This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Monday, February 2, 2015

Bill and Melinda Gates--Show Me the Contraceptives!

Over the past 15 years the Bill and Melinda Gates has done a genuinely wonderful job of helping to bring down death rates in developing countries. But, as children survive in ever greater numbers, the demand on resources in already struggling economies may be unbearable and is certainly unsustainable. That is why I was so pleased in 2012 when Melinda Gates helped to organize a family planning summit in London. But if we fast forward to 2015, we do not find a single mention of birth control, or family planning, or contraceptives in this year's 2015 Gates Annual Letter, except for one mention of contraceptives in the context of lowering maternal mortality by reducing the number of pregnancies a woman has had. The goals of the Gates Foundation are excellent and noble--save lives, and improve the lives of poor people. The sin is in the omission of the demographic change that has to accompany a declining death rate, and which will in the end improve people's lives--birth control.

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