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Letters: Family planning and overpopulation

December 06, 2012
(Anthony Russo / For The Times )

Re "Bending the population curve," Opinion, Dec. 2

The world doesn't want to consider abortion as a method of family planning, but women worldwide do to the tune of about 40 million a year. Half of these are illegal and unsafe, resulting in millions of injuries and deaths, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Universal access to contraception would certainly reduce population pressures, but thanks to gender inequality and religion, women often don't have safe access to abortion and contraception. Times readers should review reporter Kenneth R. Weiss' population series published in July and read the chapter on the Philippines, where the Roman Catholic Church is fighting access to contraception tooth and nail.

The U.N. Population Fund's State of World Population 2012 report, entitled "By Choice, Not By Chance," is about family planning. Indeed, as your authors suggest, family planning is to some extent back on the world's agenda, and The Times is playing a constructive role.

Jane Roberts


I had to smile at the efforts to analyze the world population crisis. I'm not a leading scholar, but I know there was a huge topic missing from the 1994 U.N. Conference on Population and Development. At the time I was asked: When will there be a U.N. conference on your problem, the other side of the human sustainability question, the consumption crisis?

And so I ask The Times, when will you publish a similar package entitled, "Bending the addictive consumerism curve"?

Carol Holst


Thanks for spotlighting the work being done to curb population growth. The topic is politically risky for our leaders, and the current overpopulation disasters are elsewhere in the world. But we in the United States can't continue to ignore this ticking time bomb that threatens the planet.

Marsha Moutrie

Thousand Oaks


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