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Every Five Days There Are One Million More Of Us

Reproduced from Abortion is a Blessing by Anne Nicol Gaylor.

THE STARVING CHILDREN have come into our living rooms now. There they are on the network evening news lining up for a cup of milk, or bony hands outstretched, jostling for a bit of food. We were told this would happen. Back in 1950 scholars were predicting this. But ours was the country of surpluses and it was not a problem of scarcity, most said, but a problem of distribution. In 1950 poor India appealed to the World Health Organization (WHO) for help with contraception, but the Catholic member nations of WHO made their usual outcry, and what India got in 1950, when the problem still might have been alleviated, was a team of experts to teach--you guessed it: rhythm!

Now the signs of disaster are everywhere. Food shortages, fuel shortages, fertilizer shortages, unemployment, pollution, dust bowls, encroaching deserts, disease. For it is a truth that population is going to be controlled. If it is not controlled by women's and men's intellect, it will be controlled by famine, disease, and war.

Sharing the American continent are countries so poor that most of their people are malnourished, yet these countries will double their populations in the next twenty years. The question is inescapable: when these governments cannot take care of the people they have now, how can they be expected to keep up with the demands of ever-burgeoning populations?

How long will our neighbors to the south allow each other to live in peace? How long will the United States and Canada remain islands of affluence while the rest of the hemisphere suffers? What would you do if it were your kids that were hungry?

Food is only one problem--health and education are critical problems, too. In all the six central American countries there are fewer physicians than we have in the state of Tennessee, and Tennessee is not known for its advanced health care. In El Salvador for every one hundred students in the first grade in 1967, eighty failed to graduate from the sixth grade, and untold numbers never find their way to school at all. (C. Capa, and J. M. Stycos, Margin of Life. New York: Grossman Publishers, 1974, p. 6.) Health care should be the right of every child in the world and how do you break the poverty cycle without education, without some preparation for jobs?

We live today on a crowded and polluted planet where population control has become our single most important problem. Every five days there are one million more persons on earth. Even with the much- heralded dip in the United States birthrate, our own country added almost 1.5 million persons to its numbers last year, some through immigration, but most through added births. The reality of overpopulation confronts almost every country, yet in much of the world contraception remains limited, sterilization unavailable, and abortion illegal.

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