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Articles by Category for ‘Family Planning’

Population, not politics, threatens Pakistan

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Population, not politics, threatens Pakistan 

See: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/67778df6-38ec-11e4-a53b-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3CwnJ1R31

While the politicians fight each other in Islamabad for control of Pakistan, they make no mention in their fiery speeches of the real crisis likely to stunt prosperity for generations. According to economists and demographers, the explosion that endangers Pakistan is not political but demographic.

 
At independence in 1947, there were 33m Pakistanis. Today there are about 200m, making the nation the sixth most populous in the world. By 2050, the population will reach 302m, if the standard projection of the Population Council, a non-government group based in New York, proves correct.

 
However, the number of inhabitants in 2050 could be as high as 395m or as low as 266m, depending on whether the fertility rate remains stable or declines rapidly from the current level of 3.8 children per woman. The gap between the highest and lowest forecasts is huge, exceeding the population of most countries.

 
The strain on natural resources (especially water), government services, infrastructure and families is already immense and will worsen – even if Islamabad suddenly boosts family-planning programmes to meet popular demand for contraception and so ensures the population grows at the lowest of the predicted rates.

See: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/67778df6-38ec-11e4-a53b-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3CwnJ1R31

Hobby Lobby Creates Open Season For Birth Control Lawsuits

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Hobby Lobby Creates Open Season For Birth Control Lawsuits 

See: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/hobby-lobby-declared-open-season-for-birth-control-lawsuits

Ten weeks after Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling has emboldened a swath of separate legal attacks on birth control, many of which experts say have a real chance of succeeding.

In a case heard in an appeals court court this week, a Missouri state representative named Paul Joseph Wieland and his wife sued the Obama administration over the contraceptive coverage mandate because it could let their three teenage daughters access birth control in their family insurance plan at no extra cost.

 
“The employees are to Hobby Lobby what the daughters are to Paul and Teresa Wieland,” Timothy Belz, the attorney for the Wielands, told the three judges, as quoted by MSNBC. Belz’s message was that the Wielands object to birth control and expect their children to follow their religious beliefs. His case was previously thrown out by a district court judge.

 
The lawsuit is one of dozens of attacks on birth control coverage that enjoy new life as a result of the landmark Hobby Lobby decision. The Supreme Court’s ruling applied only to the four types of emergency birth control methods (emergency contraceptives Plan B and Ella, as well as two types of IUDs) that were challenged, but lawyers quickly saw an opening to attack contraceptive coverage more broadly because the justices didn’t distinguish the methods.

See: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/hobby-lobby-declared-open-season-for-birth-control-lawsuits

Stoddard: Bill Ryerson, Global Vermonter

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Stoddard: Bill Ryerson, Global Vermonter 

See: http://digital.vpr.net/post/stoddard-bill-ryerson-global-vermonter

In his office in Shelburne VT, Bill Ryerson, founder and president of Population Media Center or PMC is unassuming, as he jokes about a foot-high stack of folders on his desk he still needs to deal with at the end of the day, before resuming a relentless travel schedule.

 
(Ryerson) Well, next week I will be in Washington DC speaking at the International Best Practices Meeting. The following day I’m speaking at the Inter-American Development Bank and have several other meetings. Then I fly to Ethiopia. I’ll spend nine days there with our country representative, meeting with donor agencies like UN agencies and embassies, to seek their support for what we hope will be our ninth program on Radio Ethiopia.

 
He’s pitching soap opera as one of the most powerful catalysts for social change. Ryerson has worked in more than 50 countries using the power of entertainment media to shift behavior patterns. PMC’s popular radio and TV serial dramas with compelling characters as role models, have led to significant change in both attitude and actions.

 
(Ryerson) We’ve reached well over a hundred million people. We have clearly seen dramatic increases in family planning use, dramatic increases in willingness to send daughters to school, which of course is a very important factor in both human rights, the human rights of women to be educated, and in delaying marriage and child-bearing until adulthood.

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Remarks on the 20th Anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Remarks on the 20th Anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development 

See: http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2014/09/231385.htm

SECRETARY KERRY: Anne, thank you. Thanks so much for that terrific introduction. Most importantly, thank you very, very much. You are a spectacular, powerful, wonderfully dedicated, and extraordinarily – I’m lucky to have an extraordinary advocate like you as a cohort in this endeavor. Ladies and gentlemen, she does a spectacular job as (inaudible). (Applause.)

