Population Control and the Business of Having Babies
Growing up in a very traditional Hispanic family the idea of having children is part of the norm which is as normal as if you’d gone going to college. In keeping the family name an honorable. In my 30s, and unmarried, I am greeted with the same response from the majority of my Hispanic community and family; Why do you not have children?
Now that’s a loaded topic and makes me wonder about the debate surrounding our global population, the actual danger of overpopulation, and the impact it has on our lives in a variety of ways. Do you think it is the disease of our time? From China’s one-child policy to India’s shaky population policies and the subsequent social and environmental issues (e.g. the violence of infanticide, gendercide and depletion in natural resources disease poverty, famine etc. ) that have come up, I can’t resist thinking yes. If you think about it, population control/family planning was the most ambitious social engineering endeavor implemented in the 20th century and has failed spectacularly. (Connelly, Michael). Economic and social development is not the primary focus of these policies. The results cannot be ignored.
I do not think that we should permit governments to legislate on our bodies and infringe upon our rights to reproduce, or apply aggressive population control strategies. In the case of the above policies, i.e., India’s policy, the primary concern for the past 20 years or so has been the sterilization of women. Statistics show that the majority of women who have been sterilized are in their children’s lives. (Population, Opposing Viewpoints). Therefore, it seems to be the case as if the many million (perhaps billions) of dollars invested in the current population control policies in India, would have borne more benefits if put to economic growth. Visit:- https://populer.co.id/
If women are educated and literate, with better nutrition, care, housing, and work opportunities, perhaps more women would transition from strictly being house wives and child-rearing into a portion of the work force, and birth rates will naturally fall. The west is a greater example of this as it is comprised by “developed” nations. The current overpopulation argument in the western world which is the subject of a heated debate immigration, is a good example of this because the immigrants (who originate mostly from developing nations) are the ones to be blamed for overpopulation.
In China’s situation, the government has unashamedly upheld their policy of one child. When it was first implemented, the Chinese government declared it to be, “A policy of encouragement and punishment for maternity, with encouragement as the main feature.” (Population Opinions Against). It’s not in any way a reflection of the actual eventsthat are evidence of policy implementation that includes forced abortion as well as forced sterilization, infanticide and the neglect and killing of orphans. This has been referred to as “the greatest bioethical atrocity on the globe.” (Population Opposing Perspectives). Some issues that are concerning to me with regard to this subject, and beyond the policies on population are The first is the question of contraception and the availability, or lack thereof. It is estimated that around 215 million females in the world without access to birth control. (Optimum Population Trust (“OPT “)). There are advantages and disadvantages to embracing contraception as the most effective solution for controlling population. I realize that there are religious and cultural obstacles for some women that would prevent them from exercising their rights as a reproductive woman however it is essential to be able to choose the option.
Another issue concerns the subject of women’s rights and the impact of population policies on these as well as access to birth control. I was blessed to grow in a place in which birth control is accessible to all. While this may be true however, in my family I witnessed the lack of acceptance by the cultural community of what many think of as “interfering with god’s plan.” Women in certain religions also do not have a lot of education and empowerment. Perhaps this has been one of the major factors contributing in the continued growth of the population in certain parts of the world, regardless of birth control options.
Health and reproductive rights have long been neglected by the organizations that make population control and family planning their primary business. In the case of Emergency state that took place in India during the late seventies is a prime instance of this; forced sterilization was carried out as part of a policy to plan families thanks to funding provided through organizations such as The International Planned Parenthood Federation, which was backed by the U.S. Agency for International Development. Even after the tragedy in India as part of China’s one child policy of 1979, some of these organizations “conflicted about their future and pressured by donors, decided to extend their aid despite repeated warnings about what they were walking into.” (Connelly, Michael). Although population control was abolished in 1994 at the United Nations conference, we have a long way to go. The social and global issues that result from India’s compulsory sterilization or China’s one-child policy which is in place, may not be fully understood for a long time. Persistence in educating women of all socioeconomic statuses around the world about their rights to reproductive health and rights, in the real effort to empower and not control them, is what is needed to make a difference.
Controlling population growth must be a priority in the developing world and it is a matter to be considered globally. Other pressing issues like health and providing clean drinking water for every family, will bring us back full-circle to the importance of advancing the development of society and economy. If we focus on development, then over time , not only would the rises in birth rates be reduced, but in turn environmental impact could be felt as well, and a greater number of people would have basic human necessities being met.