Getting Real by Jane Roberts
I haven’t written for World Pulse for a long time but I now feel the urge. As you know even since 2002 when George W. Bush refused to release $34 to the United Nations Population Fund for reasons that were a total lie, I started asking 34 million Americans to take a stand for the women of the world with $1. Donald Trump of course has played to his base and has also refused a U.S. contribution to UNFPA. I think you would like to know that back in 2002 Trump and I were on the same honorary committee supporting UNFPA so what else is new about Trump being a man of principle!
At www.34millionfriends.org you can see that this grassroots effort has raised a lovely or ugly $4.4 million (whichever way you want to look at it) for women’s reproductive health through UNFPA. Lovely because it is quite a bit of money, ugly because we are miles away from the original goal.
I chose the title of this article to be “Getting Real” because frankly I think “things” are going to hell in a hand basket. If we think realistically there is almost no long term trend going in a positive direction. The sea, the land, the air are all deteriorating in large part due to human activity. Water, now in short supply in many areas, will be the gold of the future.
World population now stands at 7.7 billion, and people, if truth be told, population is rising by approximately 83 million per year such that every 12 years we add another billion of us homo sapiens who all will want a decent life, a safe place to live, food, water, health, an education, a job, and some leisure time for “fun”. Hundreds of millions of people lack those necessities now. And the planet is finite. It can’t keep up with the demand!
I am both a family planning and a safe, legal abortion fanatic. If the world really “got real” about the sexual nature of humans, we would realize that humans have always separated the sexual act (thousands and thousands of times in a lifetime) vs. child bearing somewhere between one and thirteen conceptions more or less. I have said this before and I’ll say it again, if men could get pregnant, family planning would be universally available and abortion would be safe and legal everywhere. Please watch Population Action International’s vimeo Empty Handed. https://pai.org/videos/empty-handed-responding-to-the-demand-for-contraceptives/ . What heartbreak.
The UN has been shy about linking population issues with issues of reproductive health and family planning. The main reason is that it gets attacked mercilessly by certain religious persuasions for contravening God’s will (as if God exists!). There I’ve said it, I’m a complete and utter atheist who thinks (knows) that the world would be so much better off if secular humanism based on science, reason, common sense, and observation were the order of the day.
One person who is joining the issues of population with that of the health and empowerment of women is Rob Harding. I was skeptical at first but I think the guy is serious, is doing important work and is worth listening to. He also has some important backing. Please see his proposal for a UN Framework on Population.
I probably wouldn’t’ be writing this World Pulse article if I hadn’t been a motivated by the idea of sharing this important proposal with a wide audience. You can contact Rob at [email protected].
A few more thoughts. If governments spent the money they spend on arms on education and health and gender equality, this world would be a different place. But human beings, I fear, are a rapacious, power hungry and “tribal” species evolutionarily. I don’t know what you do about that. Destruction is so easy. Building is difficult and takes a long time.
So, if you "get real" you will be pessimistic. That is the correct stance. But on the other hand don't let it keep you from working for change. You will no doubt make a difference. That is optimistic. HMMMMM.