The Threat of Overpopulation Doesn’t Faze Trump

    By Emily Zak | 6 April 2017
    CARE2

    By 2050, our world may contain 9 billion people. But what does that mean for our lives and the future of the planet?

    In a Care2 interview, the now-deceased population expert Searle Whitney calls overpopulation a factor in most “environmental, social and economic problems.”

    Overpopulation both reflects and drives gender inequality. Lack of women’s education. Human-caused climate change. Habitat destruction. Pollution.

    Eight in 10 U.S. scientists call overpopulation a major problem that will strain the world’s resources. Still, the Trump Administration announced Monday that it will withdraw funding for the United Nations Population Fund.

    The fund supports services like family planning, combats gender-based violence and promotes women’s education in 150 countries. And scientists confirm that all of these initiatives can counter overpopulation.

    Trump justifies his decision to remove funding based on a mistaken belief that the organization supports coerced abortion and/or involuntary sterilization in China. Meanwhile, the UNFPA maintains that this assertion is wrong.

    The group does not fund or perform abortions or forced sterilizations, according to its statement. In fact, the UNFPA had been outspoken in its opposition to China’s now-ended one-child policy.

    Like with reinstating the Global Gag Rule, Trump frames his budget cut as an enlightened crusade against abortion. But in reality, as Population Connection Action Fund’s Stacie Murphy said, this pull of funding means “women will die.”

    Last year, UNFPA “was able to save the lives of 2,340 women from dying during pregnancy and childbirth; prevent 947,000 unintended pregnancies; ensure 1,251 fistula surgeries; and prevent 295,000 unsafe abortions,” according to the agency.

    The UNFPA statement further explained:

    The support we received over the years from the Government and people of the United States has saved tens of thousands of mothers from preventable deaths and disabilities, and especially now in the rapidly developing global humanitarian crises. With previous United States contributions, UNFPA was combatting gender-based violence and reducing the scourge of maternal deaths in the world’s most fragile settings, in areas of conflict and natural disasters, including Iraq, Nepal, Sudan, Syria, the Philippines, Ukraine and Yemen.

    We have always valued the United States as a trusted partner and leader in helping to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

    And if that’s not unsettling enough, it follows Trump’s decision to cut overall diplomacy and foreign aid funding overall by nearly 30 percent.

    Reprinted with permission from the author.

    Emily Zak is a Santa Fe-based blogger with Care2 Causes. Her passions lie with LGBT and women’s activism especially.

    Professor Milton Siegel, who for 24 years was the Assistant Director-General of the World Health Organization, speaks to Dr. Stephen Mumford in 1992 to reveal that although there was a consensus that overpopulation was a grave public health threat and would be a major cause of preventable death not too far in the future, the Vatican successfully fought off the incorporation of family planning and birth control into official WHO policy. This video is available for public viewing for the first time. Read the full transcript of the interview here.

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