OB/GYN thinks we need more contraception to prevent overpopulation. We should question that.
Analysis

OB/GYN thinks we need more contraception to prevent overpopulation. We should question that.

abortion, contraceptives, population

Dr. Deborah Anderson, a professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Boston University, has published a piece in the New England Journal of Medicine arguing for a new “contraceptive revolution.” The professor argues that the world is faced with an urgent problem of a rapidly increasing global population that will put unsustainable pressures on the environment, and that countries need to heavily invest in new contraceptive technologies to “provide options for the diverse populations that are not currently being served by modern contraception.”

But as is the case with many population control zealots, both the problems she identifies and the solutions she proposes are deeply flawed.

Population explosion by 2100… or decline by century’s end?

The author’s basic assumption, that the global population will continue to increase exponentially, is questionable. Dr. Anderson’s entire argument rests on a prediction from the pro-contraception United Nations that the global population will reach 11.2 billion by the year 2100, up nearly 4 billion from Earth’s present 7.7 billion people. Yet as Darrell Bricker and John Ibbitson — authors of “Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline” — pointed out earlier this year in The Guardian, many respected demographers are questioning the methodology behind the UN’s calculations: “[A] growing body of opinion believes the UN is wrong. We will not reach 11 billion by 2100. Instead, the human population will top out at somewhere between 8 and 9 billion around the middle of the century, and then begin to decline.”

The warning signs are evident in many parts of the world. Birth rates in half of all countries are at or below replacement levels of 2.1 live births per woman. In 2018, the fertility rate reached the lowest level in 30 years in the United States. China faces a potentially devastating demographic crisis tied to decades of disastrous population control policies. And Norway, whose fertility rate dropped to the lowest rate in 33 years in 2018, has become emblematic of the problem faced by many countries. As the country’s prime minister stated, demographic shortfalls threaten the very foundation of Norway’s society. “Norway needs more children! … In the coming decades, we will encounter problems with this model. There will be fewer young people to bear the increasingly heavy burden of the welfare state,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg said, according to Norway Today.

READ: Why the idea of overpopulation should not be used to justify abortion

In a Live Action Pro-Life Replies video, Dr. Stephen Mosher of the Population Research Institute points out that the true danger is the opposite of population growth:  “… [T]he evidence indicates that the world isn’t in danger from overpopulation; it’s in danger from underpopulation. Around the world, birth rates have fallen, work forces are shrinking, while the numbers of elderly are dramatically increasing.” In fact says Mosher, underpopulation could lead to great societal challenges. “Overpopulation is not only a myth; it is a myth that kills. And it kills both people, and economies,” he said. ”In the world of the 21st century, we need more babies, not fewer.”

 

Development assistance… or ideological colonization?

But even if the UN data were correct, the “solution” that Dr. Anderson proposes reeks of what Pope Francis has denounced as “ideological colonization.” For example, Dr. Anderson praises pushing contraception to developing nations:

London Family Planning Summits in 2012 and 2017 set an ambitious goal of expanding access to voluntary family planning services in the lowest-income countries, where 222 million women have an unmet need for family planning. The Gates Foundation recently prioritized the empowerment of girls and women, with an initiative expected to have a major moderating effect on human population growth.

At a London 2017 meeting, Melinda Gates called contraception “one of the greatest anti-poverty innovations the world has ever known” and committed $375 million from their Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to expanding contraception in developing countries.

Obianuju Ekeocha, president of Culture of Life Africa, decried such misplaced priorities, saying women in developing countries in Africa actually desire basic goods and services, not contraception. “If you speak to the ordinary woman on the streets of Africa, what is she asking for? She’s asking for food. She’s asking for water. She’s asking for basic health care. And contraception continues to be about the last thing she would ever think of,” Ekeocha said in a BBC interview. In fact, says Ekeocha, this so-called “assistance” is a new form of “colonialism.”

Indeed, the Gates Foundation also funds groups whose aim is to spread abortion worldwide, often against the will of cultures and peoples in pro-life countries. The foundation was also linked to the implementation of China’s horrific One-Child Policy via its partnership with the UN Population Fund.

The vision for the world promoted by Dr. Anderson and other population control activists rests on a questionable premise, and involves an ideological colonization in which poor women from developing countries are strongly encouraged or coerced into using contraception.

Clearly, the last thing we need is a new contraceptive revolution.

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