MARCH 2008 VOL. 40, ISSUE 1
International Family Planning: a Troubled Landscape
from the president
Calls for change have long been part
Contraception is cheap compared to
Where I live in Pennsylvania, our
of our quadrennial electoral dance.
most things. But for the one billion
school district just completed construc-
This year, however, the talk seems to
people who live on less than one dollar
tion of a new high school at a cost of
be about little else. Not coincidentally,
a day, it’s too often out of reach.
$90 million. The $461 million the U.S.
it’s only the second time in 80 years
For decades, the United States led
now spends worldwide for international
that no one who has served as presi-
the way when it came to support for
family planning is equal to just five
dent or vice president is running for
international family planning. In recent
such schools. Spending one billion
the White House.
years, U.S. funding has been slashed
dollars on international family planning
by almost half. These cuts would have
would be a wise and judicious act in
some sort or other. But, as the late
been even deeper if George Bush had
a world where rampant population
Texas Congresswoman Barbara Jordan
his way. And Bush has done everything
growth is a root cause of environmental
asked in her memorable 1992 speech,
in his power to block needed programs
destruction, human misery and global
“Change: From What to What?”
with his Global Gag Rule and refusal to
So, we’ll have change in 2008—of
Which brings us to the point of this issue of The Reporter. Is there any
fund UN family planning (UNFPA). The damage done by George Bush is
As we explain in this issue, this simple act would change the world for
program, any initiative, where simple
astonishing. The $195 million in con-
millions of people. It would help slow
change could accomplish so much, so
gressionally appropriated funds that he
deforestation and species loss as well
fast as family planning?
has refused to release to UNFPA since
as help expand long-term efforts to
2002 could have prevented nearly a
deal with global warming.
We all make plans every day—from
In that 1992 speech, Rep. Jordan
lists of mundane household tasks to
quarter of a million maternal deaths
insuring our financial futures.
and enabled 68 million women to
quoted William Allen White, the
delay or avoid pregnancy. The U.S. is
famous century editor of the Emporia,
people will ever make is often
the only nation ever to have withheld
Kansas Gazette: "Reason has never
unplanned. In our own wealthy land,
funds from the UN in this fashion.
failed man.” Our own efforts to
one half of pregnancies are unplanned.
Even the beleaguered nation of
achieve zero population growth are
Globally, that figure exceeds 30%.
Afghanistan donated a symbolic $500
based on science and reason. We try
to UNFPA. That’s $500 more than the
to get the facts right. And the facts
U.S. under Bush’s “leadership.”
point clearly toward population growth
Yet the most crucial decision most
In this world of 6.5+ billion people, there is no single explanation for all human behavior; we are a complex and curious species. But for tens of millions of women and couples in the poorest places on earth, this failure to plan their families
We can change all this. And it won’t
as the major cause of virtually every
break the bank the way craven, foolish
environmental challenge—and many
practices have fractured some financial
institutions lately. We need to start by doubling the
starts with a simple and profound lack
money we spend on family planning to
of resources (spelled M-O-N-E-Y).
one billion dollars a year. If that sounds
Education and empowerment matter
like a tall order for Americans to take
greatly as well, but extreme poverty
on, it amounts to an additional $1.80
overwhelms all else.
per citizen per year (about half the cost of a latte for you Starbucks fans).
We’ve seen what happens when facts are suppressed, when science is ignored. It really is time for a change.
John Seager firstname.lastname@example.org
Volume 40, Issue 1 March 2008 Cover: Once forested with baobabs, the deforested western part of Madagascar now sees them as â€œsentriesâ€? posted at each corner of a rice paddy. Photo: Lisa Folda/Photoshare
Pg. 5 Family planning and access to safe and legal abortion are vital to safeguard the environment By Joseph Speidel, M.D. and Richard Grossman, M.D.
Pg. 16 Voices of Hope on a Crowded Continent By Marian Starkey
Pg. 10 Kenya in Peril By Jamaica Corker
D E PA RT M E N T S
18-19 Washington View
In the News
Plan B 3.0
Field & Outreach
Printed on recycled paper
24% of married women in sub-Saharan Africa have unmet need for contraception. Population Reference Bureau
A mother of four in Nepal carries her children in a very uncomfortable way. In the background, a father happily leads one child. Photo: www.nepalfoto.com, Courtesy of Photoshare
The reproductive and Child Health Alliance in Cambodia organizes a community meeting to discuss family planning and reproductive health with rural residents. Photo: Marcel Reyners, Courtesy of Photoshare
PopPourri Shortly after the reinstatement of the Gag Rule, shipments of U.S.-donated condoms and contraceptives completely ceased to 16 developing countries, primarily in Africa. Population Action International
Lack of access to family planning results in 76 million unintended pregnancies each year in the developing world alone. Population Institute
The Reporter â€” March 2008
Today, an estimated 82 million girls in developing countries who are now between the ages of 10 and 17 will be married before their 18th birthday. UNFPA
One quarter of American women who use prescription contraception receive care from a publicly funded family planning clinic. Guttmacher Institute
A homeless, pregnant, adolescent girl walks her infant son in Romania. Photo: Mike Jay Browne, Courtesy of Photoshare
A woman receives a shot of the contraceptive Depo Provera from a community based distributor in Papua New Guinea. Photo: Kingston Namun/Mark Munguas, Courtesy of Photoshare www.popconnect.org
March 2008 â€” The Reporter
In the News Volume 40, Issue 1 March 2008
A Change is in the Air
FY2009 budget, increasing abstinence-only
By Erin Zimmer, Population Education Program Assistant
federal funding by $28 million, ballooning
More than 10,000 people from 180 coun-
total funding to $204 million per year.
tries came together in Bali last December for the UN Climate Change Conference.
nence is the only way to prevent pregnancy,
Contributors Lester Brown, Crystal Campbell, Jamaica Corker, Shelley Davis, Richard Grossman, Rebecca Harrington, Laura Martin, Stacie Murphy, John Seager, Joseph Speidel, Marian Starkey, Mae Stevens, Erin Zimmer
The goal of the conference was to formally
and deliberately misconstrue information
launch an agenda for long term climate
regarding the effectiveness of contracep-
change negotiations, focusing primarily on
tives such as condoms. Not surprisingly,
reducing emissions and deforestation
condom use has dropped since 2003.
