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Opinion Pieces Discuss World Population Day, Family Planning, Related Issues

Devex: Opinion: Family planning gives women a future. It shouldn’t be up for debate.
Kathy Calvin, president and chief executive officer of the United Nations Foundation, and Natalia Kanem, executive director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

“…Back in 1968, we thought change was coming for women everywhere, especially when, that same year, world leaders agreed that family planning was a basic human right. … Today, we are seeing many governments roll back access to family planning … Access to contraception drives economic prosperity and sustainability, and empowering women sparks a ripple effect that benefits families, communities, and entire countries. The reality is that no country has emerged from poverty in the last 50 years without expanding access to contraceptives. … There should be no debate on family planning. To truly deliver global progress for people everywhere we need to prioritize women’s empowerment. And that means making sure all women can make their own decisions about their bodies and their lives, and enjoy the right they won 50 years ago” (7/11).

The Conversation: A long fuse: ‘The Population Bomb’ is still ticking 50 years after its publication
Derek Hoff, associate professor and lecturer at the University of Utah

“…[Stanford biologist and ecologist Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 book, ‘The Population Bomb,’] identified dramatically accelerating world population growth as the central underlying cause of myriad problems … [A]s a historian who has studied debates about population growth throughout U.S. history, I believe that Ehrlich’s warnings deserve a new and less hysterical hearing. While Ehrlich has acknowledged significant errors, he was correct that lowering birth rates was — and remains — a crucial plank in addressing global environmental crises. … Human-driven climate change is an overriding threat, and is unambiguously worsened by population growth. … Ultimately, ‘The Population Bomb’ offered no road map for transitioning away from capitalism without causing human ruin as serious as the environmental ruin that seems to be our destiny” (7/10).

Inter Press Service: Age Appropriate Sexuality Education for Youth Key to National Progress
Josephine Kibaru-Mbae, director general of the Government of Kenya’s National Council for Population and Development, and Siddharth Chatterjee, U.N. resident coordinator in Kenya

“…Among sexually active unmarried [Kenyan] adolescents, only about half use any form of contraceptives, yet only one in three women and one in four men, per the same study, knew the correct timing regarding when a woman is likely to get pregnant. The World Population Day should awaken us all to the critical role of those in authority in ensuring children grow up not only in an atmosphere of love and understanding, but also that they live to their full potential. … Scientific evidence shows that when young people are empowered with correct information they are less likely to engage in early or in unprotected sex. This is attributable to the fact that they can undertake risk analysis and make informed decisions. … Family planning is a key tool for reducing poverty since it frees up women to work and leads to smaller families, allowing parents to devote more resources to each child’s health and education…” (7/11).

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