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Old 19-05-2005, 04:59 PM
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Exclamation 'Be fruitful and multiply' may mean less 'fruit' for PNG

The population of PNG is growing at an exponential rate with the consequences of this already apparent as resources dwindle and the economy has been in the doldrums for at least a decade.

Here is a recent article about Dr. Molas' recent study on the health implications of PNGs 'fruitfulness'.
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Old 19-05-2005, 05:00 PM
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Population and health

from Post Courier 19/05/05

Population a worry

HARSH times await Papua New Guinea if the population continues to soar, says medical doctor Glen Mola.
Poverty would rise and there would be shortages of food and other necessities, Dr Mola warned in a paper he presented at the University of Papua New Guinea last week.
Dr Mola said the ill-effects of uncontrolled population growth were already being seen in urban areas. These include the queues at banks, bus stops, markets and supermarkets, the Port Moresby General Hospital’s outpatients and emergency sections.
Other examples of population pressures which were being seen included difficulties parents had in trying to get their children to school, the lack of land to resettle landless people such as the Manam volcano-affected people and the shortage of farming land in some areas, including Chimbu, Buka and the Gazelle.
The paper titled: The population: The factor missing in health and development planning in PNG aimed to demonstrate the population trajectory of PNG, to discuss the concept of “carrying capacity’’, to indicate the price of excess consumption, and examine implications for PNG’s health and development.
He said overcrowding was becoming a problem in many parts of the world where millions of people were suffering from hunger and malnutrition everyday.
In PNG, he said, there were on average five children in each family and that figure needed to be reduced to at most two if problems associated with overcrowding were to be avoided. There would be not be enough resources to sustain a large population, he said.
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Old 27-05-2005, 07:00 AM
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The abortion issue

This is an interesting topic inso far as there are fanatical views on both sides of the debate.

Proabortionists advocate it as a way to control the population, prevent unwanted pregancies and the flow on effects of that such as single parenthood, financial hardship and often resulting in outcomes which are much less satisfactory than those from complete families.

Research in economics has indicated that at least in America the effect of legislating abortion has resulted in a reduction in crime and social inequality in terms of projected data (i.e: what would have happened if abortions were not legalised and what would have happened then).

On the other hand those that condemn the practice do so for religious and moral views.

One must put these two views in their proper perspectives; firstly the proabortionist argument as put forward here is looking at the MACROeconomic results and the implications for the population as a whole while the antiabortion campaigners look at it as affecting an individual or family unit.

One must realise that PNG is going through a phase shift from old cultural ways to western ideals and practices.

Traditionally PNG consisted of hunter-gatherer type societies with a high mortality rate and so the ability to reproduce had increased survival value for the family and clan.

As these cultural norms and practices are being eroded away we find ourselves in a transitional period where the innate urge to reproduce continues but with better standards of living more people are surviving thus leading to an exponential increase in the population.

PNG is also in the economic doldrums and so one can only state that the standard of living for most people will continue to slump unless PNG increases its economical output or reduces its ability to reproduce.
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Old 27-05-2005, 07:02 AM
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A moral view on abortion

Here is a Antiabortionist view (post courier - viewpoint 26/05/05)

Abortion is pagan and barbaric

I write in support to the Catholic Bishops and other denominations in their fight to oppose abortion.
As a young Christian, I strongly believe a feotus in the womb has spiritual identity and for a Christian country like Papua New Guinea, thinking of legalising abortion is not of God.
Abortion is wrong. It is the taking of human life. The Bible shows that life begins at conception. God fashioned us while we were in our mother’s womb (Psalms 139:13). The prophet Jeremiah and apostle Paul were called by God before they were born. John the Baptist leaped in his mother’s womb when the voice of Mary, the mother of the Lord was heard. Obviously children in the womb have spiritual identity.
From the moment of conception there is a progression of development that continues to adulthood. God condemned the Israelites who were offering their children as sacrifices to the heathen god Molech. Such children were burned up in the fires of sacrifice, offered to a god of sensuality and convenience.
The same is happening today in the world and for Papua New Guinea trying to legalise abortion, we are saying that human beings are not worth anything.
This is a terrible blot on our society.
The Bible is not more specific on the matter of abortion because such a practice would have been unthinkable to the people of God.
For instance, when Israel was in Egypt a cruel Pharaoh forced the Israelites to kill their new born babies. This was looked upon as the height of cruel oppression (Ex. 1:5-22). The idea of killing their own children would have been anathema to the Hebrews.
Children were considered a gift from God. Women prayed not to be barren. How could a righteous woman turn against the greatest gift from God and destroy them? Abortion is not only unthinkable, it is also pagan and barbaric.
My question to Governor Luther Wenge and Dr Banare Bun, why legalise abortion in PNG? Don’t you know that Abortion is murder?

