A Family Planning Equivalent to Covid-19 Vaccine Also Urgent for Women

By Donald A. Collins | 28 April 2020
Church and State

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Former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb’s April 27th Wall Street Journal editorial is headlined “America needs to win the vaccine race”. It expresses what for most people are obvious reasons to give urgent priority to finding a US solution. He is an outstanding scientist and certainly was most effective as FDA Commissioner.

“COVID-19 has altered world history” he says, “It’s now evident that public health is part of national security”. He concludes by saying “A successful vaccine will allow America to reclaim the country’s safety and sovereignty. The first to reach this prize will be the first nation to recover.”

You can read his full comments here.

My recent op ed on the 1970 prediction by Miracle Wheat innovator Norman Borlaug about the world’s need to reduce human numbers in the next 30 years in order to feed ourselves has been ignored as world population doubled from then from about 3.5 billion to nearly 8 billion today. USA numbers jumped from 125 million at my birth in 1931 to 329 million plus about 12 million illegal aliens.

Talk about the world ignoring urgent priorities! The Journal on its April 25 editorial page scolded people for attacking Borlaug without noting those who pointed out the effects of growing more food required more land, water and chemical fertizer weren’t attacking Borlaug but rather the failure of the world to heed his advice on the urgent need to reduce human numbers!

I sent the Journal an April 25th email letter along with a copy of my Borlaug op ed (see below) which won’t likely be published which said:

“Your defense of Borlaug omits mention of your consistent opposition to helping women obtain family planning options which in my 89 years have brought world population to unsustainable levels. Giving young women choice would greatly facilitate reductions which otherwise will be painful and dangerous.

Donald A Collins, Washington DC


Getting a COVID-19 vaccine obviously must be our primary priority but to continue to fail to ignore the implications of population growth because of religious opposition insures repeated pandemics and the growing dangers of conflict over diminished resources.

Yes, Dr. Gottlieb, we are in a unique time in world history. As I am a Pfizer stockholder and as you as a member of its board of directors, we would both hope the vaccine winner might be Pfizer! However, as Bloomberg reports Pfizer is happily working cooperatively with a Mainz based company, BioNTech, which has “secured approval for Germany’s first human clinical trials of a possible coronavirus vaccine, entering a global race to develop a defense against the pandemic”. Getting many into the game is important and that is certainly happening.

We also know that treating COVID-19 as a planetary problem transcends the temporary advantage that being first offers any country or company. However if a large US drug company is tied to a successful vaccine, such as Pfizer, it would have the capacity to produce enough for rapid wide world usage.

Speaking personally I feel very reluctant to go back freely into public places until such a vaccine exists and I will count heavily on advice from credible sources before I do.

Still, we fail to hear any urgent powerful political voices calling for easy, inexpensive widely available birth control methods. I was pleased to see TV ads this past weekend by NURX.com which offers to mail birth control to women at their homes avoiding any need to go to a drug store.

We need the same urgent concern about choice for women to control their fertility. Such a major planetary action to reduce human numbers would create the long term peace and stability to which we all aspire.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC., has spent over 40 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013.

From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013

By Donald A. Collins
Publisher: Church and State Press (July 30, 2014)
Kindle Store

“You can’t build peace on empty stomachs.” Norman Borlaug, 1970 Nobel Peace Prize.

Jane Goodall @ Population Matters Conference 2019

Final Warning Limits to Growth

The Threat of Overpopulation

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