11 July 2008

Thoughts on World Population Day

Today is World Population Day.

Today is also the 21st anniversary of Five Billion Day, and the estimated world population as of today is 6,825,575,300 up from 6,732,742,460 estimated as of July 11, 2007.

That means in a year's time, the world population grew by an estimated number of 92,832,840 people. This number is already the population of the Philippines today! Not all of them lived, of course. The unfortunate ones perished either by some form of sickness, genetic anomaly, accident, or were intentionally terminated by abortion.

Even if only 80 million survived, those are still A LOT of babies. And with rising oil and food prices, that 80 million babies to feed would require a lot of financial resources.

The Philippines ranks #12 overall when it comes to the ranks of top countries with the biggest population. Below is data I gathered as of January 2008. It shows how much we contribute to the burden of overpopulation:

The World Bank says that "51 million unplanned pregnancies occur because women lack access to contraceptives," and that "another 25 million pregnancies in developing countries occur because contraceptives are incorrectly used or because birth control measures fail."

So, it all boils down to accessibility to contraceptives and their proper use?

In the midst of rising commodity prices, will buying contraceptives be in the list of priorities? I don't think so.

In the face of unemployment, those who have more time on their hands (usually the poor segment of society) spend their time copulating, and further add to the growing problem. It is therefore not a surprise to hear and read reports of fetuses being scattered all around --- even in fruit baskets being offered in holy mass inside Catholic churches or inside mayonnaise bottles.

There's an estimated 400,000 abortions done yearly in the country (data from UP-PGH and gathered by ABS-CBN). Not every abortion case comes from young girls who are merely "experimenting" pre-marital sexual relations with their boyfriends. A good number comes from married mothers, who either missed taking their pills, or failed to ask their husbands to wear condoms. These mothers probably have 3 to 5 kids already, and, realizing how costly their "mistake" will be if pursued, decide to terminate the pregnancy by abortion. Abortion is their way of contraception.
It said some 68,000 women die every year due to unsafe abortions, while another 5.3 million suffer temporary or permanent disability as a result.

The World Bank said poor women are less likely to use contraceptives than women who are better off. Wealthier women are more than three times likelier than poorer ones to have a doctor or mid-wife to help with the births of their babies.

~ Reuters, 10 July 2008

If you think about it, those who are at the forefront of the problem of overpopulation --- the pregnant mothers who try to abort --- are, in fact, doing something to solve the problem. The only debate is whether they are doing it safely or not.

What will solve this problem of overpopulation? Is it contraception? Is it abortion?

I think it is education, which the same World Bank report said can become a form of "social contraception."
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