An anti-immigrant environmentalist group is tossing its support behind Planned Parenthood, arguing that its taxpayer funding and overseas abortion aid are needed to curb future refugees and immigrants.
Environmentalist group Negative Population Growth published a report on Tuesday condemning Republican efforts to defund the nation's largest abortion organizer, as well as efforts to limit abortion coverage in federally subsidized Obamacare plans and the Trump administration's reinstatement of the Mexico City policy, which prevents foreign aid from going to groups that perform abortions. The group says that abortion and contraceptive services provided by Planned Parenthood are needed to limit population growth in the United States and elsewhere.
"NPG opposes … the ‘defunding' of Planned Parenthood, or crippling restrictions on the use of federal funding or subsidies to private insurance policy holders for reproductive services," the report, titled Resurgent Pro-Natalism in the Trump Administration, says. "The Trump Administration’s desire to see both freedom of reproductive choice and federal funding for contraception eliminated must become secondary to the urgent need to slow, halt, and eventually reverse U.S. and world population growth."
The report also praises Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards for drawing the connection between limiting population growth and environmentalism when she called long-lasting IUDs, which can block fertilization but can also act as an abortifacient by preventing a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus, the "greenest form of birth control."
"There are only negative long-term impacts of an increased TFR—and resulting population growth—on our nation’s environment, economy, natural resources, and quality of life," it says.
NPG President Donald Mann linked taxpayer funding of abortion overseas and Planned Parenthood, as well as subsidized abortion and contraception coverage, to immigration in a statement accompanying the report. He said any effort to divert money from abortion providers would "ultimately be devastating to our nation" by increasing immigration.
"If citizens don’t unite and derail these dangerous and short-sighted activities, it could hinder any chance to ever stop U.S. or global population growth," Mann said. "The implications will extend far beyond our own borders. And this overpopulation will lead to greater political pressure to open the gates for countless millions more immigrants to enter our country."
Rep. Diane Black (R., Tenn.), who sponsored legislation defunding Planned Parenthood, called NPG's endorsement of Planned Parenthood "deeply disturbing," adding that taxpayer funding of abortion overseas should not be seen through the lens of "population control."
"It is deeply disturbing to see Planned Parenthood’s closest allies encouraging a blatant disregard for human life by advocating to expand abortion as means of population control, and I am shaken to my core," Black said. "It should come as no surprise that an organization like Planned Parenthood would keep friends like these rogue environmentalist groups, and it is up to us to reach hearts and minds with the truth about Planned Parenthood."
The report, authored by NPG Executive Director Tracy Henke, also criticized the appointment of "pro-life Judges" to the Supreme Court. She urged policymakers to look "dispassionately" at the issue of immigration in terms of population control worldwide. Maintaining Planned Parenthood's $500 million in annual taxpayer funding, as well as steering tens of millions of dollars in foreign aid dollars would help eliminate future refugees and immigrants.
"Our leaders must consider dispassionately the long-term impacts of these actions on current high fertility rates, overpopulation, and the resulting destabilization in key third world regions that would boost future refugee and immigration flows into the U.S," the report says.
The SPLC—which has been criticized by conservatives and championed by liberals—has labeled the NPC an "anti-immigrant" group several times, listing it as a "key player" in efforts to link environmentalism, population control, and immigration to advance "white supremacy."
NPG spokesman Edwin Rubenstein said the SPLC purposefully misconstrues the group's mission, which is to curb economic growth to reduce the use of natural resources. NPG's focus is "not about races–it's about the stuff all Americans consume."
"They put thousands of these non-profits in the same bucket as overtly racist groups but where is the hard evidence? They have none. They have a way of destroying reputations undeservedly. It's a very powerful lobby," he told the Washington Free Beacon. "NPG's interested in a sustainable economy because economic growth is not a good thing when you're using resources at a faster rate than they can be replaced naturally. Anything we can do to both reduce the rate of population growth or, ideally, reduce the population itself will reduce the amount of stuff we consume."
Planned Parenthood did not respond to a request for comment regarding the report or NPG.
Update August 30, 9:54 a.m.: This story has been updated to include a response from NPG.