Graphic Artist Marian Starkey
cause—human actions—was evident. The
however, the percentage of teens who are
connection between human population and
sexually active has actually risen since 2001.
the imminent consequences of climate
Overpopulation threatens the quality of life for people everywhere. Population Connection is the national grassroots population organization that educates young people and advocates progressive action to stabilize world population at a level that can be sustained by Earth’s resources.
around the world. As possible solutions were assessed, the
Abstinence-only programs have grown over the past seven years. At the same time,
In tandem with the rise in teen fertility,
change was articulated by the chair, Yvo de
the overall abortion rate dropped to 19.4
Boer, “Early in the year, scientific evidence
per 1,000—the lowest since 1974, one
of global warming, as set out in the fourth
year after the Supreme Court legalized the
assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change (IPCC), put the reality
The Guttmacher Institute reports that
of human-induced global warming beyond
more women are both using contraception
or carrying births to term.
The Reporter (ISSN 0199-0071) is published by Population Connection, 2120 L Street, NW, Suite 500, Washington, D.C. 20037
posed immediate action, “We are all part of
number of clinics offering surgical abortion
the problem of global warming. Let us all
decreased 8% from 2001. This decrease
Phone: 202-332-2200 or
be part of the solution that begins in Bali.
was partially offset by doctors who are now
Let us turn the climate crisis into a climate
offering medical abortion (mifepristone).
Overall, facilities offering abortion of any
References: http://unfccc.int/meetings/cop_13/items/4049.php. http://www.un.org/webcast/unfccc/2007/?go=05071215.
Website: www.popconnect.org Board Chair Patricia Burke President John Seager
UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon pro-
Teen Births; Failed Policies By Rebecca Harrington, Administrative Associate
According to statistics released in December by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the teen birth rate in the United States rose 3% in 2006. From 1991 to 2005, teen fertility declined a total of 34%, dropping every single year. Just two months after the CDC released its report, the president submitted his
“Ab-only” programs teach that absti-
Managing Editor Marian Starkey
The Reporter — March 2008
Guttmacher further indicated that the
type decreased by 2%. More than one in five pregnancies still ends in abortion, indicating the need for increased prevalence of family planning. References: Rob Stein, “Teen Birth Rate Rises in U.S., Reversing a 14-Year Decline” The Washington Post, 12/6/07. Gardiner Harris, “Teenage Birth Rate Rises for First Time Since ’91” The New York Times, 12/6/07. Mary Carmichael, “Better Prevention or Changing Attitudes?” Newsweek Web Exclusive, 1/16/08. Rebecca Wind, “U.S. Abortion Rate Continues Long-Term Decline, Falling to Lowest Level Since 1974; More Effort Still Needed to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy” Guttmacher Media Center, 1/17/08. Rachel K. Jones, et al, “Abortion in the United States: Incidence and Access to Services, 2005,” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2008, 40(1):6–16.
People clear land for agricultural development in Indonesia. Photo: Komang Kertyasa, Courtesy of Photoshare
Family Planning and Access to Safe and Legal Abortion are Vital to Safeguard the Environment By Joseph Speidel, M.D. and Richard Grossman, M.D.
larming signs of environmental deterioration include
global warming, extinction of species, waning forests and cropland, the collapse of ocean fisheries
and decreasing fresh water supplies. Yet, little attention is paid to the connection between
North America appeared to have limitless resources to the new European immigrants in centuries past (who ignored the needs and stewardship of their indigenous predecessors). More recently, tapping the energy of fossil fuels has allowed us to better master time and space. Harnessing
these tragedies and their most fundamental cause: overuse
highly productive plants such as potatoes and hybrid corn,
of the planet’s resources due to the large and still rapidly
along with other agricultural advances, have increased pro-
increasing number of humans and our excessive consumption.
ductivity to the extent that one farmer can produce food for more than 100 people, allowing the rest of us to focus on
Contraception Volume 76 Issue 6 - December 2007 - pages 415-417 Speidel, et al, “Family Planning and Access to Safe and Legal Abortion Are Vital to Safeguard the Environment”Reprinted by permission from Elsevier Inc.
other activities. Fortunately, most people no longer believe that the earth’s resources are limitless. But how does one determine when these limits are reached? One valid way of quantifying our
March 2008 — The Reporter
Terrace farming near Lake Bunyonyi in southwestern Uganda. Farmers clear hillsides for every available parcel of land in order to raise enough food for consumption, and in some cases, to sell for supplemental income. Photo: Andrew Haugen, Courtesy of Photoshare
use of resources is by calculating our ecological footprint* (EF).1
This concept is based on the understanding that all
Ecological footprint can be calculated by using readily available figures for a country’s population, its gross pro-
human activities require space—to live on, to grow food on,
duction and utilization of key resources or by using the EF
for developing resources, and for disposal of waste. Some
website (www.ecofoot.net), which provides information on
people have much larger footprints than others.
the EF of individuals in many countries, as well as the means
The amount of surface area on the earth is fixed and the planet’s entire surface is not equally useful. If one leaves a
to calculate one’s own EF. Using these calculations, we find that people are using an
small proportion for the benefit of other animals and plants,
average of 2.2 hectares (5.5 acres) of the planet’s resources
there remain about 11 trillion hectares (28 trillion acres) of
per person, a full 0.5 hectares (1.1 acres) more than our fair
“bioproductive” land and water. Since there are 6.6 billion
share. The overuse is much more marked in richer countries
people on the planet, the allotment for each human is about
such as the United States, which has the largest EF. The
1.8 hectares (4.4 acres).
worldwide overshoot of 30% helps to explain environmental deterioration.
* Ecological footprint is a measure of the load imposed by a given population on nature. It represents the “land” area necessary to sustain a current level of resource consumption and waste discharge by that population. It reveals how much of the globe’s surface area is needed to support any specific lifestyle indefinitely. Therefore, it is a steady-state measure, not an annual or other time frame measure.
The Reporter — March 2008
The recent UN-sponsored Millennium Ecosystem Assessment examined the effects of ecosystem change on human health and well-being.2 It found that humans have changed ecosystems more rapidly and extensively over the
past 50 years than during any other period, primarily to
More than 200 million women in developing countries
meet increasing demands for food, fresh water, timber, fiber
would like to delay their next pregnancy—or stop bearing
and fuel. Sixty percent of ecosystem services—the benefits
children altogether—but rely on traditional, less effective
people obtain from ecosystems—are being degraded or
methods of contraception (64 million) or use no method
because they lack access or face other barriers to using
The more people there are and the more each consumes,
contraception (137 million).7 These barriers include cultural
the worse the deterioration. Ultimately, the condition of
values that support high fertility, opposition to use of
the planet may reach a level at which it will be unable to
contraception by family members, and fears about health
fully support the human population, causing deaths by
risks or side effects of contraception.8
starvation, disease and conflict.3 Because our children and grandchildren will suffer, limiting
In contrast to almost all other developed countries, the United States—the world’s third largest country—is experi-
human numbers and consumption have become moral
encing rapid population growth of nearly three million each
issues, if not issues of life or death. Fortunately, many cou-
year.9 The United States is projected to grow from 303
ples want to limit their childbearing far below their current
million in 2007 to nearly 350 million in 2025 and to 420
fertility. What is missing is access to good family planning.
