THE SERIES of Newsweek reports on social instabilities in Europe due to falling birth rates, declining human and labor resources, an aging population that drains social security systems, and a decreasing youth market should serve us a warning on the costs of electing anti-life politicians come May. The Philippines is expected to hit below 2.1 fertility replacement level by 2025, based on the US Census Bureau and the UN Development Programme’s World Population Prospects. So ideological, if not idiotic, “overpopulation” hysteria has been that the New York Times’ millennium edition rightly declared it “one of the myths of the 20th century.”

Yet most of our politicians continue to buy the myth, even getting their nitwits at supporting the population control agenda. Come elections, these political candidates should be deprived of any chance of gaining office, for which they can only promise three prospects:

Bad economy. All the world’s leading economists say that population control is dead wrong. Amartya Sen, the 1998 Nobel laureate in Economics, insists that it is a “delusion,” a country cannot solve poverty via family planning; development has to take place before fertility will come down. American economist Jacqueline Kasun debunks “overpopulation,” saying that all the people in the world could even move into Texas—six billion people divided by 262,000 square miles—and you have a city even less dense than Paris. The problem is not overpopulation but urban overcrowding, unequal distribution of goods, and untapped human resources.

The Malthusian high-population-growth-equals-poverty theory was earlier debunked by Simon Kuznets, the 1971 Nobel laureate in Economics. The 1992 Nobel Prize economist winner, Gary Becker, said that high population growth’s impact on economy is positive, because of human capital. Yet again the 2001 Nobel laureate economist George Akerlof blames the rise of the contraceptive culture for the increased incidence in promiscuity, divorce, back-up abortion, and children born out of wedlock, which hurt the poor who have a greater stake on having a stable family.

Problema sa tag-araw

Fascism and imperialism. Supporters of population control a.k.a reproductive health bills, are ironically identified with the socialist/communist party line on one hand, and the die-hard capitalist trapos on the other. Population control is a tempting formula for the statist fascists; dictating into couples their reproductive behavior and the number of children they “ought” to bear through multiple disincentives. Population control in the country is the long-standing legacy of the Marcoses, following Singapore’s statist population drive, “Stop at Two.” But Singapore has long realized the consequences, changing the policy to “Three or More.”

Meanwhile, the trapos support the same move from a reverse but equally malicious perspective—the so-called freedom of “choice” (except the choice to have a large family) in family planning, which serves the imperialist multi-million-dollar abortion and contraception industry and other commercial interests, from which these politicians and NGO grant chasers receive project incentives and funding. For whose interest is a national family planning policy? Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s National Security Study Memorandum 200, exposed by Sen. Aquilino Pimentel in 2002, is revealing. The declassified document states that First World countries, like the United States, have expressed economic interest in depopulating developing countries specifically the Philippines, to, quote “keep their strength down or to reserve resources for use by the ‘rich’ countries.”

Twisted health priority. Suppose the initial allocation for artificial contraceptives (P 50 million) would be passed by anti-life politicians, then expect our health centers to brim more with free condoms and pills, while medications for the Top 10 diseases in the country are being sold at a cost. The supposed “reproductive health” rationale for peddling contraceptives is hogwash. In the first place, there is nothing “reproductive” and “healthy” in these methods. Contraceptives work to inhibit the normal functions of the reproductive system, thus polluting the body with their side effects; some of these contraceptive drugs are highly carcinogenic since they contain synthetic hormones. The condom with its N-nitrosamine material can also be carcinogenic.

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Neither are these methods effective AIDS prevention policy. Countries that have kept the pandemic at bay like Uganda did it by chastity programs, not condoms. Edward Green of the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies said that countries with the highest condom-user rates, such as Zimbabwe and Botswana, have the highest HIV infection rates. Closer to our region, Thailand is held up by population control fanatics as an example of a country that has supposedly stem the AIDS menace. But look at the statistics. Since 1984, Thailand already recorded close to a million cases of HIV infection, the leading cause of death in the country, while condom-reluctant Philippines only has some 2,000.

a pro-life policy ultimately leads to good politics, good governance, good values and good economics because it is based on the most fundamental human value—life. A pro-life platform is not limited only to the issues of contraceptives and abortion but also on a consistent ethics of natural law, values formation, economic growth, and quality of life. A pro-choice option is ironically anti-freedom, limiting the size of the family based on the unscientific premise that the population—and ultimately the Filipino people—are the cause of poverty.


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