Friday 28th November 2014

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “The Promise Of Authentic Economic Development”

November 24, 2013 Featured Today No Comments

By BRIAN CLOWES

(Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 20 of The Facts of Life, “The Demographic Impacts of Abortion,” e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.)

+    +    +

We have seen that the so-called “developed” nations of the world have poured more than $102 billion into population control since 1991, most of it directed toward Africa. This gigantic amount of money is almost unimaginable; if converted into dollar bills, it would make a cube 150 feet on a side and would weigh 122,000 tons — enough to load a freight train 19 miles long!
Yet the only “benefit” reaped by the expenditure of all of this money is to make large poor families into small poor families. The tens of millions of women who have been “recruited” into using contraception are still just as poor as they were before they started; they still have no electricity, no schooling for their children, no health clinic they can go to when they are ill, and not even safe water to drink.
Does this massive push to induce women in poor nations to have fewer (or no) children contribute in any way to human dignity or welfare? The only people who really benefit are the huge pharmaceutical corporations, which reap tens of billions of dollars annually from forcing their products on poor women.
Evangelium Vitae describes the core of the problem:
“They [Western nations] too are haunted by the current demographic growth, and fear that the most prolific and poorest peoples represent a threat for the well-being and peace of their own countries. Consequently, rather than wishing to face and solve these serious problems with respect for the dignity of individuals and families and for every person’s inviolable right to life, they prefer to promote and impose by whatever means a massive program of birth control. Even the economic help which they would be ready to give is unjustly made conditional on the acceptance of an anti birth policy. . . .
“But such interventions must always take into account and respect the primary and inalienable responsibility of married couples and families, and cannot employ methods which fail to respect the person and fundamental human rights, beginning with the right to life of every innocent human being. It is therefore morally unacceptable to encourage, let alone impose, the use of methods such as contraception, sterilization, and abortion in order to regulate births” (nn. 16, 91).
There are many examples of this kind of injustice. For example, only 60 percent of Haitians have safe drinking water, and only one in five has access to a sanitary toilet — but contraceptive coverage is universal. And there are many African medical clinics stocked with pallets of IUDs, Depo-Provera, condoms, and birth control pills — and nothing else.

Money Down The Toilet

What could have been done with $102 billion if it had instead been allocated toward authentic economic development?
Consider a remote village of about 1,000 people located several miles from the nearest road, connected to the outside world only by footpaths. The people in this village have no electricity. Women and children have to walk a mile to collect water from a stream polluted by upstream cattle, and sicknesses of every kind are endemic. Child mortality is extremely high and life expectancy is only about 45. The crops the people scratch out of the soil are largely eaten by rodents and insects. Children receive no education, and so the cycle of poverty continues.
Into the midst of this misery steps Marie Stopes International, Planned Parenthood, or one of a score of other population control groups. They inject women with Depo-Provera, insert scores of IUDs, dump thousands of condoms, and sterilize as many women as they can under filthy conditions. Then they leave, and life goes on as it did before — except that now there are fewer children to help around the homes and the fields.
By contrast, authentic economic development greatly alleviates the poverty of the people, improving their health, decreasing maternal and infant mortality, and increasing their lifespan.
For only about $1.1 million, our hypothetical village of a thousand could receive clean drinking and washing water, electrification for lighting and cooking, an all-weather road connecting the village to the national highway network, a schoolhouse to educate the children of the village, a health clinic that address basic health needs (including childbirth), and steel grain storage bins that protect the people’s harvest from rodents and insects.
This means that the $102 billion the “developed” nations have squandered on population control could have completely eradicated unhealthy living conditions for 93 million of the world’s poorest people. Instead, it has simply been poured down the toilet.
The encyclical Evangelium Vitae delineates the guidelines that governments should follow when striving to care for their people. The right to life and the rights of families are paramount, and the distribution of wealth should be as equitable as possible:
“It is therefore morally unacceptable to encourage, let alone impose, the use of methods such as contraception, sterilization, and abortion in order to regulate births. The ways of solving the population problem are quite different. Governments and the various international agencies must above all strive to create economic, social, public health, and cultural conditions which will enable married couples to make their choices about procreation in full freedom and with genuine responsibility. . . . This is the only way to respect the dignity of persons and families, as well as the authentic cultural patrimony of peoples” (n. 91).

