects. We have heard from more than 100 witnesses in public hearings across the country and have met with experts in many days of executive meetings. And we are aware that population has become an active subject of consideration in a number of states in our country concerned about their future. We have come to recognize that the racial and ethnic diversity of this Commission gives us confidence that our recommendations—the consensus of our members—do indeed point the way in which this nation should move in solving its problems. Because of the importance of this matter, the Commission recommends that future federal commissions include a substantial representation of minorities, youth, poor citizens, and women among their members, including congressional representatives, and the commission staffs and consultants include significant numbers of minorities, youth, and women.
We offer this report in the hope that our viewpoints and recommendations will stimulate serious consideration and response by the citizens of this nation and of nations throughout the world to an issue of great consequence to present and future generations.
Chapter 1: Perspective on Population
In the brief history of this nation, we have always assumed that progress and “the good life” are connected with population growth. In fact, population growth has frequently been regarded as a measure of our progress. If that were ever the case, it is not now. There is hardly any social problem confronting this nation whose solution would be easier if our population were larger. Even now, the dreams of too many Americans are not being realized; others are being fulfilled at too high a cost. Accordingly, this Commission has concluded that our country can no longer afford the uncritical acceptance of the population growth ethic that “more is better.” And beyond that, after two years of concentrated effort, we have concluded that no substantial benefits would result from continued growth of the nation’s population.
The “population problem” is long run and requires long-run responses. It is not a simple problem. It cannot be encompassed by the slogans of either of the prevalent extremes: the “more” or the “bigger the better” attitude on the one hand, or the emergency-crisis response on the other. Neither extreme is accurate nor even helpful.
It is a problem which can be interpreted in many ways. It is the pressure of population reaching out to occupy open spaces and bringing with it a deterioration of the environment. It can be viewed as the effect on natural resources of increased numbers of people in search of a higher standard of living. It is the impact of population fluctuations in both growth and distribution upon the orderly provision of public services. It can be seen as the concentration of people in metropolitan areas and depopulation elsewhere, with all that implies for the quality of life in both places. It is the instability over time of proportions of the young, the elderly, and the productive. For the family and the individual, it is the control over one’s life with respect to the reproduction of new life—the formal and informal pronatalist pressures of an outmoded tradition, and the disadvantages of and to the children involved.
Unlike other great public issues in the United States, population lacks the dramatic event—the war, the riot, the calamity—that galvanizes attention and action. It is easily overlooked and neglected. Yet the number of children born now will seriously affect our lives in future decades. This produces a powerful effect in a double sense: Its fluctuations can be strong and not easily changed; and its consequences are important for the welfare of future generations.
There is scarcely a facet of American life that is not involved with the rise and fall of our birth and death rates: the economy, environment, education, health, family life and sexual practices, urban and rural life, governmental effectiveness and political freedoms, religious norms, and secular life styles. If this country is in a crisis of spirit—environmental deterioration, racial antagonisms, the plight of the cities, the international situation—then population is part of that crisis.
Although population change touches all of these areas of our national life and intensifies our problems, such problems will not be solved by demographic means alone. Population policy is no substitute for social, economic, and environmental policy. Successfully addressing population requires that we also address our problems of poverty, of minority and sex discrimination, of careless exploitation of resources, of environmental deterioration, and of spreading suburbs, decaying cities, and wasted countrysides. By the same token, because population is so tightly interwoven with all of these concerns, whatever success we have in resolving these problems will contribute to easing the complex system of pressures that impel population growth.
Consideration of the population issue raises profound questions of what people want, what they need—indeed, what they are for. What does this nation stand for and where is it going? At some point in the future, the finite earth will not satisfactorily accommodate more human beings—nor will the United States. How is a judgment to be made about when that point will be reached? Our answer is that now is the time to confront the question: “Why more people?” The answer must be given, we believe, in qualitative not quantitative terms.
