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Letters: Limiting population growth

August 14, 2012

Re "Our overpopulated planet," Editorial, Aug. 10

It may be politic for The Times to assert that deciding one's family size "should not be subject to any form of coercion." However, the overpopulation crisis has become so dire that we should at least discourage reproduction beyond replacement levels. We could, for example, eliminate tax deductions for a couple's children if they have three or more, disallow health insurance claims for fertility treatments after the first two children and limit government-funded financial assistance for college expenses to the first two children.

Granted, determining family size is a highly personal choice. But that doesn't mean society should underwrite couples who opt to reproduce disproportionately when overpopulation imperils our planet.

Devra Isserman

Santa Monica

"No one has a good solution," you say? One has been known for more than two decades: A drastic reduction in world poverty can lead to smaller families by changing attitudes and enabling women to afford contraception.

The United Nations' Millennium Development Goals set out to do this — until the 9/11 attacks refocused the world's attention and the world economy took a nose-dive.

Michael Helperin

Los Angeles


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