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PMC Articles Tagged 'Contraception'

Bill Ryerson: Blog from Burundi

September 10th, 2012 by joe | Add a Comment

Bill Ryerson recently sent me this blog entry from Burundi.







Greetings from Kigali, Rwanda. I am just finishing a week of meetings in Burundi and Rwanda regarding new projects Population Media Center is planning.  I was accompanied on the visit to Burundi by Theo Nzeyimana, PMC’s Rwandese producer.

We arrived in Bujumbura late on Saturday night, September 1, in a pouring rainstorm.  I had flown from Lagos that day, and Theo joined me when I changed planes in Kigali [capital of Rwanda].  We arranged for a taxi to take us to the hotel.  When we got the bags loaded and got in the car, I noticed a strong smell of gasoline fumes.  The driver immediately lowered all the windows, so we could breathe, even if we were getting soaked by the rain.

As we left the airport grounds, I noticed the driver had no working windshield wipers and no defroster.  So through the pouring rain, he was creeping along wiping the fog off the inside of the windshield.  As we left the area that had streetlights, I noticed the taxi also had no headlights.  The driver struggled to stay on the road and to avoid oncoming vehicles.  Then in the middle of a swamp, the car stalled.  The driver opened the hood and moved some wires around and then asked Theo to push the car, while he tried to jump start it.  That did not work.  The driver then took a hammer to some part of the engine, and the dashboard lights came on.  Another push by Theo, and we were off to the hotel at 5 miles an hour.

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Nine Population Strategies to Stop Short of 9 Billion

July 12th, 2012 by PMC | 1 Comment

Press Release by Worldwatch Institute

Washington, D.C.-Although most analysts assume that the world’s population will rise from today’s 7 billion to 9 billion by 2050, it is quite possible that humanity will never reach this population size, Worldwatch Institute President Robert Engelman argues in the book State of the World 2012: Moving Toward Sustainable Prosperity.

In the chapter “Nine Population Strategies to Stop Short of 9 Billion,” Engelman outlines a series of steps and initiatives that would all but guarantee declines in birthrates-based purely on the intention of women around the world to have small families or no children at all-that would end population growth before mid-century at fewer than 9 billion people. “Unsustainable population growth can only be effectively and ethically addressed by empowering women to become pregnant only when they themselves choose to do so,” Engelman writes.

Examples from around the world demonstrate effective policies that not only reduce birth rates, but also respect the reproductive aspirations of parents and support an educated and economically active society that promotes the health of women and girls. Most of these reproduction policies are relatively inexpensive to implement, yet in many places they are opposed on the basis of cultural resistance and political infeasibility.

Eschewing the language and approaches of “population control” or the idea that anyone should pressure women and their partner on reproduction, Engelman outlines nine strategies that could put human population on an environmentally sustainable path.

To read the full article, click here:


Gates Summit Aims to Fill Family Planning Gap

July 12th, 2012 by PMC | Add a Comment

Bob Walker: The working assumption always seems to be that population growth is a “given,” and that world population will be 9 billion by 2050 and there’s nothing that can or will be done about it.

Projected population growth, however, is just a projection. It’s not a prediction. (Demographers are loath to make predictions). To the extent that demographers talk about the assumptions underlying the UN medium variant, which now shows world population reaching 9 billion, by 2042, there’s a growing consensus that the assumptions may prove too optimistic (i.e. population may grow more rapidly than projected). Reasons for this vary, but it includes declining donor nation assistance for family planning over the past 17 years, a variety of cultural factors (e.g. prevalence of child marriage, male opposition, and misconceptions about the dangers of contraception). For more about the population projections, see this Woodrow Wilson Center discussion.

In particular, listen to the comments made by Carl Haub, the senior demographer at the Population Reference Bureau:

“It has been – I guess conventional is a good word – to assume that birth rates are going to come down the way they did in the rich countries,” Haub noted.

But there has been a “stall” for many developing countries, which he suggests is caused by fast initial uptake from urban women followed by much slower uptake by rural women. These dynamics, however, are relatively new and therefore are not always well incorporated into current projections.

