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Monday, July 11, 2011

World Population Day and the Reproductive Health Bill

During the past months, the issue of population has been widely discussed in news and media forums. Particularly with the government’s position with the Reproductive Health Bill that gives, people the free choice to use artificial birth control methods. The government argues that the use of artificial contraceptives is not entirely for population control but also for reproductive health and responsible parenting. Different sectors both religious and secular have been debating about this issue heatedly, forcing their points to each other.

As of late, the estimate of all human beings living on planet Earth has risen to 6.93 billion according to the United States Census Bureau and projects to reach between 7.5 and 10.5 billion by the year 2050 (wikipedia).

The addition to population multiplies the demands for basic human necessity such as food, clothing, shelter, jobs, etc. Governments will find it more difficult to divide their resources between their people and it will eventually lead to an decrease in economic growth. Needless to say, it would increase the incidence of poverty in society.

We cannot and should not control population growth. However, we need to manage our growth. It is not that we do not trust God’s provision; we just need to be responsible as humans gifted with foresight and wisdom.

We cannot control population growth because it is a natural phenomenon. People marry and children are fruits of love between couples. We cannot forbid people to fall in love. At the same time, we should not control it because we do not want a wide population gap between old and young people in our societies. A wide population gap will result in complicated transition problem when there are not enough people to replace those will retire from work.

Population management means building responsible families; encouraging couples to have children that they could bring up within their means. If you were a worker with meager income, it would be advisable to keep the number of children at the minimum.

Thus, the government through the RH Bill provides couples with alternatives for managing their families. The RH Bill does not force couples to use artificial contraception. It only provides an informed option as an alternative to abstinence or natural birth planning methods.

The World Population Day gives us an opportunity to observe our society’s population management schemes and possibly reflect on our own family’s situation. Perhaps, government and society can have a more responsible approach regarding this issue.

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