Why Aren't Condoms Part of the Conversation?


With 41% of pregnancies unintended, why aren’t we including birth control in the environmental conversation?

Let’s talk about sex – and the babies it makes – and climate change.
With over 6.6 billion human beings in the world, our species has reached into every nook and cranny of our planet. Human population is expected to exceed nine billion by 2050. With 78 million new human beings being born each year, population growth has a direct impact on the environment. The premise of Robert Engelman’s book More: Population, Nature and What Women Want is that when women have better access to birth control, including condoms, they can decide when to have children and how many to have. Currently, 41% of pregnancies globally are unintended.

What would happen if women have access to good health services so they can make their own decisions about reproduction?

According to Population Connection, our world population has grown more since 1950 than it has in the previous four million years. As a result of population growth:

Greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 400%

 80% of the original rain forests have been cleared or degraded

27,000 species of animal or plant life each year become extinct, one every 20 minutes

One-third to one-half of the Earth’s land surface has been developed or commercialized

505 million people live in countries with scarce water conditions. By 2025, almost 48% of the Earth’s population will be living in areas of water scarcity.

So why isn’t anybody talking about birth control as a way to “save the planet”? We can change all our lightbulbs, buy organic cotton, and drive hybrid cars but if we don’t have enough food to eat or clean water to drink, it simply won’t matter.

What Can You do?

Since 2002, the Bush Administration has refused to provide congressionally approved aid to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). According to their website, “UNFPA supports countries in using population data for policies and programmes to reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/AIDS, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.” Last year there were 181 nations who financially supported UNFPA, among them were Haiti, Afghanistan, Iran and all of the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. The United States stands virtually alone in not supporting UNFPA

Contact your senators and urge them to co-sponsor and support the United Nations Population Fund Restoration Act of 2008 (S. 2682). Educate yourself on current legislation related to family planning and birth control.

Because let’s face it, you and I both know abstinence doesn’t work.

– by Daryl Warner Laux of Verda Vivo. Posted with permission.

Image: Corey Ann