The United States today is characterized by low population density, considerable open space, a declining birthrate, movement out of the central cities—but that does not eliminate the concern about population. This country, or any country, always has a “population problem,” in the sense of achieving a proper balance between size, growth, and distribution on the one hand, and, on the other, the quality of life to which every person in this country aspires.
Nor is this country alone in the world, demographically or in any other way. Many other nations are beginning to recognize the importance of population questions. We need to act prudently, understanding that today’s decisions on population have effects for generations ahead. Similarly, we need to act responsibly toward other people in the world: This country’s needs and wants, given its wealth, may impinge upon the patrimony of other, less fortunate peoples in the decades ahead. The “population problem” of the developing countries may be more pressing at this time, but in the longer perspective, it is both proper and in our best interest to participate fully in the worldwide search for the good life, which must include the eventual stabilization of our numbers.
A Diversity of Views
Ultimately, then, we are concerned not with demographic trends alone, but with the effect of these trends on the realization of the values and goals cherished as part of the American tradition and sought after by minorities who also “want in.”
One of the basic themes underlying our analysis and policy recommendations is the substitution of quality for quantity; that is, we should concern ourselves with improving the quality of life for all Americans rather than merely adding more Americans. And unfortunately, for many of our citizens that quality of life is still defined only as enough food, clothing, and shelter. All human beings need a sense of their own dignity and worth, a sense of belonging and sharing, and the opportunity to develop their individual potentialities.
But it is far easier to achieve agreement on abstract values than on their meaning or on the strategy to achieve them. Like the American people generally, this Commission has not been able to reach full agreement on the relative importance of different values or on the analysis of how the “population problem” reflects other conditions and directions of American society.
Three distinct though overlapping approaches have been distinguished. These views differ in their analysis of the nature of the problem and the general priorities of tasks to be accomplished. But, despite the different perspectives from which population is viewed, all of the population policies we shall recommend are consistent with all three positions.
The first perspective acknowledges the benefits to be gained by slowing growth, but regards our population problem today primarily as a result of large numbers of people being unable to control an important part of their lives—the number of children they have. The persistence of this problem reflects an effective denial of freedom of choice and equality of access to the means of fertility control. In this view, the population problem is regarded more as the sum of such individual problems than as a societal problem transcending the interests of individuals; the welfare of individuals and that of the general society are seen as congruent, at least at this point in history. The potential conflict between these two levels is mitigated by the knowledge that freedom from unwanted childbearing would contribute significantly to the stabilization of population.
Reproductive decisions should be freely made in a social context without pronatalist pressures—the heritage of a past when the survival of societies with high mortality required high fertility. The proper mission for government in this matter is to ensure the fullest opportunity for people to decide their own future in this regard, based on the best available knowledge; then the demographic outcome becomes the democratic solution.
Beyond these goals, this approach depends on the processes of education, research, and national debate to illuminate the existence of any serious population “problem” that transcends individual welfare. The aim would be to achieve the best collective decisiOn about population issues based on knowledge of the tradeoffs between demographic choices and the “quality of life,” however defined. This position ultimately seeks optimize the individual and the collective decisions and then accepts the aggregate outcome—with the understanding that the situation will be reconsidered from time to time.
The second view does not deny the need for education and knowledge, but stresses the crucial gaps between what we claim as national values and the reality experienced by certain groups in our society. Many of the traditional American values, such as freedom and justice, are not yet experienced by some minorities. Racial discrimination continues to mean that equal access to opportunities afforded those in the mainstream of American society is denied to millions of people. Overt and subtle discrimination against women has meant undue pressure toward childbearing and child-rearing. Equality is denied when inadequate income, education, or racial and sexual stereotypes persist, and shape available options. Freedom is denied when governmental steps are not taken to assure the fullest possible access to methods of controlling reproduction or to educational, job, and residential opportunities. In addition, the freedom of future generations may be compromised by a denial of freedom to the present generation. Finally, extending freedom and equality—which is nothing more than making the American system live up to its stated values—would go far beyond affecting the growth rate. Full equality both for women and ‘for racial minorities is a value in its own right. In this view, the “population problem” is seen as only one facet, and not even a major one, of the restriction of full opportunity in American life.