I am especially pleased to be able to share this moment with the – with my fellow members of our government’s delegation to the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo. You are as unruly as you were then. (Laughter.) Nothing has changed. (Applause.) And by the way, no one looks any older, right? (Laughter.) It is great to see so many familiar faces. I’m really happy to be here with you. Thank you for being a part of this.

I remember leading that delegation to Cairo, back when there really was a conspiracy of silence on family planning, sexual and reproductive health, and reproductive rights. And a lot of folks back then were very frightened. They were still afraid to talk about the connections between women’s empowerment and women’s rights and development, let alone to think that we could actually turn the tide…

See: http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2014/09/231385.htm

 
Since Cairo – the commitments made by 179 governments – it is clear the tide has, in fact, turned. But it’s not a done deal, and we all know that

Barber Shop and Beauty Salon Program Extends Family Planning Services to Liberians

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Barber Shop and Beauty Salon Program Extends Family Planning Services to Liberians 

See: http://www.jhpiego.org/sw/content/barber-shop-and-beauty-salon-program-extends-family-planning-services-liberians

Monrovia, Liberia-When Gbeni Taylor was 16, she learned she was pregnant and worried how she would tell her family. It was a frightening and uncertain time for her and one that she would wish on no other young person. She feared her father would throw her out of the house, but her mother and other family members ensured that she remained at home and attended night school to complete her education. Gbeni’s experience is all too common in Liberia where, according to the most recent Liberia Demographic and Health Survey  2007, literacy rates are low and about one-third of girls ages 15 to 19 have begun childbearing.

 
In hospitals in Monrovia, says Gbeni, “you see babies carrying babies. We need to talk to them. They don’t know. They do it out of ignorance.”
Gbeni’s life changing experience, as well as seeing her friends become mothers when they were too young, led the 21-year-old hair stylist to participate in an innovative program in Liberia to educate young women about properly spacing their families. The barber shop and beauty salon family planning program, an initiative under the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP), trains employees of beauty salons and barber shops to provide family planning messages, condoms and referrals to a nearby hospital for family planning services. A total of 16 workers have been trained in four salons and shops. Since 2012, they have reached 1,100 clients and distributed 16,550 condoms through this initiative.

See: http://www.jhpiego.org/sw/content/barber-shop-and-beauty-salon-program-extends-family-planning-services-liberians

Africa’s child demographics and the world’s future

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Africa’s child demographics and the world’s future 

See: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)61331-3/fulltext?_eventId=login

In 1950, only about a tenth of the world’s children lived in Africa.1 Within 50 years, that proportion almost doubled, and it is set to double again by the middle of the 21st century, leaving Africa with nearly a billion children younger than 18 years by 2050-37% of the worldwide total. By the end of the century, based on present trends, almost half of all children will live in Africa.

 

How this unprecedented growth in the continent’s child population came about, and its implications for Africa and the rest of the world, is the subject of Generation 2030 Africa,1 a report on child demographics released by UNICEF on Aug 12, 2014. The report is the second in the UNICEF series on child demographics, after Generation 2025 and beyond.2
Two main forces are driving this present rise and projected expansion of Africa’s child population: rapidly rising numbers of births (figure) and falling rates of child mortality. Currently, around 3·4 million births take place in Africa every month.1 In the next 15 years, about 700 million will occur, and between now and mid-century 1·8 billion are projected, resulting from high rates of fertility and an increasing number of women of reproductive age. The average fertility rate for Africa currently stands at 4·7 children per woman of reproductive age (15-49 years)-far above the rate in Asia (2·2) and the worldwide average.

Congressional Candidate Trolls Anti-Choice Group With ‘Prevent Abortion’ Condoms

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Congressional Candidate Trolls Anti-Choice Group With ‘Prevent Abortion’ Condoms 

See: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/08/26/3475633/james-woods-abortion-condoms/

When the National Pro-Life Alliance asked congressional candidate James Woods (D-AZ) to fill out a survey about whether he supports the “sanctity of life,” Woods came back with an unusual response. He pointed out that he does support some policies proven to lower the number of unintended pregnancies, and mailed back condoms emblazoned with the phrase “prevent abortion.”