million by 2050.10 An estimated 1.4 million of 4.1 million
In recent years, the field of reproductive health has
annual U.S. births result from unintended pregnancy. The
focused on the worthy goal of ensuring that family planning
other 2.7 million are largely offset by the 2.4 million annual
programs are voluntary, respond to the needs of individual
deaths.11 Even with immigration contributing more than one
women and men and address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Less
million people annually, unintended pregnancy is the source of
attention has been paid to the consequences of rapid population
about half of annual population growth in the United States.
growth for the environment and economic development, stemming in part from the political dominance of a largely
1. We must improve access to family planning and safe,
antiabortion and antienvironmental administration and
Congress in the United States. The substantial decline in world birth rates over the past
According to Dr. Malcolm Potts: “All societies with unconstrained access to fertility regulation, including abor-
50 years is a family planning success story, but it has lulled
tion, experience a rapid decline to replacement levels of
our sense of urgency toward increasing annual population
fertility, and often lower.”12 The development and
growth. In 1950, the world’s population was 2.6 billion; the
introduction of modern contraceptives and the establish-
lifetime average number of children per woman (total fertility
ment of organized family planning programs have helped
rate, or TFR) was 5.3; and annual population growth was
reduce the TFR of developing countries by half, from 6.0
48 million.4 Since then, the TFR has decreased to 2.6, and
in 1960 to 3.1.13 But a high unmet need for family planning
death rates have declined. This is good news. Unfortunately,
and safe abortion services persists.6
world population has increased to 6.6 billion, and about 78 million people are now added to the world each year.4 Most of worldwide population growth will be caused by population momentum—resulting from large numbers of people entering their childbearing years—and by unintended or unwanted pregnancy.5 Of 210 million pregnancies annually worldwide, 80 million (38%) are unplanned, and 46 million (22%) end in abortion.6
2. International challenges Recent increases in assistance for HIV/AIDS are welcome. Unfortunately, donor funding dedicated to family planning activities decreased in absolute dollar amounts from $723 million in 1995 to $442 million in 2004, while funds for STI/HIV/AIDS increased 22-fold to $2.7 billion. Family planning assistance in 2004 reached only 9% of a 2005 $5 billion annual target.14-17
March 2008 — The Reporter
3. U.S. challenges
There is almost no governmental support for research on
Unintended pregnancy remains a major problem in the
abortion technologies, and governmental support for
United States, especially for low-income women.
research on contraception has decreased in the last decade.
Comprehensive sexuality education—which could help
Even the pharmaceutical industry and private foundations
prevent pregnancy and is favored by a majority of parents
have decreased or stopped funding in these fields.
and educational experts—is being replaced by ineffective
4. An agenda for action
“abstinence unless married” programs. Inflation-adjusted funding for Title X—the nation’s only distinct, federally funded family planning program—has declined by half since
With 17 million women
We need to: • Fully fund and strengthen reproductive health programs, including programs that address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. • Provide comprehensive information about human sexu-
reliant on publicly funded contraceptive services, an annual
ality and affordable, high-quality family planning and
expenditure of about $3.5 billion is needed.14,19 But in
safe abortion services for all, including young people
2001, public outlays were only $1.26 billion—about one
and the unmarried.
third of the total required.19
• Invest in research on contraceptive and abortion technologies to overcome issues relating to effectiveness, safety, cost, acceptability and side effects that hamper use of current methods. Better reproductive health care and decreased population pressures will not suffice to preserve the environment. There is also an urgent need for people—particularly in the United States—to reduce consumption of critical natural resources and decrease the resulting waste and pollution. We also need to change our concept of economic progress that is seemingly based upon ever-expanding consumption. Redefining Progress (www.redefiningprogress.org) and Brown20 provide other economic models that deemphasize production of material goods and place greater value on ecological services and preservation of natural resources. The health and other welfare benefits of preventing unintended pregnancy are felt most keenly by individual women, men and their families. At the same time, increased access to family planning in all countries, combined with measures to reduce consumption in wealthier nations, offer a powerful strategy for helping ensure environmental sustainability.14, 21 J. Joseph Speidel Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Bixby Center for Reproductive Health Research & Policy, University of California, San Francisco, Box 0744, San Francisco, CA 94143-0744, USA E-mail address: email@example.com
A mother with her child attends an awareness rally on safe motherhood and family planning in Kolkata, India. Photo: Sudipto Das, Courtesy of Photoshare
The Reporter — March 2008
Richard A. Grossman Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology University of Colorado Durango, CO 81302, USA E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
A community health worker in Ethiopia gives a talk about family planning to a group of women. Ethiopia has a very high fertility rate and one of the lowest contraceptive use rates in Africa. Virginia Lamprecht, Courtesy of Photoshare
11 Finer LB, Henshaw SK. “Disparities
in rates of unintended pregnancy in the United States, 1994 and 2001.” Perspect Sex Reprod Health. 2006;38:90–96. 12 Potts M. “Sex and the birth rate.”
Pop Develop Rev. 1997;23:1–39. 13 Population Division of the
Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. World population prospects: the 2004 revision and world urbanization prospects: the 2003 revision. Available at: http://esa.un.org/unpp/ Accessed June 20, 2005. 14 Speidel JJ, Weiss DC, Ethelston S,
References 1 Wackernagel M, Rees W. Our ecological footprint. Gabriola Island: New Society Publishers; 1996. 2 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Ecosystems and human well-
Gilbert SM. “Family planning and reproductive health: the link to environmental preservation.” University of California, San Francisco, Bixby Center for Reproductive Health Research & Policy. Available at: http://crhrp.ucsf.edu/ publications/files/Speidel_FamilyPlanning_2007.pdf. 15 Speidel JJ. “Population donor landscape analysis for review of
3 Lovelock J. The revenge of Gaia. London: Penguin Books; 2006. 4 Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social
Packard Foundation international grantmaking in population, sexual and reproductive health and rights.” The David and Lucile Packard Foundation. September 6, 2005. Available at: http://www.packard.org/
Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. World population prospects: the 2006 revision. Available at: http://www.un.org/esa/population/
assets/files/population/program%20review/pop_rev_speidel_030606.pdf Accessed July 13, 2006.
publications/wpp2006/wpp2006.htm Accessed March 20, 2007.
16 United Nations. Flow of financial resources for assisting in the
5 Bongaarts J. “Population policy options in the developing world.”
implementation of the programme of action of the International Conference on Population and Development, Report of the SecretaryGeneral to the 40th Session of the Commission on Population and Development. New York: United Nations; 2007.
being: synthesis. Washington, DC: Island Press; 2005.