The third position deals with the population problem in an ecological framework, one whose primary axiom asserts the functional interdependence of man and his environment. It calls for a far more fundamental shift in the operative values of modern society. The need for more education and knowledge and the need to eliminate poverty and racism are important, but not enough. For the population problem, and the growth ethic with which it is intimately connected, reflect deeper external conditions and more fundamental political, economic, and philosophical values. Consequently, to improve the quality of our existence while slowing growth, will require nothing less than a basic recasting of American values.
The numbers of people and the material conditions of human existence are limited by the external environment. Human life, like all forms of life on earth, is supported by intricate ecological systems that are limited in their ability to adapt to and tolerate changing conditions. Human culture, particularly science and technology, has given man an extraordinary power to alter and manipulate his environment. At the same time, he has also achieved the capacity virtually to destroy life on earth. Sadly, in the rush to produce, consume, and discard, he has too often chosen to plunder and destroy rather than to conserve and create. Not only have the land, air, and water, the flora and fauna suffered, but also the individual, the family, and the human community.
This position holds that the present pattern of urban industrial organization, far from promoting the realization of the individual as a uniquely valuable experience, serves primarily to perpetuate its own values. Mass urban industrialism is based on science and technology, efficiency, acquisition, and domination through rationality. The exercise of these same values now contains the potential for the destruction of our humanity. Man is losing that balance with nature which is an essential condition of human existence. With that loss has come a loss of harmony with other human beings. The population problem is a concrete symptom of this change, and a fundamental cause of present human conditions.
It is comfortable to believe that changes in values or in the political system are unnecessary, and that measures such as population education and better fertility control information and services will solve our population problem. They will not, however, for such solutions do not go to the heart of man’s relationship with nature, himself, and society. According to this view, nothing less than a different set of values toward nature, the transcendence of a laissez-faire market system, a redefinition of human identity in terms other than consumerism, and a radical change if not abandonment of the growth ethic, will suffice. A new vision is needed—a vision that recognizes man’s unity with nature, that transcends a simple economic definition of man’s identity, and that seeks to promote the realization of the highest potential of our individual humanity.
The Immediate Goal
These three views reflect different evaluations of the nature of the population problem, different assessments of the viability of the American political process, and different perceptions of the critical values at stake.
Given the diversity of goals to be addressed and the manifold ramifications of population change throughout society, how are specific population policies to be selected?
As a Commission and as a people, we need not agree on all the priorities if we can identify acceptable policies that speak in greater or lesser degree to all of them. By and large, in our judgment, the policy findings and recommendations of this Report meet that requirement. Whatever the primary needs of our society, the policies recommended here all lead in right directions for this nation, and generally at low costs.*
Our immediate goal is to modernize demographic behavior in this country: to encourage the American people to make population choices, both in the individual family and society at large, on the basis of greater rationality rather than tradition or custom, ignorance or chance. This country has already moved some distance down this road; it should now complete the journey. The time has come to challenge the tradition that population growth is desirable: What was unintended may turn out to be unwanted, in the society as in the family.
In any case, more rational attitudes are now forced upon us by the revolutionary increase in average length of life within the past century, which has placed modern man in a completely different, historically unique, demographic situation. The social institutions and customs that have shaped reproductive behavior in the past are no longer appropriate in the modern world, and need reshaping to suit the new situation. Moreover, the instruments of population policy are now more readily available—fuller knowledge of demographic impacts, better information on demographic trends, improved means by which individuals may control their own fertility.
As a Commission, we have come to appreciate the delicate complexities of the subject and the difficulty, even the impossibility, of solving the problem, however defined, in its entirety and all at once. But this is certainly the time to begin: The 1970’s may not be simply another decade in the demographic transition but a critical one, involving changes in family life and the role of women, dynamics of the metropolitan process, the depopulation of rural areas, the movement and the needs of disadvantaged minorities, the era of the young adults produced by the baby boom, and the attendant question of what their own fertility will be—baby boom or baby bust.
