Who knew the day this thread was started (June 11) was “World Population Day”?
Jamaica women are being encouraged to make use of contraceptives that are available to the public as they plan their families and empower themselves.
The National Family Planning Board made the appeal as it observes today’s commemoration of World Population Day under the theme ‘Family Planning is a Human Right’.
The agency’s executive director Lovette Byfield said the government has made a variety of contraceptive methods available to Jamaican women at an affordable cost but said that these means are underutilised.
“Having a child is usually a happy time, but unfortunately, too many children in Jamaica are born into families that did not plan for them. We have been working assiduously over the years to provide family planning services to women of reproductive age from all walks of life, yet still, many of our women are not taking advantage due to issues such as low negotiation skills, unwillingness of the partner and low contraceptive knowledge plagued by various myths,” said Byfield in a statement.
Herein lies the problem. As Ron wrote in his lead post, far too many people think an expanding human population is a good thing. In my neck of the woods, talk of overpopulation seems almost taboo. It seems no one wants to blame uncontrolled expansion of the population (overpopulation) to any of the problems we face. In my neck of the woods social problems such as a under stress, underfunded school system, a similarly challenge health care system, high unemployment and high crime rates could easily be blamed on the propensity of folks, especially those who can least afford it to have kids, sometimes lots of them.
There is a debate raging in my country that, has been getting a fair amount of coverage in the same newspaper that published the article above, about decriminalizing abortion, if even under limited circumstances. As is to be expected, religious circles staunchly oppose the idea and there are lots of what I consider idiotic ideas floating around on the subject , including for example that, contraception is a plot to “wipe out black people”. (The Jamaican population over 90% of African decent with 7.3 percent mixed ethnicities (African + other), 1.3 percent East Indian, 0.2 percent white, 0.2 percent Chinese, and 0.1 percent other ethnicities). A 56 year old, childless adult like myself is a real rarity but, hey, I’ve been successful at playing my part in not contributing to the world population so far. I must say though, that I often get very strange looks when I tell people that I have no offspring!
Which brings to another thing I’ve thought about at times. It would appear that thinking too much about population control in terms of ones own family planning choice is not a successful short term evolutionary strategy. To expand on this , some of the most intelligent women I know are childless while most of my high school and college friends and acquaintances have reasonably small families (two or three children) but, college educated people only make up about 14% of the Jamaican population (85% of collage graduates emigrate). I will never forget a television news broadcast a few years ago featuring protests by construction workers at the site of a new hotel. This dude proclaims that his salary is not enough to cover the needs of his thirteen children! So an unskilled laborer has 13 kids (undoubtedly with more than one partner) while a college educated couple has 2!
Another example is the sister of a young woman I met about a year and a half ago. The woman I met is in her mid twenties and has one four year old boy. Her older sister has four children, a boy in his mid teens and three girls, the youngest one being about three years old. The older sister is pregnant again, so it seems she is “popping one out” about every four or five years! The father of the first two is deceased and the fathers of the other two contribute nothing to their upbringing, the father of the unborn child is an unemployed young man. This woman was given a tiny (15 ft. x 15 ft.), two bedroom house by Food for the Poor in collaboration with a wealthy couple from the US and to my knowledge has never held a job. I don’t know if she managed to finish high school before getting pregnant the first time.
There are many more examples too numerous to mention but, it would appear to me that it is the people least able to control their sexual impulses that are “inheriting the earth”. It seems that we are witnessing a planet full of increasingly thoughtless people rather than one with an increasing proportion of smart, thinking people. We are well and truly f#%@*d.