Science. 1994;263:771–776. 6 Alan Guttmacher Institute. Sharing responsibility: women, society and abortion worldwide. New York: Alan Guttmacher Institute; 1999. 7 Singh S, Darroch JE, Vlassoff M, Nadeau J. Adding it up: the bene-
17 UNFPA, UNAIDS, NIDI. Preliminary publication of the data to be
fits of investing in sexual and reproductive health care. New York: Alan Guttmacher Institute; 2003.
published in the Financial Resources for Population Activities Report (FRFPAR). Resource Flows Project. Available at: http://www.resource
8 Carr D, Khan M. The unfinished agenda: meeting the need for fami-
flows.org/index.php/articles/c87/ Accessed January 11, 2007.
ly planning in less developed countries. Washington, DC: Population Reference Bureau; 2004.
18 Alan Guttmacher Institute. Fulfilling the promise: public policy and
U.S. family planning clinics. New York: Alan Guttmacher Institute; 2000.
9 U.S. Census Bureau. Statistical abstract of the United States: 2007.
19 Sonfield A. “Preventing unintended pregnancy: the need and the
Available at: http://www.census.gov/prod/www/statisticalabstract.html Accessed February 12, 2007.
20 Brown LR. Plan B 2.0: rescuing a planet under stress and a
10 Population Reference Bureau. 2006 world population data sheet.
civilization in trouble. New York: W. W. Norton & Company; 2006.
Available at: http://www.prb.org/pdf06/06WorldDataSheet.pdf Accessed January 11, 2007.
21 Speidel JJ. Environment and health: 1. “Population, consumption
means.” New York: Alan Guttmacher Institute; 2003.
and human health.” CMAJ. 2000;163:551–556 March 2008 — The Reporter
Kenya in Peril By Jamaica Corker, Population Services International
Kenya’s previous success in tackling population growth is jeopardized Once viewed as a major success story for its work to slow population growth and its political stability, Kenya today faces enormous problems on both fronts. Recent political violence that has killed more than a thousand people since December has put this East African country of 36 million at the center of the news. But since 2004, another disturbing trend has faced Kenya: an increase in the fertility rate is leading to a more rapidly growing population. Kenya’s Stall and Reversal In the last quarter of the twentieth century, Kenya experienced one of the most remarkable drops in overall fertility rates in world history, going from an average of 8.1 births
A pregnant adolescent sells mangos. Photo: Arzum Ciloglu/CCP, Courtesy of Photoshare
per woman in 1978 to 4.7 births per woman in 1998.1
The Reporter — March 2008
Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) in the last decade show that Kenya is now experiencing a “fertility stall”—an unexpected and startling plateau in its once-declining fertility rate. Rather than continuing to decrease as had been expected, Kenya’s fertility rate has actually increased slightly from 4.7 children per woman in 1998 to 4.8 in 2003. During this time, unwanted births rose from 11% to 21%.2 This fertility stall may sound insignificant, but it has enormous implications for Kenya’s overall population growth. Due to the stall, the UN recently revised its mid-century population projections for the country. The UN makes its country projections using calculations based on current population numbers and estimated rates of fertility and mortality for future years. The stall in Kenya’s fertility rate (as opposed to the assumption that the decline in birth rates would continue the previous downward trajectory) led the UN to increase its medium projection for Kenya’s population in 2050 from 44 million to 85 million. Malcolm Potts, a demographer at the University of California at Berkeley says, “This increase will have a huge adverse impact on education, housing and the health of
families, and also no doubt on the range and diversity of
$435.6 million (in 1974 constant dollars, those figures are
wildlife for which the country is famous.”3
$186.5 million and $103 million, respectively).6 To make
Statistics from the last decade in Kenya show other dis-
matters worse, within the dwindling budget, funds have
couraging indicators regarding family planning. Since 1998,
been shifted away from family planning every year since the
the percentage of women who use contraception has
President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was
remained unchanged at 30%, while the level of unmet need
introduced in 2003. In Kenya specifically, a country with a
for family planning remained constant. During this time,
24.5% unmet need for contraception, the 2008 funding
there was a near doubling of unwanted pregnancies. Even
request for family planning was $7.7 million. The request for
more alarming is the fact that over the past five years there
HIV/AIDS programs in Kenya was $481 million, more than
was a decrease in the proportion of both men and women
the entire USAID family planning budget.7
who say they approve of family planning,4 a strong indica-
There is no denying the importance of increased funding
tor of the likelihood of future use. These are areas that can
for HIV/AIDS and other health programs. However, funding
be positively influenced by strong family planning and
these programs must not come at the expense of family
maternal health programming.
Kenya will see its population more than double by 2050.
Family planning has an enormous effect on improving
Unfortunately, there won’t be a doubling of resources to
maternal and child health, as well as slowing high population
meet the needs of millions of new people.
growth rates. It also helps reduce poverty. These benefits
High fertility in Kenya means that a larger number of chil-
play a key role in the fight to tackle public health concerns
dren will need schooling, but not enough teachers can be
and the spread of diseases such as HIV/AIDS. To ensure that
trained or new schools built in time to meet their needs.
gains in one health area are not made at the expense of
Nairobi’s vast slums, nearly at breaking point now, will bear
another, funding for newly prioritized health initiatives must
the brunt of the population increase. Housing projects are
hardly in a position to accommodate millions more people in
The shift of critical funds away from family planning also
what are already squalid living conditions. Perhaps most
seems to reflect a belief by donor governments and foundations
worrying, given Kenya’s current political violence, is research
that once fertility has begun to decline in high-fertility coun-
that shows that countries like Kenya that have a ‘youth bulge’
tries, it will continue to fall until it reaches an ‘acceptable’
(a result of high fertility) are more prone to conflict.5
level (or, as the UN assumes, until it reaches 1.85 children per woman). It’s as if donors gave a collective sigh of relief
Global Shortfalls in Funding for Family Planning
after the encouraging fertility declines in the 1980s and 1990s
In retrospect, the reversal in Kenya’s fertility rate decline
and shifted their attention to other initiatives—believing that
and its increasing population growth rate should not be sur-
once fertility declines began, they would be self-perpetuating.
prising, given that they coincide with a stark decrease in
This may have led donors to decide that work with family
funding for family planning programs since the 1990s.
planning was done and funding could be reallocated to
Globally, the last decade has seen a precipitous decline in
other health areas without impacting population programs.
funding for population programs in developing countries,
However, during the last decade, the demand for family
often in those experiencing the highest rates of population
planning products and services has continued to increase
growth. Donors have re-allocated family planning funding
exponentially, as the number of women entering their
to other health interventions, which are grabbing global and
reproductive years has increased by more than 275 million
government attention—most notably, HIV/AIDS.