On the other hand, population projections are extremely sensitive to changes in fertility. If the total fertility rate, the average number of children that a woman has in her lifetime, falls by even half a child, the impact on the long run projections is enormous.

Read the full article here: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/11/a-gates-summit-aims-to-fill-a-family-planning-gap/

Philippines debates government promotion of contraception

April 5th, 2009 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

A debate is stirring in the predominantly Roman Catholic country of the Philippines: should the government provide contraceptives to the public?

More than 100 members of the House of Representatives have co-authored a bill that would allow government funds to be used to promote artificial contraceptives — which is now prohibited in the Southeast Asian nation.

For full article, visit:

Can This Be Pro-Life?

November 3rd, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

The Bush administration this month is quietly cutting off birth control supplies to some of the world’s poorest women in Africa.

Thus the paradox of a “pro-life” administration adopting a policy whose result will be tens of thousands of additional abortions each year — along with more women dying in childbirth.

The saga also spotlights a clear difference between Barack Obama and John McCain. Senator Obama supports U.N.-led efforts to promote family planning; Senator McCain stands with President Bush in opposing certain crucial efforts to help women reduce unwanted pregnancies in Africa and Asia.

For full article, visit:

Radio-controlled sperm ‘tap’ turns off vasectomies

October 31st, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

A radio-controlled contraceptive implant that could control the flow of sperm from a man’s testicles is being developed by scientists in Australia.

The device is placed inside the vas deferens – the duct which carries sperm from each testicle to the penis. When closed, it blocks the flow of sperm cells, allowing them to pass again when it is opened via a remote control. The valve could be a switchable alternative to vasectomy, the researchers say.

For full article, visit:

PHILIPPINES: ‘Church Ban on Contraceptives Adding to Poverty’

September 28th, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

A growing and heated debate in this predominantly Catholic country revolves around the church’s uncompromising stance against the use of contraceptive devices that is said to be contributing to poverty and affecting the quality of life for many Filipinos.

A group of 15 bishops led some 12,000 protestors at a rally here on Jul. 25 against a proposed House of Representatives bill aimed at devising a national reproductive health policy.

Pulling the other way opinion pieces in the national press have been critical of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s pro-Catholic church stand on population issues. They urged her to make a bold anti-poverty statement in the State of the Nation Address (SONA) that was delivered on Monday.

For full article, visit:

Birth Control Battle Weighs on Philippine Economy

September 27th, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

Manila housewife Jasmin is well aware the bigger the family the bigger the potential poverty trap.

“I feel it most when we eat together because the food on the table is not enough,” said the 33-year-old mother of six who had her fallopian tubes tied to avoid getting pregnant. “So, I decided to have ligation because life is hard.”

Artificial birth control is often taboo in this staunchly Roman Catholic country. Yet with a birth rate that is one of the highest in the world, sustainable population growth is becoming a burning issue, especially as millions of poor people struggle to feed themselves at a time of high food prices.

For full article, visit:

Catholic Church Damns The Pill

September 24th, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | Add a Comment

POPULATION-PHILIPPINES: Catholic Church Damns The Pill

As World Population Day was being marked on Jul. 11, Tess and Andy were attending a family planning seminar as a requirement for their forthcoming wedding. It turned out to be window into one of the major problems besetting the Philippine population programme.

Because their seminar was conducted by a doctor-volunteer in a Catholic church in Manila, Tess and Andy (surname suppressed) were expecting the facilitator to toe the church’s line against artificial contraception. But they did not anticipate the kind of information that was given them and several other couples.

For full article, visit:

Tell Secretary Leavitt to Block New HHS Regulations on Contraception!

July 28th, 2008 by Chantelle Routhier | 1 Comment

The Bush administration is apparently looking to start yet another assault in the continuing war on reproductive rights and family planning services by proposing sweeping new restrictions on recipients of health-related federal funding.

Now is the time to use your voice and tell the administration that this blatant undermining of family values will not stand. Ignoring the voice of 90 percent of the electorate is an outrage and our leaders should know. Click here to send a letter to Secretary Leavitt and demand that these draft regulations never come to fruition.

For full article, visit:

For the form to submit comments to Secretary Leavitt, see http://capwiz.com/nfprha/issues.