Imran B and T.N
Paga Hill
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Old 31-05-2005, 10:05 AM
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Smile abortion

I am a Catholic and I strongly go against abortion. I also am an adopted child. I was adopted by my parents because my mother could not have children. When I was expecting my first child, my father told me that I should always be grateful to have been blessed. What I'm trying to say is, If you don't want the child there are a lot of couples out there who are more then willing to adopt and give the child all their love, you don't have to opt for abortion. I for one am truly grateful for the parents I have.
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Old 08-06-2005, 08:01 AM
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Smile Abortion - Life in the US

Sister Lucia's Secret

Our Lord appeared to Sister Lucia in 1927, this time giving her permission to reveal the first two parts of the message of Fatima: 1) The vision of Hell, including the promise to take the children to Heaven, the predictions of another war, martyrdom for Christians, the destruction of nations, the persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father, and the spread of Communism. 2) The devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. All this had previously been kept secret. In 1929, Our Lady came once again. She completed the promise made on July 13th to come and ask for the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. "The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the bishops of the world, to make the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means. There are so many souls whom the Justice of God condemns for sins committed against me, that I have come to ask reparation: sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray." If men would fulfill her requests, Russia would be converted and there would be peace.

There is still an unkonwn part of the message of Fatima that has never been revealed. Prior to 1950, Sister Lucia wrote down this secret and placed it in an envelope which was sealed and given to the Bishop of Fatima to be opened in 1960. [Editor's Note: In 1960 the letter was opened, and its contents were read by Pope John XXIII. At that time, ecclesiastical authorities decided not to reveal it to the general public. No one in authority had ever said the secret would be revealed to the world, but only that the letter would be opened in 1960.]

On the night of January 25, 1938, Sister Lucia stood at her convent window and saw an ominous red glow that lit the entire sky. This light was seen throughout Europe and Africa and in part of America and Asia. Scientists tried to explain it as a most unusual display of the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. But Sister Lucia knew that it was the great sign foretold by Our Lady on July 13, 1917, and that the punishment of the world was at hand. Several weeks later, Hitler invaded Austria striking the match that was to set the world aflame. Thus becan another and worse war in the reign of Pius XI, as predicted by the Mother of God at Fatima.

Life in the United States

While those on the side of Almighty God and His Blessed Mother try to spread her "peace plan from Heaven," the forces of evil are meeting with even greater success in their efforts to draw men into sin -- and Our Lady said at Fatima that "Wars are a punishment from God for sin."

Everywhere in this country there has been a tremendous increase in abortions, divorce, birth control, immorality, paganism, materialism and secularism. Pope Pius XII once said: "The greatest sin is our generation is that it has lost all sense of sin."

How true these words are becomes apparent when the statements of Jacinta concerning immorality are recalled, and we see that in the United States:

1. At least 1.5 million surgical abortions are performed every year in the United States -- one out of every four pregnancies. (Abortion is murder, and murder is one of the "Four Sins Crying to Heaven for Vengeance.") Thus in one year, twice as many Americans are killed through abortion as in all the wars of U.S. history. Every 11 days more children are aborted than American men were killed in the 11-year-long Vietnam War; every 10 weeks the number totals the number of American war dead in World War II. Every 5 hours and 15 minutes there are 900 abortions in the United States; each year abortion kills as many as the combined populations of Kansas City, Minneapolis and Miami. Surgical abortion is the most common operation performed in the United States today, three times as common as tonsilectomies. In addition, there are millions of silent abortions caused by the most commonly used (low dosage) birth control pill, the IUD, the morning-after pill, "menstrual extraction" and self-aborting ******l suppositories. In America the pregnancy rate is high, but the birthrate is very low.

2. One out of every two marriages ends in divorce -- 50%! -- with resultant broken homes, misery for children, etc.

3. Advocates of birth control -- insisting that children are a burden and not a blessing -- are successfully inducing millions of young couples to use contraceptives. They say in effect that God can create life but cannot provide for it. It is estimated that 1/3 of couples married 10 years or more have been voluntarily sterilized.

4. Homosexuality is being recognized more and more as a "legitimate lifestyle," even by many who call themnselves Catholic. (And homosexuality, according to the Bible, is also one of the "Four Sins Crying to Heaven for Vengeance.") San Francisco, one of our greatest cities, is now considered by many as the capital of homosexuality in the U.S.; "gay" organizations operate openly there and often brazenly stage public rallies in the city streets.

