Family Planning Is a Human Right – Right?

Population Media Center | July 10, 2018 | Leave a Comment Download as PDF

Ridiculous Right image courtesy of PMC

This article was originally published by Population Media Center on July 3, 2018

On July 11th, 2018, concerned citizens and global advocates will celebrate World Population Day. This annual event was designed to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues. This year, the theme for World Population Day will be Family Planning is a Human Right.”

The choice of this year’s theme is excellent because 2018 marks both the 20th anniversary of Population Media Center (an organization that has promoted family planning since our inception) — and the 50th anniversary of the 1968 International Conference on Human Rights. The outcome document of this historical gathering affirmed that “Parents have a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children.”

In other words, the conference affirmed family planning as a human right.

Unfortunately, this important anniversary and supposed day of celebration are taking place in the context of failed leadership by the United States – leadership that is purposefully subverting the human right to family planning, both at home and abroad. Indeed, the Trump administration continues to show pure antipathy towards sexual and reproductive health and rights all around the world.

When it comes to birth control, family planning, and contraception it would be hard to imagine a worse administration than this one. First, Trump reinstated the deadly Global Gag Rule, an ideologically driven executive order that halted U.S. assistance for overseas family planning programs that use non-U.S. government funding to provide abortion services, information, or counseling. The real world result of this decision is that family planning programs and the communities they serve around the world have been financially devastated – more than a few have been forced to stop providing all services.

To add insult to injury, Trump then terminated all funding for the United Nation’s Population Fund, a major supplier of contraceptive services to women in the developing world.

Not merely content to harm human health and well-being overseas, however, the Trump administration is also doing all it can to reduce or eliminate support for contraception in the United States. For example, in 2017, the Trump administration issued a ruling letting health insurers and private employers refuse to provide birth control insurance coverage to their employees if doing so went against their religious beliefs or moral convictions.

More recently, Trump decided to use the health and well-being of around 4 million low-income reproductive health patients as political pawns. Trump has proposed barring Title X family planning funds from programs and facilities that perform abortions. To be clear, Title X is the only federal grant program dedicated solely to providing individuals with comprehensive family planning services. Also, to be clear, there is a law in place called the Hyde Amendment which prohibits federal funds to be used to pay for abortion. Hence, it is the world’s worst kept secret that the real reason Trump has adopted this tactic is to financially knee-cap Planned Parenthood facilities. And – wait for it – the main reasons people visit a Planned Parenthood are contraceptive access (31%) and STI/STD testing and treatment (45%). Trump clearly thirsts for the hijacking of public policy by anti-choice ideology – in order to harvest accolades from his political base if successful.

Sorry folks, but this is RIDICULOUS!

With this failed leadership in mind and our sights firmly set on a better future, Population Media Center, a nonprofit charity with a mission to address the interconnected issues of the full rights of women and girls, population, and the environment, is organizing the #RidiculousRight? campaign. This awareness campaign will be centered around World Population Day, on July 11th.

Please sign-up to actively participate on July 11th. You can:

1. Help engage people across the United States, and the whole world, by sharing content.

2. Officially weigh-in on the proposed Title X rule changes.

We’ll provide you with a social media kit, including memes (some humorous, some serious); example Tweets and Facebook posts; and top quality educational resources on these important issues.

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The views and opinions expressed through the MAHB Website are those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect an official position of the MAHB. The MAHB aims to share a range of perspectives and welcomes the discussions that they prompt.
  • Greeley Miklashek

    Until folks around the world realize that population density stress is killing us now, all the moralizing about overpopulation is just pi**ing into the wind, to use an old sailing metaphor. Here’s the truth. We are sick and getting sicker every day. Were it not for worldwide heroic medical interventions, we’d be a tiny fraction of our current population and the earth would be celebrating. Nothing will turn back the force of Mather Nature culling our future generations, if we keep on ignoring this reality and turning out 220,000 new units per day. Maybe the current expanding EBOLA epidemic in the Congo will solve this problem now. Otherwise, we’ll just have to wait for heart disease, cancer, lung disease, accidents (incl ODs), mental illness, suicide, etc. to do their work. Contemporary traditional living hunter-gatherers have NONE of these diseases. They live on the edges of our overpopulated “developed” world and are sparely populated, in close touch with Mother Nature, live in intact small clan groups their whole lives, eat a diverse diet derived from their surroundings in a sustainable manner, and are very physically active. Get the picture? Stress R Us

  • Arnold Byron

    At this moment in time Planned Parenthood is the best that we have going, to help people utilize contraceptives; to help people stay healthy and to teach about the goal of negative population growth. Oh! You say they don’t emphasize negative population growth! That’s too bad! The world is overpopulated and we are already starting to run out of resources. Sometime in the future humanity will collapse, with mass reductions if not extinction. Planned Parenthood can help prevent that from happening by carrying the message of negative population growth. Let us hope it does.
    I agree with Jason Brent that ,under the constraints of a growing population, family size should not only be planned but should also be controlled. I think the program that must be put in place to limit population growth should be called population control. Guess what! Nobody even wants to think about population control let alone talk about it. But, with a little bit of ingenuity, population control can be made to work in a fair, nonviolent, non-eugenic and humane manner.
    Look around on this MAHB blogsite for writings I have done on population control. Look for articles titled A Plan for the Nations.

  • Jason G. Brent

    I laugh at those that use the words :family planning:”. Those words are the words of a coward. We must us the correct words and those words are “birth control”. A couple could plan to have eight children and that is a disaster for humanity. In order to survive the human population must be reduced and humanity must have birth control and not family planning.