across the developing world.8
Between 1995 and 2007, USAID funding for population assistance worldwide decreased from $541.6 million to www.popconnect.org
Perhaps most worrying is that the stalled fertility decline and revised population projections are not limited to Kenya. March 2008 — The Reporter
Other developing countries with high birth rates have lost family planning funding and have experienced subsequent fertility stalls since the 1990s; Bangladesh, Ghana, the Dominican Republic, and Peru are examples.9 As in Kenya, the long-term implications of even a short stall in the fertility declines of these crowded countries are enormous. Kenya’s Future Despite the discouraging news coming from Kenya these days, in both demography and politics, the situation is by no means hopeless. Just as renewed international attention and involvement can help bring about a political resolution, the right attention to and funding for family planning programs in Kenya can help ensure that this fertility stall is a temporary setback and not a permanent backward slide. The Kenyan government considers its population growth and fertility to be too high and promotes policies to lower both.10 In fact, Kenya was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to develop a national policy on population growth.11 However, without adequate and sustained funding for family planning, Kenya will not continue its earlier success in meeting the country’s population stabilization goals. If Kenya’s fertility rate begins to drop again, the population could be 85 million by 2050; however, if it remains stalled at 4.8 children per woman, the population will skyrocket to 128 million. John Cleland, a demographer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and author of the aptly titled article “Family planning: the unfinished agenda,” praises international family planning programs as a great success story, but he calls the 1990s a “wasted decade” in family planning and blames the international donor community for this lost opportunity. Cleland calls for renewed international investment in family planning, particularly for Kenya, which is “going to get worse in virtually every regard if that projection to 80 million by mid-century actually comes about.”12 The U.S. has historically been the world leader in family planning and population funding. Unfortunately, since the 1990s, the U.S. has followed the global trend of moving money away from family planning and prioritizing other health areas. While some have speculated that the European Union (EU) will be the next leader in family planning 12
The Reporter — March 2008
Trees were cleared to pave way for tea farms in Kimotho Village, Kenya. Photo: Sammy Ndwiga, Courtesy of Photoshare
Cleland has called for renewed international interest in family planning, particularly for Kenya, which is “going to get worse in virtually every regard if that projection to 80 million by mid-century actually comes about.”
March 2008 — The Reporter
A community-based health distribution program reaches women and adolescents with information and services related to family planning and reproductive health. Photo: Yesaya Banda, Courtesy of Photoshare
programs,13 European donors have not filled the void left by decreased U.S. funding. Instead, family planning as a proportion of population program funding provided by the EU decreased from 30% to 9% from 2001-2004. If family planning is to get the critical funding needed to ensure that millions around the world can attain their
References 1 Westoff, Charles F. and Anne R. Cross. 2006. “The Stall in the Fertility Transition in Kenya.” DHS Analytical Studies No. 9. Calverton, Maryland. ORC Macro. 2 Potts, Malcolm, “Population and environment in the twenty-first
century” Population and Environment, 2007;28:204-211. 3 ibid. 4 Westoff, Charles F. and Anne R. Cross. 2006. “The Stall in the
desired family size, the U.S. government must increase its
Fertility Transition in Kenya.” DHS Analytical Studies No. 9. Calverton, Maryland. ORC Macro.
contribution through USAID and UNFPA. Although we
5 Leahy, Elizabeth with R. Engelman, C. Gibb Vogel, S. Haddock and T.
remain the leader in total dollars given, our contribution
Preston. “The Shape of Things to Come: why age structure matters to a safer, more equitable world.” Population Action International, 2007.
continues to decline in constant and real dollars, and has failed to ever reach the amount pledged in 1994 at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo. Over the past four decades, U.S. funding for population programs has helped millions of Kenyans to have smaller families. But across the globe, the number of people relying on international family planning continues to grow, while the funding is declining. Rather than overlooking the “unfinished agenda” of family planning in Kenya and in other vulnerable countries, it is critical that family planning
6 Population Action International, “Trends in Population Assistance” http://www.populationaction.org/Issues/U.S._Policies/
Trends_in_U.S._Population_Assistance.shtml, August 2007. 7 Population Action International, “U.S. HIV/AIDS and Family Planning/Reproductive Health Assistance: A Growing Disparity Within PEPFAR Focus Countries” http://www.populationaction.org/Issues/
U.S._Policies/FPRH/Summary.shtml, January 9, 2008. 8 United Nations Population Division, World Population Prospects: The
2006 Revision, http://esa.un.org/unpp/, last updated September 20, 2007. 9 Bongaarts, John. “The Causes of Stalling Fertility Transitions” Studies
in Family Planning, 2006;37:1-16. 10 United Nations Population Division, World Population Policies 2005. 11 Cleland J, Bernstein S, Ezeh A, et al. “Family planning: the unfin-
ished agenda.” Lancet. 2006;368:1810-1827.
and population stabilization move to the top of the agenda
12 Cleland, John. Discussion on Return of the Population Growth Factor
of major donors to ensure that countries like Kenya can capitalize
at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, Washington, DC, September 17, 2007.
on earlier success in tackling population growth.
13 Cleland J, Bernstein S, Ezeh A, et al. “Family planning: the
unfinished agenda.” Lancet. 2006;368:1810-1827.
The Reporter — March 2008
Greetings from the New Director of Development By Shelley R. Davis
In January, I had the privilege of joining the staff of Population Connection as Director of Development. I am excited to meet you—the donors, members, and individuals who support this outstanding organization. I was sixteen years old when I read The Population Bomb by Dr. Paul Ehrlich for the first time. The book was assigned for my debate class, and it instantly became one of my favorite arguments in debate competitions. It also had a huge impact on my belief system. I began to understand the importance of empowering women in society, providing people with family planning services, fighting poverty, and the degradation of our environment. For the last decade I have worked to raise money for many wonderful organizations, including the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare, Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, and The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. But I cannot think of an organization that is closer to my heart than Population Connection, or as I still think of it, ZPG. We have the ability to reach our goals because of your generous support—goals like restoring funds to UNFPA, repealing the Global Gag Rule, providing additional funding for Title X family planning, and providing population education to more children in the United States. Therefore, I can-
balance of your pre-tax retirement plan to a loved one
not thank you enough for your donations.