5. Prostitution, juvenile delinquency, sex crimes, and immorality in general have increased to an alarming degree since World War II. Much of this has been caused by the indecent fashions worn by modern women today, and much by the filthy propaganda reaching Americans through the movies, television, radio, newspapers, and particularly through the overwhelming torrent of indecent literature which has deluged us the past several years.

6. Money, material possessions, fame and power have become the "gods" worshipped by millions of Americans today -- a man's success in life is now measured by what he has. It little matters how he gets what he has.
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Old 11-06-2005, 02:59 AM
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Smile Text of Dr. Gianna Emanuela Molla - daughter saved by dying mother

Mother, doctor, and lover of life

Gianna Beretta Molla was born in Magenta (Milan), Italy, on October 4, 1922, the 10th of 13 children. After earning degrees in medicine and surgery from the University of Pavia in 1949, she opened a medical clinic in Mesero (near Magenta) in 1950. She specialized in pediatrics at the University of Milan in 1952 and thereafter gave special attention to mothers, babies, the elderly, and the poor. While working in the field of medicine—which she considered a “mission” and practised as such – she increased her generous service to Catholic Action, especially among the “very young.” She became engaged to Pietro Molla and they were married on September 24, 1955 in St. Martin’s Basilica in Magenta. In November 1956, to her great joy, she became the mother of Pierluigi; in December 1957 of Mariolina; in July 1959 of Laura. She met the demands of mother, wife, doctor and her passion for life with simplicity and great balance.

In September 1961, towards the end of the second month of pregnancy with her fourth child, Gianna had to make a heroic decision. Physicians diagnosed a serious fibroma in the uterus that required surgery. The surgeon suggested that Gianna undergo an abortion in order to save her own life. A few days before the child was due, she was ready to give her life in order to save that of her child: “If you must decide between me and the child, do not hesitate. Choose the child — I insist on it. Save the baby.”

On the morning of April 21, 1962, her daughter Gianna Emanuela was born. Despite all efforts and treatments to save both of them, on the morning of April 28, amid unspeakable pain and after repeated exclamations of “Jesus, I love you. Jesus, I love you,” the mother died. She was 39 years old. Her husband Pietro has described Gianna’s life as “an act and a perennial action of faith and charity; it was a non-stop search for the will of God for every decision and for every work, with prayer and meditation, Holy Mass and the Eucharist.”

On April 24, 1994, Pope John Paul II beatified Gianna Beretta Molla, mother of a family, in St. Peter’s Square in Rome. The Pope said that her witness was a hymn to life. At the beatification ceremony, the Holy Father said that Gianna’s action for life was possible only after a life of preparation.

St. Gianna Molla continues to remind the Church and the world of the necessity of a consistent ethic of life, from the earliest moments to the final moments of human life. We are being called to heroism by our choice of life. Let us ask St. Gianna to give us the courage to take the next step.


Text of Dr. Gianna Emanuela Molla:
I am very honoured and moved to be here today with all of you and I thank Fr. Thomas Rosica with all my heart, and his staff, the parishioners and friends of the Newman Centre who are present at this important ceremony. Three days ago, when Padre Tom showed me the church windows for the first time and I saw my mother smiling, I was filled with joy and so pleased, because I have always imagined her in this way, knowing that the message of her life couldn’t be represented better.

Every moment of her entire existence was a real testimony of Christian love and faith, lived concretely and with joy in everyday life: as a young girl, as a fiancée and wife, as a mother and doctor. She always trusted in Divine Providence and she has crowned her exemplary life in the name of a love without measure. She is always with me and since the momentous day of April 24, 1994, I have felt myself to be part of an ever growing family comprised of so many people throughout the world who, like me, pray to her, confide in her, and feel close to her. I believe that this is also the design of Divine Providence, that now I shall never be alone.

Dear Mom, I ask you to fill me and all those who suffer and are in difficulty with your own strength of soul, your hope, your courage to live life to the full. Protect and help all mothers, their families and all who turn to you and entrust their needs to you. I now invite you to pray with me the prayer to my mother:


God, you who are Father, we give you praise
and we bless you
because in Gianna Beretta Molla
You have given and have made known a woman
who witnessed the Gospel
As a young person, as a bride, as a mother and a doctor.
We thank you because through the gift of her life
[my mother’s life],
We learn to accept and honor every human being.
You, Lord Jesus, were for her privileged reference;
She was able to know you in the beauty of nature.
As she questioned her choice of life she was in search of You
and of the best way to serve You.
Through her married love she became a sign of your love
for the Church and for humanity;
Like you, Good Samaritan,
she stopped at the side of every sick person, small and weak;
After your example and for love,
she gave herself entirely, generating new life.
Holy Spirit, font of every perfection,
Give also to us wisdom, intelligence, and courage
after the example of Gianna [my mother],
and through her intercession,
In her personal, family, and professional life,
we are able to put ourselves at the service of every person
and grow in this way in love and in holiness.
Amen.
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Old 12-06-2005, 08:26 AM
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Smile Pressure of population grows

