I have been hearing from the time that I was a little girl that our planet was in danger from many things. However, one of the main ones is that we just have too many people. Living in Iowa and Nebraska, that logic confused me. When we drove anywhere all I saw was miles and miles of cornfields and empty space. I admit that I do not understand things like the ratio of food to population and how many resources it takes to support a certain number of people. However, I haven’t read a convincing report yet that has shown me that we are endangered by the number of people on the planet.
I also realize that even though we have an abundance of food here in the United States, there are people who are starving in other nations. My heart goes out to those poor people in Indonesia who have just gotten slammed by a tsunami and a volcanic eruption at the same time. Their infrastructure is not that good to begin with, and I am sure that there are many wondering today how they will feed their children. However, from most of the things I have read, this is not a population problem as much as it is a problem of food distribution.
My husband and I used to travel to Mexico several years ago, to work with poor families. I will never forget the first time I saw the stark contrast between the United States and Mexico- even right at the border! On one side you could see the wealth and abundance and on the other you could see the poverty. I remember thinking that this could not be a matter of a lack of resources, since the two sections were only feet apart. It had to be a difference in governments- in the way resources are viewed, handled, and distributed.
A few days ago, the President of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, argued that the new federal health care reform should consider using taxpayer money to pay for free contraception. The rationale was that fewer children would lead to less government expense. She went on to argue that since the cost of healthcare looked like it would skyrocket out of control, we ought to make birth control a priority as a means of “cost saving.” Richards states, “..an investment in covering birth control actually in the long run is a huge cost savings because of women who don’ t have children that they weren’t planning on having and all the sort of attendant cost for unplanned pregnancy.”
This leads to an interesting question: are children a drain or a boon to the economy? I assume what Ms. Richards is talking about are the initial costs to the family of having a child, especially if they are living in poverty and already have several children. And, yes, I would have to concede that finances can be a big concern with a new baby. However, we are discussing the economy along with the rising cost of health-care. And, if we are going to do so we have to look at the bigger picture. A baby may be a drain on a family’s income, but the full-grown adult that the baby grows into can a be a huge and necessary asset to the financial health of our nation.
The Population Research Institute reports that our annual population growth rate of 0.9% is not high enough. According to them, we are facing a future in this country of a rapidly aging population who are living longer and longer without enough new babies to grow up and provide support. Joseph A. D’Agostino, the group’s vice-president, explained that, according to the United Nations, the percentage of our population over 65 will increase from 12.3% today to 20.6% in 2050. Plus, our worker to retiree ratio will increase from 3-to-1 to 2-to-1. Without more children to grow up and enter the workforce, social security will go bankrupt, and we will see a severe shortage in the work force.
So, not only is Planned Parenthood not giving us the whole (or long-range) picture, they are also being more than a little self-serving. What is the one organization that will benefit the most from tax-payer funded birth control? That’s right- it is Planned Parenthood itself. And, remember how I reported that they have been overcharging the government for their services, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars? (See Oct. 18′s Blog: “Planned Parenthood or Pregnancy Centers- Who do you Believe?”) If they follow suit, they stand to make a more than tidy profit from this. This is sort of like McDonald’s asking the government to distribute free Happy Meals to poor children and then doubling the price of beef.
Once again, the abortion industry is laying this good-sounding (birth control as “preventative, cost-saving care”) rhetoric in front of the people and hoping no one will look deeper into the facts. Children are not destructive nuisances to be eliminated or prevented at all cost. They are blessings, and most of them grow up to be a vital, productive part of our society. Please continue to take the time to look behind the lies!
Keeping it true! Barb