(other than your spouse) they could have a tax bill of up
There are many options when making a gift to Population Connection. Some members set up charitable gift annuities where they donate an asset to Population
to 60%. If you donate the balance to charity, the entire asset is transferred with no tax bill. If you have questions about your estate plans or any
Connection now and receive a fixed return for the rest of
other donation, please give me a call at (202) 332-2200
their lives. This offers a stable investment return while
or drop me an email at email@example.com. And
receiving tax benefits.
please consult with your tax advisor and/or legal council
You could also consider making Population Connection the beneficiary of a retirement plan like your 401(k), 403(b) or IRA. Under current tax law, if you give the www.popconnect.org
to discuss your specific situation. I look forward to meeting you and the other members of Population Connection; 35,000 members strong. March 2008 — The Reporter
Voices of Hope on a Crowded Continent In December, Communications Manager, Marian Starkey, traveled to Arusha, Tanzania, where she attended the 5th African Population Conference. The five-day event brought together researchers and policymakers from all over Africa, North America, and Europe to discuss new research and policy recommendations on demographic issues unique to African countries. fter 36 hours of travel, I arrived at Kilimanjaro
reaching all groups of people: rural or urban, educated or
International Airport, where a young woman led me
not, rich or poor. Sessions were also held on topics such as
to a shuttle bringing conference attendees to our
hotels. As people arrived on later flights, I watched the African participants greet each other as old friends and col-
brain drain, and contraceptive method mix. There was a consensus among African researchers that the
leagues. Once the shuttle was full, we headed off through
large amount of money that comes to them through the
the countryside to Arusha, one of the towns that President
President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is
Bush visited on his first trip to Africa in February. Along the
responsible for the dramatic shift in usage from hormonal
smoothly paved road (one of few in the country), I saw
methods of contraception to condoms. This is not necessarily
young boys herding cattle and women collecting water with
a bad thing for those individuals exposed to the threat of
babies on their backs. I spotted rings of mud huts in the
STIs and who are willing to use a less convenient method.
fields, and occasionally, a small town with a couple of gener-
But for women desiring a more permanent, consistent
al stores fronted with corrugated iron. Mangy dogs dozed in
method of birth control or who cannot convince their part-
the afternoon heat and kids played next to them, using
ners to use a condom, this shift leads to an increase in
sticks to draw in the dirt.
unplanned pregnancies. We’ve seen increased fertility rates
All week, locals approached me to learn the reason for my
in countries like Kenya, where the contraceptive method
visit to their town. They walked with me to the conference,
mix has shifted drastically in favor of condoms since the
teaching me Swahili along the way, and then inevitably told
inception of PEPFAR.
me about their craft shops that I should visit for a “nice,
Researchers also voiced resentment for the provision that
Christmas price.” They smiled at me and called across the
requires half of all PEPFAR money to be spent on abstinence-
street, “Jambo!” They were wonderful and made me feel
only programs. Many felt that abstinence was not a realistic
welcome right away. Despite their upbeat personalities and
option for most reproductive-aged people in their countries.
generous hospitality, the poverty that grips the people of
Its teaching is therefore a waste of money, or worse, danger-
Tanzania was obvious: I heard the hope in their voices that I
ous, as is often the case here in the United States.
might actually visit their shops and buy something. Their
HIV/AIDS, infant and child mortality, emigration and the
There were two sessions about population growth and food
poverty is rooted in rapid population growth, which keeps
and water scarcity. One paper presented stated that in
them from investing in their children’s educations, and
Ghana, between 1984 and 1989, 5% of land cover changed
leaves them with little or no spending money after fulfilling
from forest to agricultural land, with a predicted depletion of
their basic needs.
forest cover by 2010. The resulting agricultural land has
The event took place at the Arusha International
already experienced declining soil fertility, making it more dif-
Conference Center, where the International Criminal
ficult to grow food. Another paper examined climate variabili-
Tribunal for Rwanda is conducted. It was broken up into
ty and food scarcity in Nigeria. The author found that the rise
sessions during which three or four people presented their
in temperature due to climate change has led to permanent
research on related topics. I attended sessions examining
drought conditions, which have caused desertification and
how family planning programs can be most effective in
decreased agricultural production. The annual population
The Reporter — March 2008
growth rate has exceeded the food production growth rate,
Perhaps the most valuable aspect of the week was the
which has led to extensive hunger in Nigeria. Another study
time I spent with African conference participants during
examined crop production in Ghana and found that fallow
meals and other break periods. During these interactions,
periods have shortened because of population growth, which
I learned a lot about the population and family planning
has led to less fertile soil for growing food. Climate change
situations in many countries. I also talked to them about
and population growth have had a devastating effect on peo-
Population Connection and how weâ€™re working to help
ple who rely on local agriculture for food.
them get the funding they need to continue their important
I was encouraged to hear so many researchers voicing their
programs, at least until they become self-sufficient. After
desire for their countriesâ€™ governments to internally manage
meeting people on the research, policy, and service-delivery
family planning programs, without help from donor countries.
sides, I am even further convinced of the important role
They do not want to depend on outside (conditional) help,
United States foreign aid can play in the lives of so many
but would rather be in charge of their own programs so that
people around the world.
they are as culturally appropriate as possible. The consensus
And although progress has been made on many fronts
was that in order to get to a place where this could happen,
over the past forty years, huge challenges remain to be
children, especially all girls, must attend school. And the gov-
addressed. Here at Population Connection, we will continue
ernment must create jobs for well-educated people, in order
our work until every woman in the world has access to safe,
to reverse the brain drain. When people have education and
voluntary family planning.
employment opportunities, small families become the ideal.
Maasai women and their children sing to welcome us to their village on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. Photo: Marian Starkey www.popconnect.org
March 2008 â€” The Reporter
It’s Time to “Double the Money” Bush Budget Slashes Family Planning Funds. Population Connection Seeks Record Increase. By Stacie Murphy,
Each $100 million spent on family planning results in: •
3.6 million more women with access to contraception
2.1 million fewer unintended pregnancies
825,000 fewer abortions
970,000 fewer unplanned births
70,000 infant deaths averted
4,000 maternal deaths avoided
In early February, President Bush released his
planning programs will help protect the
proposed budget for FY 2009. Just like every
environment, increase social stability and
year, he cut funding for international family
national security, and decrease maternal and
planning—this time by $134 million, or
child death rates in the developing world.
almost 30%. Although it is likely that the
Continuing population growth in the
Democratic Congress will reject these cuts
developing world is a major contributor to
and instead support some modest increase,
resource scarcity and hinders efforts to com-
we have decided on a bolder request.
bat climate change. Population growth leads
Population Connection is calling on Congress
to the destruction of forests and the spread
to pledge $1 billion for international family
of deserts, the pollution and over-fishing of
planning programs for 2009—roughly twice
oceans and waterways, and an increase in
the $461 million allocated for 2008.
the emissions that cause global climate
We’re asking Congress for $1 billion not
change. If we double the money for family
because it’s a flashy number, but because it
planning, we will help protect the environ-
is the United States’ fair share of the total
ment and relieve pressure on natural
cost of meeting unmet need for family plan-
ning worldwide. And we’re asking for $1 bil-
The Reporter — March 2008
Resource scarcity and other population
lion because the U.S. has been negligent in
pressures place stress on fragile governments
recent years: over the past decade, U.S.
and other social structures. With 25% of the
funding for international family planning
world’s population currently under the age of
programs has declined by almost 40% when
15, the demand on governments will only
adjusted for inflation. At the same time, the
grow. Countries without the resources to pro-
number of women in the developing world
vide education and employment for young
has increased dramatically. Lack of access to
people are at risk of instability and civil con-
family planning services contributes to a
flict. If we double the money for family plan-
host of devastating consequences for the
ning, we will help smooth the “youth bulge”
entire world. Doubling the money for family
and encourage social stability.