Pressure of population growsd Edition Fri-Sun 10th-12th June, 2005

Weekend Edition Fri-Sun 10-12 June, 2005

By Brian Tobia

Rapid population growth in Papua New Guinea needs to be controlled to effectively address pressure continuously placed on inadequate government services and people being forced to live below the poverty line.
Nations forced to the brim of poverty miss out on business and investment leading them to bankruptcy and dependency on external loans that bring them into more debt.
But doctors in PNG believe that non-scalpel vasectomy (tying the tubes that carry the sperm cells) is a safer method to control population explosion.
This will result in the control of population growth and subsequently poverty, availability and accessibility to resources, healthy population and financially sound nation that can attract business and investment.
This is an expert opinion of the Executive Dean of the UPNG School of Medicine and Health Sciences Professor Mathias Sapuri who introduced non-scalpel vasectomy in 1997.
Prof Sapuri said this new method of vasectomy is important particularly when there is a disparity between increasing incidences of HIV/AID, high maternal and mortality rate affecting pockets of rural communities made up of 85 per cent of PNG and ural population which the economy cannot support?
Non-scalpel vasectomy that is responsible for preventing pregnancy in women has gained a lot of interest recently from Papua New Guinean men since its introduction.
The method was first developed in China by the director of Chanqiang Family Planning Scientific Research Institute Dr Li Shunqiang.
The method is very popular in China and very popular among Chinese and Asian men over the last 30 years since 1974. The success rate in China is excellent.
here are other control methods but this could be the only efficient way that does not require major operation,?said Prof Sapuri.
He said a total of 9384 non-scalpel vasectomy operations have been done in the last seven years to 2002 and the interest was gaining momentum.
He said the success rate has been good except for four cases of pregnancy reported by four women (three Papua New Guineans and an expatriate) after the operations.
Prior to the introduction of the non-scalpel vasectomy, about 50 cases were done per annum using the conventional method.
The non-scalpel vasectomy program in PNG is funded by UNFPA from 1996 to 2002, with an extension to 2005.
There are now 150 doctors and health extension officers performing these operations in PNG since the training of a handful doctors in Indonesia under the World Bank and AusAID population and family planning project.
e have HEO in rural health centres who can adequately perform these operations,?Prof Sapuri said.
The trend of non-scalpel vasectomy in PNG has been impressive to date.
From only 150 cases in 1997, the number has grown to 545 in 1998, total of 1523 in 2001 and 9384 this year. It is anticipated that more operations would be performed as awareness increases among men and more responsible husbands volunteer.
There is no danger. A man can still produce sperm in sex but minus the sperm cells that fertilise the female eggs.
The primary aim of vasectomies is to prevent pregnancies but there are many other benefits.
It is also important particularly at this time when HIV that causes AIDS and other STIs are on the rise.
Prof Sapuri said Papua New Guineans must be aware that vasectomy will enable family units to maintain affordable family sizes.
Controlling population growth is very vital particularly against the background as he explained below:
* PNG population growth rate of 3.2 per cent has contributed an increase in total population to 5.1 million people at the last National Census in 2000 and its still growing;
* About 85 per cent of the total population lives in rural areas and 31 per cent live below the international poverty line ?below $US1 (K3.25) per day;
* It has a highest maternal mortality in the Pacific with more women dying each year from complications related to pregnancy, which could have been prevented and maternal health care not at its peak; and
* HIV transmissions are also on the rise in PNG and women are left vulnerable.
The latest HIV statistics by occupation indicate that 21 per cent of the total number of people infected were housewives.
Considering these problems, it is essential for this new vasectomy method to be actively promoted to Papua New Guinean men.
All but minor complications were reported as a result of non-scalpel vasectomy in PNG.
According to Prof Sapuri, safe motherhood should be the aim for all Papua New Guineans considering the fact that every pregnancy faces risks.
A sector wide approach (a method of collaborating between government and development partners) will be pursued to deal with these problems and improve the health status of women in the country.
Among other things, safe motherhood will be pursued actively as a vital social and economic investment.
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Last edited by mangitbay; 12-06-2005 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 12-06-2005, 10:07 AM
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Birth Control

Article taken from MedicineNet.com



Birth Control


Introduction

If a woman is sexually active and she is fertile -- physically able to become pregnant -- she needs to ask herself, "Do I want to become pregnant now?" If her answer is "No," she must use some method of birth control (contraception).