Finally, we agree that population policy goals must be sought in full consonance with the fundamental values of American life: respect for human freedom, human dignity, and individual fulfillment; and concern for social justice and social welfare. To “solve” population problems at the cost of such values would be a Pyrrhic victory indeed. The issues are ethical in character, and their proper solution requires a deep sense of moral responsibility on the part of both the individual family and the national community: the former in considering another birth, the latter in considering appropriate policies to guide population growth into the American future.
A separate statement by Commissioner James S. Rummonds appears on page 164.
For our part, it is enough to make population, and all that it means, explicit on the national agenda, to signal its impact on our national life, to sort out the issues, and to propose how to start toward a better state of affairs. By its very nature, population is a continuing concern and should receive continuing attention. Later generations, and later commissions, will be able to see the right path further into the future. In any case, no generation needs to know the ultimate goal or the final means, only the direction in which they will be found.
Statement About the Report of the Commission on Population Growth and the American Future
37th President of the United States: 1969 ‐ 1974
May 05, 1972.
THE Commission on Population Growth and the American Future has formally presented its report to me today, thus completing its 2 years of work.
The men and women on this panel have performed a valuable public service in identifying and examining a wide range of problems related to population, and have contributed to an emerging debate of great significance to the future of our Nation.
I wish to thank the able and energetic Chairman of the Commission, Mr. John D. Rockefeller 3d, for his tireless efforts, not only on this Commission but in other capacities, to focus the Nation’s attention on these important issues.
The extensive public discussion already generated by this report clearly indicates the need to continue research in areas touching on population growth and distribution.
While I do not plan to comment extensively on the contents and recommendations of the report, I do feel that it is important that the public know my views on some of the issues raised.
In particular, I want to reaffirm and reemphasize that I do not support unrestricted abortion policies. As I stated on April 3, 1971, when I revised abortion policies in military hospitals, I consider abortion an unacceptable form of population control. In my judgment, unrestricted abortion policies would demean human life. I also want to make it clear that I do not support the unrestricted distribution of family planning services and devices to minors. Such measures would do nothing to preserve and strengthen close family relationships.
I have a basic faith that the American people themselves will make sound judgments regarding family size and frequency of births, judgments that are conducive both to the public interest and to personal family goals–and I believe in the right of married couples to make these judgments for themselves.
While disagreeing with the general thrust of some of the Commission’s recommendations, I wish to extend my thanks to the members of the Commission for their work and for having assembled much valuable information.
The findings and conclusions of the Commission should be of great value in assisting governments at all levels to formulate policy. At the Federal level, through our recent reorganization of the Executive Office of the President, we have the means through the Domestic Council and the Office of Management and Budget to follow up on the Commission’s report. The recommendations of the Commission will be taken into account as we formulate our national growth and population research policies, and our agency budgets through these processes for the years ahead.
Many of the questions raised by the report cannot be answered purely on the basis of fact, but rather involve moral judgments about which reasonable men will disagree. I hope that the discussions ahead will be informed ones, so that we all will be better able to face these questions relating to population in full knowledge of the consequences of our decisions.
Note: The report is entitled “Population and the American Future” (Government Printing Office, 186 pp.).
Commission Chairman John D. Rockefeller 3d and members Graciela Gil Olivares and Christian N. Ramsey, Jr., met with the President at the White House to present the report.
Richard Nixon, Statement About the Report of the Commission on Population Growth and the American Future Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/254752
Gerald Ford Directive to Implement NSSM-200, Memo NSDM 314
Brian Clowes of Human Life International on NSSM 200
There are surprisingly few people who have tried to research the extent to which NSSM 200 is official US Government policy to this date. One example is Dr. Brian Clowes of Human Life International.