Population Connection There are currently 1.4 billion women of reproductive age in the world today; 200 million of them would like to end or
is calling on Congress
delay childbearing, but lack access to family planning services. Without the ability to avoid unwanted or mistimed pregnan-
to pledge $1 billion
cies, many women are forced to watch their families suffer and risk their own and their children’s deaths. If we double the money for family planning, we will save the lives of women and children. The president's proposal is only the first step in a long budget process on Capitol Hill. In the coming months, Population Connection will be asking for your help, not only to make sure these draconian cuts are rejected, but to push for the funding these programs so desperately need. We urge you to get involved in the “Double the Money” campaign. It’s going to be crucial for members of Congress to hear from you on this important issue. You can follow our efforts online at our website, populationconnection.org.
for international family planning programs for 2009— roughly twice the $461 million allocated for 2008.
Many villages in Madagascar are located very far from health centers. Climate and lack of infrastructure are obstacles to health center attendance. Women have been trained in awareness-raising and counselling to promote family planning and the reproductive health of adolescents. Health workers sell contraceptives, including the pill, spermicide and condoms. Photo: Nathalie Raharilaza, Courtesy of Photoshare www.popconnect.org
March 2008 — The Reporter
Field & Outreach
We Can’t Grow on Like This
Sign on Now to Save the Earth Making the Global Local in 12 Cities By Mae Stevens and Laura Martin National Field Coordinator and Cambridge Field Organizer
Without efforts to stabilize population, it will be
Cohosted by Population Connection and the
nearly impossible to address climate change
Donahue Institute for Values and Public Life at
over the long term. That’s why Population
Lasell College, the February 23rd event attracted
Connection is urging people across the country
Lasell students and faculty along with scores of
to sign onto a resolution calling on Congress to
Population Connection members from
put population back on the national agenda
Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
and to double the funding for international family planning this year. In the past few weeks, the first 130 commu-
The event was made possible by Population Connection board member Mary Barbara Alexander and her husband,
nity leaders who work in the environmental,
Michael Alexander, the new president of
social justice or reproductive rights movements
Lasell College, an undergraduate and
have signed on to the campaign, with many
graduate institution founded in 1851.
more to come. We’re also asking community leaders to call
In discussing his latest book, Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization, Brown
their elected representatives, write letters to their
emphasized the need for an all-out cam-
local newspapers, and support Population
paign to achieve climate and population
Connection financially. Getting as much quality
stabilization, poverty elimination, and
grassroots support as we can is the only way
we’re going to convince lawmakers of the connection between population and climate change.
During a lively question and answer session, Brown expanded on topics ranging from wind energy to ethanol to the dire
Lester Brown: Act Now to Save Our Planet NEWTON, Mass.—A crisp February evening provided the backdrop for Lester Brown, President of the Earth Policy Institute, who issued a call for global action at a Lasell College reception.
consequences of rampant population growth. Founder of the Worldwatch Institute and a longtime member of Population Connection, Brown has authored or coauthored more than 50 books.
Join us at our annual conference! Make the Connection: Population Growth in a Warming World June 6-7, 2008 in Washington, DC We’re bringing together student leaders, young professionals, and Population Connection members from all over the country who have an active interest in the environment. The conference will clearly make the connection between global warming, population growth and the need for a doubling of U.S. funding for international family planning. Please check our website for the most up-to-date information! 20
The Reporter — March 2008
Lester Brown speaking at Lasell College. Photo: Laura Martin
Excerpts from Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization by Lester Brown In the new world we are entering, protecting the
levels. The medium projection, the one most
diversity of life on earth is no longer simply a mat-
commonly used, has world population reaching
ter of setting aside tracts of land, fencing them off,
9.2 billion by 2050. The high one reaches 10.8
and calling them parks and preserves. Success in
billion. The low projection, which assumes that
this effort depends also on stabilizing both climate
the world will quickly move below replacement-level
and population. (page 105)
fertility to 1.6 children per couple, has population
As land and water become scarce, competition
peaking at just under 8 billion in 2041 and then
for these vital resources intensifies within societies,
declining. If the goal is to eradicate poverty, hunger,
particularly between the wealthy and those who are
and illiteracy, we have little choice but to strive for
poor and dispossessed. The shrinkage of life-
the lower projection.23 (pages 136-137)
supporting resources per person
The two steps essential to
that comes with population growth
protecting the earth’s extraordinary
is threatening to drop the living
biological diversity are the stabiliza-
standards of millions of people
tion of both the human population
below the survival level, leading to
and the earth’s climate. If the
potentially unmanageable social
world’s population increases to
tensions.43 (page 117)
9 billion by mid-century as projected,
Countries everywhere have little
countless more plant and animal
choice but to strive for an average
species may simply be crowded off
of two children per couple. There
the planet. If carbon dioxide levels
is no feasible alternative. Any
and temperatures continue to rise,
population that increases or
every ecosystem will change.
decreases continually over the long
term is not sustainable. In an increasingly integrated world with a growing
Now in our overpopulated, climatechanging, water-scarce world, food security is a
number of failing states, eradicating poverty and
matter for the entire society and for all government
stabilizing population have become national security
ministries. Since hunger is almost always the result
issues. Slowing population growth helps eradicate
of poverty, eradicating hunger also depends on
poverty and its distressing symptoms, and, conversely,
stabilizing population. Our Plan B goal is to
eradicating poverty helps slow population growth.
stabilize world population by 2040 at the
With time running out, the urgency of moving
8-billion level. This will not be easy, but the
simultaneously on both fronts is clear. (page 133)
alternative may be a halt in population growth
U.N. projections show world population growth
because of rising mortality. (page 190)
under three different assumptions about fertility www.popconnect.org
March 2008 — The Reporter
Tennessee Educator Honored for Population Education Outreach By Crystal Campbell Education Program Associate
How fitting that the Population Education Program should give this year’s Most Valuable Trainer award to a native of “The Volunteer State.” Over the past seven years, more than 1,000 new Tennessee teachers have been trained to use Population Connection curricula, thanks to the exceptional work of Dr. J. Padgett Kelly. A biology professor and Director of the Center for Environmental and Energy Education at Middle Tennessee State University, Padgett became familiar with the Population Education program when a staff member went to his class to present a work-
President’s Commission on the Outdoors as
shop. After seeing the workshop, he decided
one of the ten best environmental programs
that becoming a trainer was a great way to
in the nation.