 

“Thank you for taking the time to write to me about your anti-abortion stance,” Woods replied in a letter to the right-wing group. “While I cannot support policies that jeopardize the health and stability of women and their families, there are many measures that I do support that are proven to quickly enhance the well-being of women – and to significantly reduce abortion.”

 

In his letter, the candidate went on to list several sexual health policies that can lower the abortion rate – like expanding comprehensive sex ed, ensuring greater access to birth control, and strengthening government safety net programs for low-income women and their children. “I look forward to working together with you to promote policies like these,” he concluded.

See: http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/08/26/3475633/james-woods-abortion-condoms/

Japan: ‘Groundwork needed to stem population decline’

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

‘Groundwork needed to stem population decline’

See: http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0001510864

Former Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Hiroya Masuda has long grappled with various issues arising from a continued decline in the nation’s population. In an interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun, Masuda said now is the time for the government to lay the foundation for a long-term fight against Japan’s low birthrate. The following is an excerpt from the interview.

 
The Yomiuri Shimbun: In May, the Japan Policy Council, a private-sector expert panel that you chair, released its estimates on the population decline. By the end of 2040, the number of women aged 20 to 39 will likely decrease by more than 50 percent in 896 cities, wards, towns and villages nationwide, or about half of the total municipalities, according to the projection. The council said about half of these municipalities could be wiped off the map.

 
Masuda: Population decline has been a concern of mine since my days as the governor of Iwate (1995-2007). During that time, enormous progress was made in integrating and closing down primary schools in the prefecture. But the process was accompanied by severe negative effects. This was evident in, for example, the difficulty in maintaining local communities that some areas experienced [due to the loss of primary schools].

 
However, [the consolidation] had to be carried out to accommodate a progressive decline in the number of children. The situation caused me to face a question: What will become of my prefecture in 20 years?

 
Even before the release of the panel’s estimates, many city, town and village mayors were more or less aware that the population was bound to decrease.

See: http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0001510864

How can we stop the world from having too many babies? Feed more people

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

How can we stop the world from having too many babies? Feed more people 

See: http://grist.org/food/to-end-population-growth-spread-the-wealth/

Zoom out on the graph of human population until it encompasses the entire timeline of our species and you’ll notice something alarming. It looks like a right angle, with one line hovering near zero for millennia, and another, at present day, headed straight up toward the stratosphere.

 

Here I sit, on a warm quiet day in my neighborhood, with children playing nearby and a train whistle farther off, living a reasonable, modest life. And yet, at the same time, I, along with you and the rest of us, am plastered against the tip of population rocket powering upward atop megatons of explosive fuel.

 

That graph comes from Joel Cohen’s 1995 book, How Many People Can the Earth Support? Though it’s now almost 20 years old, it’s still incredibly useful in exploring the conflicting answers to that question, because Cohen never takes sides. He simply (and exhaustively) lays out the arguments, and every shred of data used to support them.
Cohen is still alarmed by that graph. “We are in a completely unprecedented range of experience,” he said. He has a gentle, grandfatherly manner, and speaks slowly, choosing his words one by one. “Population has tripled in my lifetime. It’s changing the world so fast and in so many dimensions that people aren’t aware of the significance.”

See: http://grist.org/food/to-end-population-growth-spread-the-wealth/

Expanding Sexual, Reproductive Health to Score Development Goals

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
Expanding Sexual, Reproductive Health to Score Development Goals

See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-babatunde-osotimehin/expanding-sexual-reproduc_b_5685822.html

With just 500 days left to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), we must all intensify our actions to hit our targets, especially the MDG 5 targets to reduce maternal death and achieve universal reproductive health.

There is no time for complacency when 800 women and girls continue to die each day of pregnancy and childbirth complications, and more than 220 million women who want to plan their births continue to lack modern contraception.

To speed up progress, I am excited about a new public-private partnership that plans to save an additional 140,000 women and 250,000 newborns and significantly increase access to reproductive health services, including modern contraception, by the end of 2015. We are working together — governments, the United Nations system, civil society and the private sector — guided by a roadmap, we unveiled last month, to accelerate maternal and newborn survival.

See: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-babatunde-osotimehin/expanding-sexual-reproduc_b_5685822.html