Población y desarrollo

Population Control Movement Contains the Seeds of its Own Destruction (and Ours)

One of the favorite claims of the population control movement is that the world is running out of resources: food, energy, and space. “There is plenty of evidence to suggest that humanity is already exceeding the planet’s limits and that we are reducing the earth’s capacity to support life, including human life,” purported Robert Walker, the president of the Population Institute, in a recent debate with our own Steven Mosher.

These—and similar dire predictions—have been bandied about for over two hundred years. The overpopulation drum-beaters repeatedly claim the imminent end of humanity, perpetually predicting earth-ending disaster just around the corner. These predictions, unsurprisingly, have not come to pass.

One, of course, might be tempted to dismiss the claims of population alarmists as the warnings of well-funded but harmless cranks. One might be tempted to wave them away with a rather cynical sort of amusement if government officials did not take their claims as dark gospel—and if their vision of population control was not exported to poorer countries, often by force.

It is therefore important to understand why their relentless claims of impending disaster never come to fruition. Population controllers falsely assume an arbitrarily static model of technological growth, coupled with an endlessly growing population—a “population bomb” without any advances to sustain ever-growing hordes.

In a certain sense, they are correct—if society did not advance technologically, and the population grew indefinitely, then the human race would not be able to provide enough necessities for its continued survival.

But that has never happened. The pace of technological advance has grown faster over time, making larger populations possible. In fact, the pace of advance has grown faster than the pace of population growth. Today, the world population is the largest it has ever been, yet the proportion of humans living in absolute poverty is the lowest it has ever been. This remarkable reality derives from the fact that human beings produce, as well as consume.

Because humans alone have the beautiful capacity to innovate, population control policies harm the very people they claim to help. Technological advance alwayscomes from humans; it can never spring up from any other form of economic capital other than human capital. Alas, many in the corridors of power have bought into the claims that undesirable people (by which they often mean poor people in developing countries) must be reduced, or else the world will end in a sea of asphalt.

In short, the population control movement will create the very future it fears if its policies are adopted: a society stuck in economic stagnation, relying on the ever-diminishing resource of human ingenuity. By thinning the human population, you destroy the future. Humans are the world’s greatest resource.

Población y desarrollo

The Fight to Stop Population Control in Philippines Continues

Supreme Court to Reconsider Controversial “Reproductive Health” Bill

By Elizabeth Crnkovich

Population Research Institute 

Proponents of population control in the Philippines, including the Obama administration, were in a celebratory mood on December 17, 2012 when the so-called “Reproductive Health” (RH) Bill was signed into law. But they may have started partying too soon. The Supreme Court of the Philippines has now suspended the law for 120 days while it considers whether or not it violates the Philippine Constitution.

The Catholic Church, joined by millions of believers across the archipelago, fought long and hard to prevent the law from passing the Philippine Congress in the first place, and has now filed a lawsuit to prevent it from taking effect.

 The Philippine Constitution very clearly states that: “The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception.” (Article II, Section 12)

 Likewise, in the Revised Penal Code (Section 2, Article 256), abortion is listed as a crime and anyone who performs an abortion, whether intentionally or unintentionally, will receive prison punishment to different degrees.

The lawsuit argues that the law, formally entitled “The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012,” violates the Philippine Constitution by mandating the provision of contraceptives to the population, most forms of which are abortifacient. Such drugs also violate the moral teachings of the Catholic Church to which the vast majority of Filipinos belong.  

The newly issued status quo ante (SQA) of the bill, a motion which has placed the bill on hold, will halt any forward motion of the law until oral arguments are held in mid-June against the RH Bill. If not proven unconstitutional, however, the bill will be enforced as law.

 Pro-lifers have also opened a second front. The general election is approaching in May. Pro-life advocates must now go to the people with their arguments, and defeat those “Catholics” whose votes helped to pass this legislation.

What the Filipinos have now on the ground is a war on two fronts: Legal and Political. They should focus more of their energy on the elections while, in the meantime, praying for the pro-life lawyers to win the battle in the Supreme Court.

There are currently two main political “teams” that are running candidates for a number of different offices in the Philippines. These teams divide the candidates according to their stance on the RH Bill. Team Patay is pro-RH Bill, while Team Buhay is against the RH Bill.

 If Team Patay wins the elections, the Supreme Court Justices might very well take into account the public pulse and favor the RH Bill.

So, to prevent this bill from becoming law, the pro-life forces must use all moral and licit means at their disposal to make sure that Team Buhay wins.  Of course, you can’t win a game by offense alone, you need strong defense, to prevent the enemy from outscoring you. Moreover, you have to make sure that the officiating is fair, and there is no cheating.

The Philippines, to its credit, still has a relatively high birth rate. This is why it has been targeted by USAID since the 1970s for population control programs.  This is also why those in power today in the Philippines will do everything they can to ensure that this law is not overturned, regardless of how strongly it is opposed and what the Constitution says. 

You can see what the Philippines is facing over time by glancing back at earlier version of this bill. In the 2011 version, the population control motives of its sponsors can be seen more clearly, since the promotion of contraception was clearly intended to lower the Filipino birthrate. This 2011 bill did not pass. If and when the new law is enforced, however, it will probably be only a matter of time before more coercive population control measures follow.

Now, during this brief window of time while the law is suspended, is the best opportunity to turn away from this path. Catholics in the Philippines need to assert their identity and elect the right candidates. And the pro-life attorneys who are arguing the case before the nation’s supreme court need to be at their best. If they are, the Reproductive Health Bill may soon contract a fatal case of unconstitutionality and die a quick and much-deserved death.