Bongaarts makes a eugenic argument, without knowing it

At Vatican conference speaker says: We need contraception to protect the environment

VATICAN, March 3, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – There is an “unmet need for contraception and family planning” and reducing birth rates would help the environment, a speaker at the Vatican conference Biological Extinction told a room of demographers and a Catholic archbishop.

John Bongaarts, the vice president of the contraception-promoting Population Council, said population growth is for the most part “not a welcome development.”

The “most relevant” part of his presentation on population and fertility trends, Bongaarts said, was about “responsible parenthood.”


“These are powerful statements … that I think we all can agree with,” said Bongaarts. The first principle that these statements embody is “that couples are decision-making unit” when it comes to how many children they want. The second is that “no institution, nobody outside should tell or coerce couples to have either more or less children than they want.”

“And thirdly, couples, in making their decision about family size, should take into account their own needs, but also the needs of society and demographic trends,” said Bongaarts. “So that is a very comprehensive statement crisply stating what I also believe and I think many others do as well.”


Despite saying that no one should force couples to have fewer children, Bongaarts proceeded to outline some of the benefits “from reduced unintended fertility, or eh, any decline in fertility.”

“One effect of course is reduction in the size of growth rate of the population,” he said. But “it turns out there are many other benefits, particularly the benefits of women’s empowerment, for health, for the government, for the economy, for the environment, and for social and political stability.”

Giving women “control over their fertility” is empowering because it “means they have the freedom to determine the number and spacing of children. And they can – they have more chances of participating in the formal labor force. In high fertility countries, women spend most of their lives taking care of children. Once fertility declines, women have more time to earn a living outside the household.”


Bongaarts lamented the “unmet need for contraception” and the “obstacle” of “moral … acceptability” and sub-Saharan African women’s desire for five children each despite the violated earth. [source]

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