From a speech by M. Peter McPherson, administrator of the Agency for International Development to the American Interprise Institute on Nov. 25:
In fiscal year 1985, AID spent $290 million (21/2 percent of our total family planning assistance budget) on international family planning assistance. This is up from $190 million which was spent in 1981. This administration has always asked Congress for as much or more for family planning as we did the year before. There should be no doubt as to our commitment to this effort. . . . Even with such a small portion of our total budget we have provided millions of families with the ability to achieve their own family goals.
Now let me turn to the issue of abortion. This administration has been consistent in its opposition to abortion as a method of family planning and its strong support for the availability of voluntary family planning services. AID's goal has been to administer fairly and with common sense this two-prong policy. . . . It is my view that we have faithfully carried out both policies in the best way possible. We have applied our anti-abortion and pro-family planning positions to the particular circumstances of our program. . . .
I want to reiterate the important impact which voluntary family planning services have upon developing countries. For the family, the ability to determine freely and responsibly the number and spacing of one's own children is basic. . . . It may also mean the avoidance of the tragic abortion which is often the last resort of desperate parents. For a father and mother coping with poverty and the disintegration of traditional support systems, it may mean a lessening of strains on the family structure. For these reasons alone, international family planning programs should be supported.