If a woman does not want to get pregnant at this point in her life, when does she plan to become pregnant? Soon? Much later? Never? Her answers to these questions can determine the method of birth control that she and her male sexual partner use -- now and in the future.

Encyclopedia - birth control, practice of contraception for the purpose of limiting reproduction.

Methods of Birth Control

Male birth control methods include withdrawal of the male before ejaculation (the oldest contraceptive technique) and use of the condom, a rubber sheath covering the *****. The condom, because of its use as a protection against sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS, has become a frequently used birth control device.

Contraceptive methods for women include the rhythm method—abstinence around the most likely time of ovulation—and precoital insertion into the ****** of substances (creams, foams, jellies, or suppositories) containing spermicidal chemicals. The use of a diaphragm, a rubber cup-shaped device inserted before intercourse, prevents sperm from reaching the uterine cervix; it is usually used with a spermicide. Contraceptive sponges, which are impregnated with a spermicide, also are inserted into the ****** before intercourse and work primarily by acting as a barrier to the sperm. Intrauterine devices, or IUDs, are variously shaped small objects inserted by a doctor into the uterus; they apparently act by creating a uterine environment hostile either to sperm or to the fertilized egg. The birth control pill, an oral contraceptive, involves a hormonal method in which estrogen and progestins (progesteronelike substances) are taken cyclically for 21 or 84 days, followed by 7 days of inactive or no pills. The elevated levels of hormones in the blood suppress production of the pituitary hormones (luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone) that would ordinarily cause ovulation.

Sterilization of the female, often but not always performed during a Cesarean section or shortly after childbirth, consists of cutting or tying both Fallopian tubes, the vessels that carry the egg cells from the ovaries to the uterus. In male sterilization (vasectomy) the vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm from the testes to the *****, are interrupted. Sterilization, in most cases irreversible, involves no loss of libido or capacity for sex.
No contraceptive yet devised is at once simple, acceptable, safe, effective, and reversible. Some, such as the diaphragm, condom, and chemical and rhythm methods, require high motivation by users; the pill, which must be taken daily, sometimes induces undesirable side effects, such as nausea, headache, weight gain, and increased tendency to develop blood clots. The IUDs, although requiring no personal effort or motivation, are often not tolerated or are expelled, and they sometimes, particularly if poorly designed, cause uterine infection, septic abortion, and other problems.

New birth control techniques, some still experimental, include the use of progestins that can be given by injection every three months; progestins embedded in inert carriers and implanted under the skin to release the hormones slowly and continuously; progestins incorporated into a plastic ring that a woman could insert in the ****** and would need to change only periodically; and IUDs carrying an antifertility agent. If birth control fails (or is not used), doctors may prescribe several large doses of certain oral contraceptives as “morning after” pills; the high level of hormones can inhibit the establishment of pregnancy even if fertilization has taken place. Mifepristone, or RU-486, the so-called abortion pill, is effective within seven weeks after conception and requires close medical supervision. It was first approved in Europe and was tested in the mid-1990s in United States, where it was approved in 2000. Another experimental technique is immunization against human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), a hormone secreted by a developing fertilized egg that stimulates production of progesterone by the ovary; the effect of the anti-HCG antibody would be to inactivate HCG and thereby induce menstruation even if fertilization occurred.


History of the Birth Control Movement

Although contraceptive techniques had been known in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, the modern movement for birth control began in Great Britain, where the writings of Thomas Robert Malthus stirred interest in the problem of overpopulation. By the 1870s a wide variety of birth control devices were available in English and American pharmacies, including rubber condoms and diaphragms, chemical suppositories, ******l sponges, and medicated tampons. Easy public access to contraceptive devices in the United States aroused the ire of Anthony Comstock and others, who lobbied Congress until it passed (1873) a bill prohibiting the distribution of these devices across state lines or through the mail. Moreover, in England in 1877, Annie Besant and Charles Bradlaugh were tried for selling The Fruits of Philosophy, a pamphlet on contraceptive methods, written in 1832 by an American, Charles Knowlton. After their famous trial, the Malthusian League was founded. Meanwhile, a variety of contraceptive devices remained available to a large public, usually advertised in veiled but unmistakable language.

