Birth Rates and Development

RF Blader’s essay on teen pregnancy (CounterPunch, Dec. 18) resituates debate about youth morality and puts the spin back to where it belongs, on adult-led policies of human development.

As Lappé and friends argue, where young women feel secure in their futures, pregnancies will be postponed. And a primary indicator of the security offered to a young woman is the education that she finds in her neighborhood.

“In fact, study after study has shown that people tend to have the number of children they want, regardless of whether more modern birth control methods are available or the government has a family planning program. Rather, the fact that women are getting educated reflects a multitude of changes in society that empower women and provide them with opportunities in the workplace” (World Hunger: 12 Myths).

Or as Amartya Sen sez, if adults would get “fired up about hunger or illiteracy” as a starting point, then the logic of human development would make more sense all around (Hunger is Quiet Violence).

In the wake of Craig Foster’s death, we could resolve to begin making more sense in Texas, where we happen to be blessed with a fountain of youth flowing North. To simply feed and educate all the children of our land would surely bring the chaos of our souls to a quicker peace than another thousand yards of fence or another thousand prison beds.

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