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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Population Control Does Not Reduce Poverty

Corruption, lack of education, and lack of opportunity cause poverty. The poor are victims of poverty, not the cause of poverty. House Bill 96 (HB96), more commonly known as the “Reproductive Health Bill,” blames poverty on the presence of too many poor people.

It focuses on “the problem of a bloated population and high and unwanted fertility”1 and proposes “family planning and mitigation of our population growth rate” as “allied components of the development agenda.”2 HB 96 seeks to establish a government-managed program of population management and demographic targets in the Philippines.

This policy is based on incorrect economics assumptions.3 Decades of study have shown there is no direct correlation between population growth rates and economic prosperity.4 In fact, population control policies have never been shown to mitigate poverty.5

Reproductive health policy should focus on improving maternal care by increasing skilled attendants and improved infrastructure that allows access to healthcare. Using the banner of “reproductive health” as a way to achieve demographic targets distracts from the real issues. Population control was not the key to prosperity for our Asian neighbors, but rather education and good, honest strategic planning.

We are opposed to House Bill 96 and call on legislators of the Philippines to reconsider support for this bill.

Signed by:

Andreas Widmer,

Angelo Bertolo,
Teacher, Italy

Barun Mitra,
Liberty Institute, India

Cecilia Feiler, PhD,
Economics Deparment,
University of Pennsylvania, USA

Charles Paternina,
Managing Director, Faber Advisors, USA

Christopher Grizzetti,
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, USA

Duncan Maxwell  Anderson,
President, High Tor Media, USA

Duncan Sahner,
Abdiel Capital, USA

Franklin Cudjoe,
Executive Director, Imani Institute, Ghana

George Weigel,
Distinguished Senior Fellow,
Ethics and Public Policy Center, WDC

Greg Pfundstein,
Executive Director, Chiaroscuro Foundation, USA

John Donogue,
Partner, Thomas Auslander and Drohan, USA

Kevin Mackin,
President, Mt. St. Mary’s College, USA

Kofi Bentil,
Lecturer in Business Strategy, Ghana

Lord Alton of Liverpool,
Convenor, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Human Dignity

Mahamadou Sinte,
Executive Director, CEDAH Burkina, Burkina Faso

Mary Ann Glendon,
Learned Hand Professor of Law, Harvard University, USA

Parth Shah,
President, Center for Civil Society, India

Pratik Chougule,
Yale Law School, USA

Rob Murphy,
Developer, USA

Robert George,
McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence,
Princeton University, USA

Roy Cordato, PhD,
VP for research and resident scholar,
The John Locke Foundation, USA

Sean Fieler,
General Partner, Equinox Partners, USA

Thomas Lickona, PhD,
State University of New York (Cortland), USA

Thompson Ayodele,
Executive Director,
Initiative for Public Policy Analysis, Nigeria

Timothy Flanigan,
Professor of Medicine, Brown University, USA

Yavnika Khanna,
Liberal Youth Forum, India

*Institutional affiliations are listed for identification purposes only.


1 House Bill 96, explanatory note section, page 3.

2   House Bill 96, explanatory note section, page 2.

3     David E. Bloom, David Canning, Jaypee Sevilla, “The Demographic Dividend: A New Perspective on the Economic Consequences of Population Change,” RAND Corporation, 2003, 17. 

4     Matthew Connelly, Fatal Misconception: The Struggle to Control World Population. Cambridge: Belknap Press, 2008. 374-75.  (Citing data from UNESCO Institute for Statistics and the UN Population Division).

5     Lant H. Pritchett, “Desired Fertility and the Impact of Population Policies,” Population and Development Review 20 (1994): 1-55

1 comment:

  1. Awesome thanks for this, God bless your soul!