Mary Lewis is a member of the Board of Directors of Free the Children USA (link here, click on the tab at the bottom of the page called “US Board of Directors”). As indicated on that page, her day job is to serve as the Vice President of Outreach and as Assistant to Dr. Jane Goodall, at the Jane Goodall Institute. Those credentials are confirmed on the website of the Jane Goodall Institute.
What does this Institute do? It’s primarily an environmentalist group that focuses on preserving apes. As their mission statement says:
Specifically, we seek to:
Improve global understanding and treatment of great apes through research, public education and advocacy
Contribute to the preservation of great apes and their habitats by combining conservation with education and promotion of sustainable livelihoods in local communities
Create a worldwide network of young people who have learned to care deeply for their human community, for all animals and for the environment, and who will take responsible action to care for them (Source)
Nothing wrong with that. However, the means they use are very much anti-family. Very explicitly and intentionally so. You see, they consider the human population as a threat to the chimpanzee population. Therefore, the growth of the human population must be curbed through “family planning.” Here’s how they explain it.
One of the most important factors that influences the overall health of an ecosystem is the health of the human population, while unchecked population growth offers one of the greatest existing threats to the chimpanzee habitat JGI is trying to protect. JGI’s community-centered conservation programs attempt to address these vital concerns by incorporating activities designed to improve knowledge of reproductive health issues, increase access to family planning supplies, while also addressing basic issues of public health. Voluntary counseling services are provided to both men and women in conjunction with the distribution of family planning/reproductive health products.
Local community members selected by their peers are also trained to serve as Community-Based Distribution Agents (CBDAs), who are entrusted not only to educate the community members on reproductive health issues and the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, but also to provide family planning methods and refer cases to health centers. JGI provides both trained CBDAs and health care workers with contraception (including condoms, oral contraceptives, IUDs, Depo-Provera®) that they can distribute in conjunction with counseling. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), JGI’s program includes valuable training sessions for health workers on family planning tools and techniques, and the distribution of treated mosquito nets to assist in malaria prevention. We are the first and only provider of family planning services in many of the North Kivu villages in the DRC. (Source)
This is hard core. Most NGOs distributing contraception are doing it in a misguided attempt to preserve the Earth for humans. The Jane Goodall Institute has picked chimps over people.
The excerpt above also serves as a stunning confirmation that when a secular NGO says “family planning”, they always mean “contraception.” There’s is virtually no chance that a secular NGO will only be teaching Natural Family Planning. Sadly, few clergymen and school board trustees see this. Most of them refuse to see the facts staring them in the face. They have distorted the teaching about assuming good intentions of others. For all practical purposes, they’ve turned that teaching into “leave your deductive reasoning at home”, at least when it comes to funding NGOs. Unless the words “contraception” and “abortion” appear on the NGO’s website, odds are good that the money will keep flowing, under some pretense that insufficient information is available to “be sure”. Obviously, we need to smarten up. These NGOs know the game. They know that many Catholics do nothing when confronted with the “family planning” euphemism, so they keep on using it. They play us big time.
And let’s not forget that Free the Children itself has oodles of instances of “family planning” and “reproductive health” on its own website. Are we going to study the issue for years while the money keeps flowing? Catholic parents have asked Free the Children many times over the span of about nine months to explain what they mean by “family planning” and “reproductive health.” Parents never got an answer. The question was dodged every time. At some point, the “benefit of the doubt” must expire when someone’s behaviour exhibits avoidance of honest dialogue.
We know where Mary Lewis stands on contraceptives. That’s one more voice on the Board of Free the Children with a contraceptive inclination. This should make it clear what is really meant when Free the Children’s website speaks of “family planning” and “reproductive health.”