contribute to a cause in which he strongly believed. Padgett has inspired fellow profes-
workshops are important because every
sors to become Population Education trainers
single environmental problem in the world
as well, and there are now nearly a dozen
today can be traced back to our population.
workshops at Middle Tennessee State
He says, “The concept of carrying capacity
University annually due to his efforts.
not only applies to populations and envi-
As a board member of the National
ronments, but also to the classroom. If a
Marine Educators Association, Padgett has
classroom has too many students, learning
encouraged the Population Education pro-
gram to develop even more activities and
The Reporter — March 2008
Padgett believes Population Education
Padgett has been fortunate to attend sev-
readings about water use. Last year, Padgett
eral lectures by fellow Middle Tennessee
presented PopEd workshops in St. Lucia and
State University faculty member, former Vice
Curacao for the National Oceanic and
President Al Gore, and says that it has been
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
a real joy to watch him grow as a teacher.
Padgett is also the former Director of
At the end of one of Gore’s lectures, Padgett
Environmental Education for the State of
presented him with a copy of Population
Tennessee where he developed Project
Connection’s “dot” video, World
CENTS (Conservation Education Now for
Population, which he said he looks forward
Tennessee Students), which was cited by the
A Drop in the Ocean Slice an apple according to the instructions, narrating as you go. 1. Hold the apple so the group can see it. “This apple represents our Padgett’s favorite Population Education
activity is “Food for Thought” because the
2. Cut the apple into quarters. Hold out 3⁄4 in one hand. Ask the
participants in his workshops are amazed to
group: “What do these 3⁄4 represent?” (Water.) Acknowledge the 1⁄4
see the vast differences in wealth and
that represents the land and set it aside.
resources between continents. He also enjoys
3. Return to the 3⁄4 of the original apple that represents water. “Some
presenting “Population Circle,” which
of our food comes from the sea. Nearly one billion people, mostly in
demonstrates how quickly population has
Asia, rely on fish as their primary source of protein. Yet, despite their
grown over the past 500 years, and “Mining
vastness and seeming uniformity, many regions of the world's oceans
are unproductive due to a lack of life-supporting nutrients.”
simulate resource extraction. In his workshops for marine educators,
4. Set aside two of the three quarters. Cut the remaining 1⁄4 in half. Set 1⁄8 aside and hold out the other 1⁄8 portion. “This 1⁄8 represents the
Padgett shows the connection between
productive zones of the ocean along the equator and the western
human population growth and overstressed
margins of continents. Currents in these areas cause upwelling, which
fisheries using the Population Education activ-
brings nutrients to the surface. These nutrients support large numbers
ity, "A Drop in the Ocean" (See Sidebar).
of marine plants and animals.”
Although a resident of a landlocked state, he
5. Cut the 1⁄8 into four equal pieces. Select one of the four pieces (1⁄32)
is drawn to the water and especially enjoys
and carefully peel its skin. Hold out the peel. “This peel represents the
fishing, kayaking and leading tours to Maui.
photic zone, the top 100 meters (330 feet) of the ocean which light
Padgett is a shining example of the dedica-
can penetrate, supporting photosynthesis. Since the marine food chain
tion, experience, and influence that volunteer
depends on algae and photosynthesizing plants, especially phyto-
trainers bring to the Population Education
plankton, almost all ocean life depends on this narrow photic zone.
program. Last year, local trainers facilitated
At 100 meters below the surface, the amount of light is only 1% of
430 workshops in North America, reaching
what it is at the surface.”
over 10,000 educators and donating over
The oceans constitute the majority of the planet and affect and
$250,000 worth of in-kind contributions of
sustain all life on Earth. Human beings significantly influence the
oceans. Increased pollution, depletion of fish and other marine
Population Education Trainers bring educa-
resources, habitat destruction and degradation, and the introduction
tional expertise from the K-12, university and
of invasive non-native species are only some of the ways people
nonformal communities. Population
harm the ocean, with serious consequences for the entire planet.
Connection hosts training institutes each year for new facilitators to prepare them
“A Drop in the Ocean” is part of a larger activity, “Earth: The Apple
to represent the program among educators in
of Our Eye,” which also explores land use for food cultivation. The
their local areas. For more information on the
entire activity, along with discussion questions and answers can be
Population Education Trainers' Network, visit
found at www.populationeducation.org. Click on “Teaching Materials
and Tools,” “Activities” and “Secondary (9-12).”
March 2008 — The Reporter
The Reporter â€” March 2008
Almost two-thirds of the decline in the total number of abortions can be traced to eight jurisdictions with few or no abortion restrictions—New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, California, Oregon, Washington State and the District of Columbia. These are places, notes the Guttmacher Institute’s president, Sharon Camp, that have shown a commitment to real sex education, largely departing from the Bush administration’s abstinence-only approach. These jurisdictions also help women avoid unintended pregnancies by making contraception widely available... The lesson: prevention works. Restrictions on abortion serve mainly to hurt poor women by postponing abortions until later in pregnancy. While shifting social mores may change some people’s behavior, the best practical strategy for reducing abortions is to focus on helping women avoid unwanted pregnancies... Still, in 2005 about one in five pregnancies ended in abortion, emphasizing the need for a national emphasis on better sex education and access to contraception. —Editorial, The New York Times, January 26, 2008
We think it's time for Congress to overcome its veto fear and restore the availability of affordable oral contraceptives. President Bush maintains an interest in fighting unwanted pregnancies and abortions; this is the most common-sense way to do it... Family-planning activists warn that low-income women might opt for no contraception, rather than pay $40 or $50 a month for the pill; that could lead to a jump in unwanted pregnancies. In light of Texas' high rates of pregnancy among teens and single, low-income women, this issue deserves our lawmakers' urgent attention. —Editorial, The Dallas Morning News, February 3, 2008
Joycelyn Elders, former U.S. Surgeon General.
One Way To Change The World We hope youâ€™ll consider Population Connection as you plan your estate. Your bequest gift will help change the future for people and for our planet. You can also participate with other forms of planned giving. Charitable Gift Annuities provide guaranteed life income along with significant tax advantages. If you, or your financial advisor, have any questions, please feel free to contact Shelley R. Davis, Director of Membership and Development at 800-767-1956 or 202-332-2200. If youâ€™ve already included Zero Population Growth (ZPG) in your estate plans, there is no need to change any language. We proudly maintain the name and the mission.
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