Oxfam makes the distribution of all forms of contraception and access to “safe abortion” a priority in its reproductive and sexual health programs.
Oxfam International is the parent organization for local Oxfam affiliates. The entire organization is comprised of 17 affiliate organizations, all of which are branches of the trunk and root, Oxfam International. Just as local Planned Parenthood affiliates are official local branches of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, so too are local affiliates of Oxfam official branches of the International organization.
It’s important to establish this because the work of all affiliates are not the same as each other, however all reflect the overall purpose and philosophy of the parent organization. Therefore, whatever the parent organization says or does applies to all, and whatever the local affiliates do, applies to the parent organization, which in turn, applies to all. In short, it is all one organization.
In 1998, Oxfam published Volume 2 of its official handbook of relief and development. The inside cover of Volume 1, originally published in 1995, says, “The Handbook is the expression of Oxfam’s fundamental principles: that all people have the right to an equitable share of the world’s resources, and the right to make decisions about their own development.” The citations made below will come from the last available edition, published in 2005.
On page 744, Oxfam says the following about abortion:
Abortion is not a contraceptive method. However, it is an important back-up in the case of contraceptive failure. From the public health perspective, making abortion available, safe, and legal is a significant way of decreasing maternal mortality and improving women’s health. Performed under adequate and hygenic conditions it is a safe and straightforward procedure, but where it is ilegal it is often performed in unhygenic conditions and by unskilled people.
As an example of this philosophy, identified in Oxfam’s handbook, a program of Oxfam-India called “Improving Maternal Health” was aimed at increasing access to and awareness of “safe” abortion clinics, as well as a host of contraceptive methods. This Annual Survey from 2014 gives statistics regarding the number of women Oxfam led to abortion clinics. After indicating on the first page that one of the key objectives of the project is to increase “access to safe abortion services and reporting of the same institutionally,” page 7 of the survey shows that from 2012-2014, Oxfam had significantly increased women’s access to abortion facilities from 1,096 to 12,149.
This same survey shows that Oxfam had also significantly increased the use of surgical sterilization, temporary methods of sterilization, and all forms of artificial contraception including abortifacients.
Back to Oxfam’s handbook, it should be made clear that Oxfam’s philosophy regarding human sexuality is completely incompatible with Christian moral teaching or even a Christian understanding of the family. On page 738 of the handbook, Oxfam says:
Oxfam believes that it is a right of individuals, particularly women, to be able to choose the number of children they want, when to have them, and when to stop having them. Birth planning services should:
- be available and accessible – physically, culturally and economically – to women and men, without any form of coercion or conditionality;
- consult and involve women in policy making and programme implementation;
- provide informed choice: a variety of methods should be made available, and enough information provided so that women and men can make informed choices according to their ages and personal circumstances;
- strongly recommend the use of condoms, given the increasing rates of HIV and AIDS;
- be backed up with adequate medical services to deal with side effects and/or contraceptive failure;
- give greater priority to promoting women’s reproductive rights and reproductive health.
Regarding the implementation of contraceptive programs, page 741 of Oxfam’s handbook says, “The need for programmes to offer as wide a choice of methods as possible cannot be overemphasized.” The handbook then spends a great deal of time describing the “wide choice of methods” available, such as withdrawal, barrier methods, oral contraceptives, injectable contraceptives, implantable contraceptives, IUDs, and sterilization.
Again, we can see this contraceptive mentality in practice on Oxfam’s blog. This 2012 article, “Pregnancy and Childbirth: It’s a Woman’s Right to Choose,” was written by Oxfam’s Campaigns and Activism coordinator. In the article, the author complains that “millions of women (in fact 215 million, if you can imagine what that number looks like?!) around the world don’t have access to modern contraception methods or the choice of when to get pregnant.”
In 2008, Oxfam published a 34 page briefing paper titled, “Failing Women, Withholding Protection: 15 lost years in making the female condom accessible.” In this document, Oxfam complains bitterly that 15 years had passed since the invention of the female condom, and yet there had not been (in Oxfam’s eyes) a big enough push to distribute them en mass to the poor around the world. The summary of this briefing says:
Why provide female condoms, when male condoms are readily available, much cheaper, and provide a comparable level of protection?
- Female condoms are a tool to assist women’s empowerment. Women who use female condoms report an increased sense of power for negotiation of safer sex, and a greater sense of control and safety during sex. It will be many years until women have any alternative female-initiated means of protecting themselves.
- Providing both female and male condoms leads to more instances of protected sex and reductions in the incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Their additive effect, providing protection in instances which would not be protected by male condoms, makes them a cost-effective form of HIV prevention.
Concluding that “Female condoms exist now; the push for universal access to them should begin now,” Oxfam provides a list of recommendations on how to make that happen.
In a June 2010 Media Briefing on the G8 and G20 Summits, Oxfam Indicated what it believed “must be done” regarding sexual and reproductive “rights.” Included in this section is increased access to “safe abortion,” and making available the “widest possible choice of contraception.”
As can be seen by Oxfam’s own documents, it actively lobbies for and works to provide access to all forms of contraception and what it calls “safe” abortion. As an organization, this agency regards children as a cause of poverty and believes that the number of children should be regulated.
Because of Oxfam’s unwavering promoting of these grave moral evils, no Christian could ever, in good conscience, support, provide funds or a clean image for this organization.