Readers React: Family planning is our only hope for healing a wounded world

A woman and her child collect firewood in Pokhara, Nepal.
(Prakash Mathema / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: It was a welcome surprise to see The Times giving space to the issue of family planning, although the cautious solutions advanced by Potts and Graves (“Foreign aid for family planning works. So why don’t we do more of it?” Opinion, June 23) stop far short of matching the existential urgency of the challenge. The Times has been strong on issues of immigration, species extinction, loss of habitat, climate change, water contamination, plastic pollution and more.

The Times’ readers need to be reminded that, almost without exception, the countries that send masses of their citizens across borders in search of better lives are precisely those that have failed to participate in the fertility reductions of recent decades.

This cannot continue. The population issue should be at the forefront of our political discussion, not on the margin. Please keep connecting the dots!

Alan Pierpoint, Arcadia



Throughout human history, women had few options other than dangerous childbirth. During the 20th century, women gained some rights in many countries around the world, and in the 1950s, science solved the problem of birth control.

In countries where women still do not have basic rights, populations continue to grow out of control. Climate change will heighten the stakes of the associated problems.

The world no longer has the capacity to absorb our errors of excess. The only population control that has ever worked is education and reproductive choices for women. We need to defend and support women’s rights everywhere. It offers our only hope for healing a wounded world.


Phil Beauchamp, Chino Hills

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