Tuesday, August 27, 2019

For reproductive liberty

In an era of climate change,  Malthus has made a return to popularity.

A basic idea of the Socialist Party is that more people means more ingenuity, more talent and more innovation, today, our fellow-workers are being told by environmentalist activists it means less for each of us. We get informed that we will need to radically reduce humanity's footprint on the environment by reducing our numbers, as well as changes to our lifestyles and that until the world’s population stops growing, there is an urgent need to squeeze people's consumption. Does pushing population growth down actually put the environment on a more sustainable path? And if so what measures would the policy makers have to apply to actually bring about such a change? Those who believe reducing the population to be a key to the global warming problem typically say little about which policies would spare the planet many more billions of people, particularly when the existing trend is already towards smaller family sizes. There is an overall global decline in the fertility rate, and many nations are no longer achieving replacement levels of births.

The Socialist Party says forget population control and instead help each and every woman bear a child in good health when she chooses to have a baby. It might sound counter-intuitive for stabilising and lowering the population. Unintended pregnancies exceed the millions by which world population grows every year. When a choice of contraceptives is available and is backed up by reasonably accessible safe abortion for when contraception fails, women have two or fewer children. Furthermore, educating girls reduces birthrates. Analysis shows women with no schooling have an average of 4.5 children, whereas those with a few years of primary school have just three. Women who complete one or two years of secondary school have an average of 1.9 children apiece—a figure that over time leads to a decreasing population. With one or two years of college, the average childbearing rate falls even further, to 1.7. When women enter the workforce and interact with men on an equal footing, their wish for more than a couple of children fades even more dramatically. Many developing countries—from Thailand to Colombia experience declines in family size by getting better family-planning services and educational opportunities to more females in more places. 

Giving women control of their lives and their bodies controls population growth.

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