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Baby Boom

How American “culture of life” policies are helping balloon the world population

March 3rd, 2007 · Written by · No Comments

The world is changing.

Sociologists are already writing epitaphs for many of Earth’s declining industrialized nations on one hand, while scratching their heads over how to curb ballooning populations in the third world with the other.

It took 200 years to go from one billion to six billion people worldwide and it may only take 50 years to double that figure. Even the most opportunistic projections hit nine billion. What are the potential impacts that nine to eleven billion hungry mouths will have on the global economy? Food production and distribution? Immigration?

There are fixes on the table, but if you think America is charging ahead with the lead, you’re dead wrong.

It’s another inconvenient truth, but the axis of Earth’s population is shifting rapidly.

It’s another inconvenient truth, but the axis of Earth’s population is shifting rapidly. Baby booms, coupled with low death rates in places like India and Kenya, are bringing an unprecedented number of youth into their reproductive years, and efforts to rein in the population bloom are being stymied by American “culture of life” polices that deny funding to overseas family planning.

Don’t be surprised if you haven’t heard much about this. President Bush’s first order of business after his inauguration in 2001 was to reinstitute a Reagan-era ban on funding for overseas family planning. President Clinton had rescinded the ban in 1993.

It was contentious for about nine months, with advocacy groups becoming vocal about the need for increased women’s health programs and available contraception to help curb the spread of HIV/AIDS, and the exponentially growing populations in poor and undereducated nations.

Then September 11th happened and everyone essentially forgot. Everyone except the nations grappling with the problem, that is.

The Mexico City Policy, known to opponents as the Global Gag Rule, denies non governmental organizations the option to use any money — their own or U.S. provided — for abortion related activities, including education or counseling. To do so would cut them off from all American funding provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which accounts for the bulk of worldwide aid assistance.

The key component is that organizations who do not abide by the gag rule lose access to American donated contraception, including condoms.

Well, so what if they can’t get American money, you say. Big deal. Why should we fund the promiscuous lifestyles of poor folks in Africa who probably hate us anyway?

Well, without American led efforts to bring contraception to the masses, poor and undereducated nations already in the throes of a population bloom will be unable to stem their birth rates. When birth rates far exceed the death rates — like in India and much of Sub-Saharan Africa — huge strain is put on social systems and infrastructure. Conflict and pestilence is inevitable and people suffer.

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Tags: Nonfiction · ·

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