You can download his full report, here: Kissinger-Report-A-Retrospective-on-NSSM-200
NSSM 200 and the world population explosion
This paper was published in the wake of Pope John Paul II’s encyclical ‘Evangelicum Vitae’, which condemns abortion and contraception. The author describes how, in the mid-1970’s, the Vatican blocked the implementation of President Nixon’s ‘National Security Study Memorandum 200’, which was intended to combat global overpopulation. The author explains that excessive population growth is considered threatening to U.S. security interests, and concludes that “papal security-survival along with the influence of fundamentalist Protestant opposition to birth control is now pitted against the U.S. and world security-survival.”
THE LIFE AND DEATH OF NSSM 200
How the Destruction of Political Will Doomed a U.S. Population Policy
by Stephen D. Mumford (1996)
INDEX TO CONTENTS
- Chapter 1 – President Nixon’s “Special Message” on Population Marks the moment in 1969 when the President proposed creation of the Commission on Population Growth and the American Future.
- Chapter 2 – The “Rockefeller Commission” on Population Growth President Nixon’s remarks upon signing the bill creating the Commission in 1970, and the Commission’s recommendations submitted in 1972 on nearly 50 areas of policy and action, including sex education, equal rights for women, contraception and minors, voluntary sterilization, abortion, and population stabilization.
- Chapter 3 – The NSSM 200 Directive and the Study Requested The 1974 Directive signed by Henry Kissinger on behalf of President Nixon, and the text of the study report, “Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests.”
- Chapter 4 – President Ford’s Move toward a U.S. Population Policy The full text of National Security Decision Memo 314, signed in 1975 by Brent Scowcroft on behalf of President Ford, approving almost all of the NSSM 200 recommendations.
- Chapter 5 – What Happened to the Momentum? Traces the decline from its peak in 1975 of U.S. political will to deal with the overpopulation problem.
- Chapter 6 – Why Did Our Political Will Fade Away? Describes the increasing involvement of the Roman Catholic Church in scuttling any positive action toward implementation of the NSSM 200 recommendations.
- Chapter 7 – What Was the Role of the Vatican? How the Reagan Administration altered its foreign aid program to comply with Vatican insistence on an outright ban on use of foreign aid funds for the performance or promotion of abortions.
- Chapter 8 – The Bishops’ “Pastoral Plan” The master blueprint for the infiltration and manipulation of the American democratic process at all levels of government. Includes the complete “unsanitized” text of the U.S. Bishops’ Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities.
- Chapter 9 – Implications of the Pastoral Plan Analysis of the Plan and its implementation, including the roles of the Catholic Press Association, Catholic physicians guilds, Catholic lawyers associations, hospital associations, lay organizations — and the paralyzing influence of “ecumenical activity.”
- Chapter 10 – The Human Life Amendment — and Beyond Evidence of the bishops’ great success in killing American political will through implementation of the Pastoral Plan but without yet achieving passage of the Human Life Amendment.
- Chapter 11 – The Cross of Papal Infallibility The history and dynamics of the dogma of papal infallibility. Because of it, the Vatican has been forced to undermine the political will of governments that are striving to deal with overpopulation.
- Chapter 12 – Postponing Self-Destruction of the Church Strategies by which the Vatican and U.S. Catholic bishops have been able to extend their institution’s life.
- Chapter 13 – Defection of the Faithful Why American Catholics are not conforming to papal teachings — with many leaving the Church and becoming Protestants.
- Chapter 14 – Vatican Rejection of Freedom of the Press Examines 150 years of uninterrupted papal hostility toward freedom of the press. Discusses techniques used to “bridle” the press and the conclusion of George Seldes, acknowledged dean of investigative reporters, that on “Catholic issues” there is no free press.
- Chapter 15 – The Catholic League and Suppression of The Press Today The principles governing League behavior, the methods leading to its success, and a collection of specific acts designed to halt public criticism of the Church.
- Chapter 16 – “Things Are Seldom What They Seem” The “dis-uniting” of America. Explores the broad consequences of the Pastoral Plan, including the erosion of public confidence in our political system.
- Chapter 17 – Conclusions How the Vatican has no qualms about destroying American democratic institutions in its battle to save the Papacy.
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