In 1878 the first birth control clinic was founded in Amsterdam by Aletta Jacobs. The first U.S. birth control clinic, opened (1916) by Margaret Sanger in Brooklyn, N.Y., was closed by the police; she received a 30-day jail sentence. She later permanently established a clinic in New York City in 1923. In Great Britain the Malthusian League, aided by Marie Stopes, established a birth control clinic in London in 1921.
Sanger also helped organize (1917) the National Birth Control League in the United States; in 1921 it became the American Birth Control League, and in 1942 the Planned
Parenthood Federation of America. Meanwhile, in 1918 an American judge ruled that contraceptive devices were legal as instruments for the prevention of disease, and the federal law prohibiting dissemination of contraceptive information through the mails was modified in 1936. Throughout the 1940s and 50s, birth control advocates were engaged in numerous legal suits. In 1965 the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the one remaining state law (in Connecticut) prohibiting the use of contraceptives.

The federal government began to take a more active part in the birth control movement in 1967, when 6% of the funds allotted to the Child Health Act was set aside for family planning; in 1970, the Family Planning Services and Population Act established separate funds for birth control. Birth control and sex education in schools continue to be emotional issues in the United States, where adolescent sexual activity and pregnancy rates are high and bring with them increased risks of sexually transmitted diseases and complications of pregnancy, as well as societal and personal costs.

Birth control on the international level is led by the International Planned Parenthood Federation, founded in 1952, with members in 134 countries by 1995. Sweden was one of the first countries to provide government assistance for birth control, which it did as early as the 1930s. Two of the more successful birth control programs have been in Japan, where the birthrate has been dramatically reduced, and—more controversially—in China, where the government has a “one family, one child” policy and local authorities have typically intimated women pregnant into aborting a second pregnancy. Several of the so-called under populated nations, however, have a stated policy of encouraging an increased birthrate, e.g., Argentina, and concern over declining populations has increased in recent years in certain Western European countries and Russia. Among religious bodies, the Roman Catholic Church has provided the main opposition to the birth control movement; Popes Paul VI and John Paul II reaffirmed this stance in encyclicals.
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Old 15-06-2005, 11:41 PM
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It's (Past) Time to End Population Control

It's (Past) Time to End Population Control

"Every man's death diminishes me." --John Donne, 1631

"Every babe's birth diminishes me." --Garrett Hardin, population control advocate, 1970 1

Since the 1960s, population alarmists have been shrilly predicting demographic disaster for the human race. The potted prophecies of population bomber Paul Ehrlich have been the most notorious. In 1972, he warned that 65 million Americans (!) would die of starvation by 1985. Hundreds of millions would perish elsewhere. Needless to say, this predicted decimation never happened.

Great advances in agriculture -- we have set new records for global grain production in 16 of the last 30 years -- have left us better off than ever before. Although an estimated 1,644 people still die from malnutrition each day, this is only about one-40th of the number of deaths from hunger claimed by the population fear-mongers. Moreover, those deaths that do occur are primarily a consequence of civil war. 2 Food is frequently used as a weapon. Opposing armies target the civilian populations of their enemies for extinction, destroying their crops and interdicting food convoys.

Still, the prophecies of Ehrlich and others have fueled massive programs, through the UN Population Fund and other agencies, to constrict human fertility, especially in the developing world. Why is the developed world so determined to reduce population growth in the developing world? One answer comes from Dr. Charles Ravenholt, former director of the Population Office of USAID: "Population control is needed to maintain the normal operation of United States' commercial interests around the world."3

This view is more than just Dr. Ravenholt's personal opinion, for it is enshrined in an official document of the U.S. government entitled Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests. Drafted by the National Security Council under the direction of Henry Kissinger, and secretly published as National Security Study Memorandum 200 (NSSM 200) on December 10, 1974, this document declares:

"The U.S. economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less-developed countries. That fact gives the U.S. enhanced interest in the political, economic, and social stability of the supplying countries. Wherever a lessening of population pressures through reduced birthrates can increase the prospects for such stability, population policy becomes relevant to resource supplies and to the economic interests of the United States."

These recommendations were adopted and carried out. For the past quarter century, America and its allies have carried out a covert war on people in the developing world. In 1998 alone, the Clinton administration spent $385 million to promote abortion, perform sterilizations, and ship contraceptives to countries around the world. And still this is not enough for the Contraceptor-in-Chief: Clinton has vowed to increase population spending to a whopping $561 million in 2000.

To mask U.S. involvement and allay Third World suspicions, population control aid is funneled through the UNFPA and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). For the same reason, strenuous efforts were made to create the appearance of an international "consensus" on the need for population control at the 1994 Cairo Conference on Population and Development and elsewhere. The "surplus population" of the Third World must not suspect that it is being deliberately "reduced."

