By Anne LeBlanc
We like to think we’re logical and sometimes we are.
For instance, using paper towels for small kitchen cleanups instead of fabric and sponges is a cost and convenience decision. The convenience is undeniable, the cost not so much. We could calculate the cost of each at the store, perhaps even digging into the manufacturing process and the possible environmental pollution for each. Or we could research just far enough to justify what we wanted to do in the first place. Been there, done that.
There’s an issue that we frequently seem to treat the same way: over-population. “We’re outstripping our resources. There’s not enough food and people are starving. We have to have decisive population control because there are too many poor people!”
Really? Over-population is the excuse used for forcing third-world countries to accept population control measures in return for US financial aid. It’s also been the reason given for why abortion needs to be available world-wide as a fundamental right so that women can keep their families small.
So, is “over-population” really responsible for poverty? Some of the highest population densities contain the most per-capita wealth, like Singapore, wealth not shared by sparsely-populated countries like Yemen.
This is perhaps an area where, in general, people tend to decide whether over-population is a problem or not, and then gather the data that supports what we have already decided we prefer.
If we favor abortion, then, we may decide that over-population justifies supplementing access to it or even mandating it, as the Chinese do.
However, under-population is a current and severe problem for many countries today. There are too few children. Countries in most of Europe and much of the rest of the world are contemplating a rather bleak future as their fertility rates slip below what is needed to keep their populations from dwindling.
Yes, the problem is not too many babies being born, but too few. Whether, individually, we favor abortion as a right or despise it as barbaric, let’s make sure that we don’t allow the use of bad data like over-population to be used to justify it.
If we can be of assistance on a pro-life issue, including providing referrals for help for women with problem pregnancies, please contact Rochester Area Right to Life by mail at our office 675 Ling Road, Suite 3, Rochester, NY 14612 or by e-mail at RARTL@righttoliferoch.org or by phone (585) 621-4690. You are welcome to visit our website www.righttoliferoch.org.