Population Media Center’s Weekly News
A weekly update from Population Media Center with current population news from around the world.
July 5, 2018
As you likely know, many concerned citizens and global advocates will be active on Wednesday, July 11th for 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 a good one 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.
This year, PMC has decided to celebrate World Population Day with an easy-to-participate in social media and public education campaign called #RIDICULOUSRIGHT Please check out our blog and our campaign overview to get involved. We are looking primarily for help on social media. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this week’s featured articles and full newspaper.
May 17, 2018
I’d like to start this week by pointing out the latest edition of Conscious magazine, the editorial creation of Catholics for Choice. Titled, “Look Back in Anger: The Birth Control Ban at 50,” the volume contains several insightful essays on Humanae Vitae. For some of you, this would merely be review of a well-known and distasteful story. For others, however, “The Story Behind the Ban on Contraception,” might be a useful educational experience.
Here is a glimpse: “After fifty years, the damage that Humanae Vitae has done to the lives of Catholics and non-Catholics around the world, as well as to the Catholic church itself, is clear. Catholics continue to use and approve of contraceptives in growing numbers, furthering the divide between rhetoric and reality in the church. Only by confronting the most fundamental of the hierarchy’s errors can the Catholic church move forward and the shadow of Humane Vitae finally be erased.”
Meanwhile, the article below is a bit more easy reading. One of the world’s top female racing car drivers, Leilani Munter, has decided to raise awareness about overpopulation – and has vowed not to have children herself. Other stories breaking this week were “U.S. Births Dip To 30-Year Low,” “20 AGs back lawsuits by family planning groups against Trump,” and “$19 Million from USAID to Contribute to Egyptian Family Planning Program.” Click through to the full Weekly Digest to find these stories — and many more.
May 10, 2018
The article below was published by the University of Michigan’s newsroom, and gives subjective background to a new study published in the journal “Clinical Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine.” The story is largely seen through the eyes of Ruth Zielinski, a Michigan associate professor of nursing — and the subject matter is reproductive health and family planning in South Sudan.
Unsurprisingly, the story identifies numerous cultural and social obstacles to the uptake of modern contraception. For example, the populace of South Sudan told the researchers that “only ‘loose women’ used birth control and that contraceptives would decrease the population.” It is also worth noting that many of Sudan’s women cannot read. Interestingly, Zielinski also has come to believe that “Family planning must be incorporated in with the bigger picture, which is education around pregnancy and birth and infant care… You can’t just go in there and start talking about family planning and contraceptives.”
Other interesting news-items this week include “Lessons from Japan for Imagining Sustainable De-growth,” “Extinction vs. Collapse: Does it matter?” and “Goat cream: The only contraceptive we know.” Don’t forget to click through and browse the full Weekly Digest.
May 4, 2018
There were two main story-lines this week in the population news flow: population-denying press outlets took the opportunity to criticize the “Population Bomb” on its 50th anniversary — and, population-denying press outlets threw a collective hissy-fit over the plot of “Avengers: Infinity War.”
You may be interested in an interview with Paul Ehrlich, accessed here. Produced by Climate One, the talk is framed as follows: “But while not all of the Ehrlich’s dire predictions have come to pass, the world’s population has doubled since then, to over seven billion, straining the planet’s resources and heating up our climate. Can the earth continue to support an ever-increasing number of humans?”
Meanwhile, in the article below, we get a first had account of the impacts of the Global Gag Rule, as told by Melvine Ouyo, a reproductive health nurse at Family Health Options Kenya. Ms. Ouyo recently visited Washington, D.C., to discuss how her clinic has lost funding because it would not agree to the terms of President Trump’s executive order banning U.S. aid to any health organization in another country that provides, advocates or makes referrals for abortions. Don’t forget to click through and browse the full Weekly Digest.
April 26, 2018
“There were numerous interesting articles this week, which you can access by clicking through to the full Weekly Digest. Below, I have featured an article that revisits the important question of what constitutes an optimal human population size for the planet. Other strong contenders this week were a cutting critique of the current U.S. administration; a Guardian population article with over 800 comments; and a report on the former President of Ghana stating that the greatest threat to Africa’s peace and security is the rapid rate of population growth.”