Access to family planning services is a long-recognized basic human right… but we have a long way to go to ensure everyone has access.
Offering women contraception without co-pays under the Affordable Care Act isn’t just good for them — it’s good for their families, communities and the planet we all share.
We have two options: We can make family planning a priority and invest the money needed to give women control of their own lives and futures. Or we can allow our nation – and our world – to slide backward.
As we pass the seven billion mark, it’s easy to get caught up in numbers. But the only reason those numbers mean anything is because of the individual lives behind them. In order to make the most of this moment and all those to follow, we need to lead every conversation about numbers with rights.
Reaching seven billion people on planet Earth has prompted renewed debates about the balance between population size and consumption of natural resources, about age structure and political stability, and about the consequences of rapid population growth rates for poor countries’ ability to develop economically. To a large extent, however, these macro-level dilemmas reflect a micro-level problem about which there is a universal consensus and where the solution is relatively straightforward.
As he prepares to launch a son into a world facing global challenges and a population soon to reach 7 billion, one father provides reflection and advice on sustainablity.
The ancient Mayans—and their indigenous descendants in Guatemala—saw the profound interconnectedness of human reproduction and stewardship of natural resources. Whether cultivating a field or bringing a new life into the world, traditional Mayans practiced respectful restraint. But those old ways are being destroyed, and new solutions are needed.
The population problem is all about me: white, middle-class, American me. Well-meaning people have told me that I’m “just the sort of person who should have kids.” Au contraire. I’m just the sort of person who should not have kids.
What are the facts on population, consumption, and reproductive health? Here they are “by the numbers,” including who is using what in terms of energy and climate change; environment; reproductive health, and the status of girls and women.
The cover story of the July 29, 2011 issue of Science Magazine is Population. We learn that in 1900 there were 1.6 billion human beings, 3 billion in 1960, and that the world will reach the benchmark of 7 billion this year.