December 23, 2012
Re "Family planning and Filipinos," Editorial, Dec. 19 The Times wrote: "The church has every right to try to persuade women to follow its dictates, but women must ultimately have the right to choose. " Although the Roman Catholic hierarchy exercises its right to penalize those who do not follow church dictates, it fails to recognize the relationship between population and poverty. Access to contraceptives would limit unintended pregnancies and enable families to feed their children and maintain a better quality of life.
December 19, 2012
For too long in the Philippine Congress, the priorities of the Roman Catholic Church took precedence over what most Filipinos wanted - and needed. Finally, after 14 years of debate and delay, lawmakers passed a bill that will provide free or subsidized birth control to poor people as well as require sex education in schools and mandate training in family planning for community health workers. Even though 80% of the nation's population is Catholic, birth control has long been available to those who want it - as long as they could pay. Contraception has been out of reach for most of the poor, though.
December 6, 2012
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.
November 20, 2012 |
President Obama has several stated ambitions for his presidency. He wants it to be "transformative. " He wants to unite Americans of all parties. He wants to build an economy from the middle class out (whatever that means), and he wants to help what you might call the domestic refugees of America's economic transformation. Given the principled disagreements dividing left and right in America, it's hard to see how he can accomplish these goals when it comes to conventional economic policy.
August 10, 2012
At one point, the prevailing wisdom was that nations needed robust birthrates to protect their economic welfare, and that if only we could produce food more efficiently, feeding the Earth's burgeoning population wouldn't be a problem. Now, with 1 billion of the world's people chronically hungry and the population expected to increase by 50% before the end of the century, we know better. Or we ought to. A recent five-part series by Times reporter Kenneth R. Weiss detailed the multipronged dilemma facing the thinkers and global leaders whose aim is to reduce famine and sickness without devastating the world's finite resources.
July 13, 2012 |
It's being billed as a major smack-down: prominent Catholic laywoman versus the pope. Melinda Gates, Microsoft founder Bill Gates' wife and one half of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, “disagrees with the Vatican on the use of contraceptives,” according to the Guardian newspaper. With the British government, the foundation this week sponsored a London Summit on Family Planning designed to provide 120 million women in the world's poorest countries with access to contraceptives by 2020.