Too Few Children
"One remarks nowadays over all Greece [there is] such a low birthrate and in a general manner such depopulation that the towns are deserted and the fields lying fallow, although this country has not been ravage[d] by war or epidemic. The cause of this harm is evident. By avarice or by cowardice, the people, if they marry, will not bring up the children that they ought to have. At most, they bring up one or two. It is in this manner that the scourge, before it is noticed, has rapidly developed. The remedy is in ourselves, we have but to change our morals"4 -- Plutarch, remarking on the decline of Greek civilization.

In part because of urbanization, modernization, and industrialization, in part because of America's effort to export a contraceptive mentality, global population growth is now slowing dramatically. Fertility rates country after country are falling below replacement. According to the latest UN Population Division (not to be confused with the UNFPA) figures, fully 71 countries representing almost half the world's population now have below replacement fertility rates. Those countries with still healthy fertility rates -- more than 2.2 children per woman -- grow fewer in number with each passing year.

Humanity's long-term problem will not be too many children, but too few children. The UNFPA, as well as population control programs in general, have outlived whatever usefulness they may once have possessed. Why should the United States spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year to further reduce fertility in countries whose populations will all too soon be in decline?

In Europe's graying present we can see the world's future. This year, for the first time since the Black Death in the Middle Ages, Europe's population will decline. Population projections point to a demographic debacle of the first order in the decades to come. Worried governments from the Mediterranean to the Baltic have begun to encourage couples to bear children, and reward them for doing so. To date such programs have had little effect.

The picture for the world as a whole is little better. The current world TFR is at 2.48 children per woman, not far above replacement. Given still high infant mortality rates in many parts of the world, the replacement fertility rate is about 2.2 children per woman, a figure that will be reached by the year 2005. For all practical purposes, then, the world is currently at zero population growth. Should current trends continue, the TFR will fall to only one child per woman by the end of the next century. At this anemic rate, the world's population will be cut in half each generation.

Even in the developing world the population growth is slowing dramatically. The current population of the developing regions of the world is about 4.84 billion. It will peak at about 6.4 billion in the year 2040 and then begin a slow but accelerating decline to about 4.3 billion in the year 2100. The developing world is following in the developed world's demographic footsteps, with this disturbing difference: The developed world grew rich before it grew old. The developing world will grow old before it grows rich. Whether this will condemn them to perpetual poverty remains to be seen.

Given these sobering demographic realities, the UNFPA and all population control programs have clearly outlived whatever usefulness they may once have possessed. Such programs should be terminated before they do even more damage to humanity's future.

Congressional Cutbacks
The U.S. Congress has begun to subject population control programs to more scrutiny in recent years. On March 23, 1999, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution urging the UN to curb the Chinese-style abuses endemic to many population control programs. Earlier that same year, Congress zeroed out UNFPA's annual $25 million subsidy from the U.S. Treasury because of that agency's ill-considered decision to resume participating in China's infamous one-child-per-family policy. Although the funding was restored the following year, it put the population control lobbies on notice that their programs were no longer sacrosanct.

The previous October, Cong. Todd Tiahrt (R., Kans.) sponsored an amendment ensuring that the U.S. would no longer fund coercive international family planning efforts. The Population Research Institute had brought overwhelming evidence of forced sterilization and family planning in Peru -- done under the auspices of USAID -- to Congress' attention. Not only were medical staffers in poor regions given targets to meet, but they also were paid bonuses if they met them. USAID promised to correct the abuses.

On March 14, 2000, PRI presented new evidence from a recent fact-finding mission, undertaken in December 1999, of possible violations of the Tiahrt amendment. Our researchers detailed case after case of Peruvian women who had been intimidated into taking dangerous contraceptives or had been sterilized without their consent. Many women reported that they were told by their health care providers that they were "too stupid" to be given a choice about contraception or future fertility.

Responding to this new information, Cong. Tiahrt said, "We will not tolerate the use of American tax dollars to coerce women into family planning against their wishes. Clearly the spirit, if not the letter, of the amendment has been violated." The House Appropriations Committee refused President Clinton's request for a $169 million increase in population control funds.

Harming Or Helping Women?
Population control advocates claimed that cutting off $25 million in U.S. funding in 1999-2000 "has deprived 870,000 women in developing countries of modern contraception, leading to half a million unintended pregnancies, 200,000 abortions, and thousands of maternal and child deaths." 5

These numbers are grossly inflated and misleading. Even if they were correct, however, this would still be a wasteful and inefficient way to reduce maternal and infant mortality. If the entire $25 million were spent in Nigeria, which has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world (there are 1,030 deaths per 100,000 live births), then the UNFPA would claim that 5,150 lives (5 x 1,030) would be saved. The cost per life saved would be $4,854.

Far more lives could be saved if this money were spent on other health care measures, such as maternal tetanus immunizations. An average expenditure of $126 on maternal tetanus immunizations will save the life of one baby. 6 For $25 million, the lives of 198,400 African babies could be saved -- nearly 40 times as many as the UNFPA claims to save by contracepting and sterilizing women.

If the $25 million were spent on breastfeeding promotion among AIDS-free mothers, the lives of more than 50,000 African infants would be saved, more than nine times as many as would be saved if the money were given to the UNFPA.

Spending the funds on having trained medical personnel attend births would also save tens of thousands of lives, as UN statistics themselves show. In African countries where an average of only 15% of all births are attended, the maternal mortality ratio is a high 1,340 per 100,000 births. Where an average of 83% of all births are attended, the maternal mortality ratio is a much lower 320 per 100,000 births, a tremendous decrease. If the $25 million were spent on attending births, assuming a cost of $50.00 per attended birth, an additional 500,000 births could be attended. This would save the lives of 7,500 mothers and 42,500 infants, more than nine times as many as the UNFPA claims by distributing contraceptives.

In short, as many as 193,000 women and babies will die if the $25 million is restored to UNFPA instead of going toward primary health care programs. Think how much good we could do with the funds now poured into urging -- and even insisting -- that families not welcome children, were the funds used instead to provide basic health services and sanitation.

Contraceptive Dangers And Abortion Designs
Most so-called modern contraceptives are designed for use on healthy women of the developed world. Their indiscriminate use on women in the developing world who may be malnourished, anemic, or otherwise in poor health can lead to serious medical problems. With follow-up care nearly nonexistent, these problems go untreated. The UN Population Fund also claims that contraception is a panacea for abortion: "Where abortion is safe and widely available, and other reproductive health services are in place, rates of abortion tend to be low. The simple conclusion is: Better contraceptive services for all people will reduce abortion."7

But one only has to look at the relationship between contraception and abortion in the U.S. to unravel this specious argument. Fully 94.8% of sexually active women in America are now either sterile or use some form of contraception -- yet the abortion rate has not changed significantly since 1975. 8 Contraceptive use in developing countries has increased from about 8% of all couples in 1960 to about 60% of all couples in 1998. Yet the number of legal and illegal abortions worldwide continues to increase, reaching an estimated 55 million per year by the early 1990s according to the statistics provided by the International Planned Parenthood Federation. 9 If contraceptives were truly the answer to reducing "unwanted pregnancies," we should have seen a drop or a leveling out in the number of abortions worldwide. Instead, the numbers continue to rise.

The final reason that population control programs should be ended -- yesterday -- is straightforward: We as a people simply have no business telling families in the Third World how many children they should or should not have.

(Steven W. Mosher is the president of the Population Research Institute, based in Front Royal, VA., and is the author of Hegemon: China's Plan to Dominate Asia and the World [Encounter Books, forthcoming]. PRI can be contacted at P.O. Box 1559, Front Royal, VA 22630; at www.pop.org; or at 540-622-5240.)

Footnotes
1. Garrett Hardin, "Everybody's Guilty: The Ecological Dilemma," California Medicine, November 1970, p. 42.

2. World Bank, Development Report 1993, "Investing in Health," 224-225.

3. Dr. Charles Ravenholt, director, Population Office, quoted in "Population Control of the Third World Planned: Sterilization Storm in U.S.," Dublin, Ireland, Evening Press, May 12, 1979, p. 9.

4. Plutarch, "Remarking on the Decline of Greek Civilization," Pulibus, vol. 37, p. 221.

5. Eric Onstad, "West Misses Cash Target to Curb Population Growth," Reuters, February 12, 1999.

6. Malcolm Potts and Julia Walsh, "Making Cairo Work," The Lancet, January 23, 1999, 315-318.

7. United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), The State of the World Population 1997: The Right to Choose: Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Health.

8. United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Statistical Abstract of the United States 1997 (117th edition), Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1997. Table 110, "Contraceptive Use by Women, 15 to 44 Years Old: 1995," and Table 114, "Abortions: Number, Rate, and Ratio, by Race: 1975 to 1992."

9. International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Meeting Challenges: Promoting Choices: A Report on the 40th Anniversary, IPPF Family Planning Congress, New Delhi, India, New York: Parthenon Publishing Group, 1993, 6, 23.

© The Wanderer, 201 Ohio Street, St. Paul, MN 55107, 612-224-5733.
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