The Great Irony

There are factors which decrease a nation’s fertility naturally as it gradually evolves from an undeveloped to a developed state.
Most poor countries do not guarantee old age income with a Social Security program. This means that elderly people must be supported by their children. The daughter usually goes to live with her husband’s family, so the only chance for an elderly person to have income is to have a living son in his or her old age. To make sure one son survives, parents have two or three children. As child mortality has declined, it has become less necessary to have more than one son.
Second is a greater emphasis on the education of women. Women with a college education have their first child at an older age, and because of competing priorities, have fewer children in the long run. If a schoolhouse is built in a remote village, at least some girl children have a chance to attend college if they do well in school. Fortunately, in most developing nations, “gender studies” and “feminist/gay studies” curricula are nonexistent. Instead of squandering their time on such useless trivia, more and more women from developing nations are studying engineering, economics, and medicine.
The great irony in all of this is that people in developing nations have fewer children as they become better off economically, partly because they are more likely to resort to sterilization and contraception. But if birth control is imposed by quotas and other coercive measures while they are still poor, the people not only lose the only help they have for their family’s work, they also lose the only social security system they have because they will not have children to care for them when they become old and infirm.
Population control programs also pose a distinct threat to the future of developing nations. As fertility rates decline, the average age of the nation rises. All developed nations in the world today became rich before they got old; in the long run, nations that get old before they get rich are much more likely to remain in poverty indefinitely.
As we have seen, widespread contraception, because it fails so often, invariably leads to the legalization of abortion. Contraception and sterilization also contribute to a galaxy of severe health problems in women, a much higher divorce rate, higher child abuse and neglect rates, a decrease in the marriage rate, spreading of sexually transmitted diseases, and many other problems.
The critical element in true economic development is the widespread adoption of natural fertility regulation by the people. This requires more effort than simply passing out pills and condoms, and includes an openness to life. It is spiritually and physically healthier and absolutely free of charge, exactly what the people of a poor nation need.

+    +    +

Next article: “What Is the Worldwide Abortion Situation?”

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Chaput: It Isn’t Possible To Be Pro-life And Simultaneously Forget The Cries Of The Poor

Interview with the Archbishop of Philadelphia who is preparing to receive the Pope for the World Meeting of Families in September 2015: defending the unborn child is a vital part of the social doctrine of the Church. We need to…Continue Reading

Homosexual Activist Organization in New York Receives Catholic Grant

Washington, DC—The Lepanto Institute issued a report exposing the activities of an organization which received a $35,000 grant from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).  According to the report, the Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC) launched its…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke: Church teaching on sexuality must be clarified, and only Pope Francis can do it

In an interview with Ireland’s state broadcaster, RTE, one of the Catholic hierarchy’s most outspoken defenders of life and family and the Church’s sexual moral teachings again indicated Pope Francis needs to “clarify” that divorced and remarried Catholics, and active…Continue Reading

Pope Appoints New Bishop For Gary, USA

(Vatican Radio) The Holy Father has named an Auxiliary Bishop of Milwaukee, Donald J. Hying as the new Bishop of Gary, USA. He succeeds Bishop Dale J. Melczek, whose resignation Pope Francis accepted upon having the age limit. On Monday…Continue Reading

TOP CATHOLIC BISHOPS AIDE ON EXECUTIVE AMNESTY: OBAMA’S ‘LAST CHANCE TO MAKE GOOD ON PROMISE’

In a statement last Friday in the New York Times, the top aide on immigration for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) said that executive amnesty is President Barack Obama’s “last chance to make good on his promise…Continue Reading

Catholics Want To Learn More About Their Faith, Bishops Report

BALTIMORE – For three and a half years, members of several U.S. bishops’ committees have been trying to pinpoint what Catholics in the pew are thinking and why they accept or reject church teachings. To this end, they have conducted…Continue Reading

Vatican cardinal: Catholic charity ‘is not only giving food … but giving God’

The Vatican cardinal who oversees the Church’s charitable initiatives has emphasized again that Catholic charities cannot be satisfied with meeting the material needs of those they serve. “Charity is very linked with the proclamation of the Gospel, and doing charity…Continue Reading

Prof at Catholic university tries to justify same-sex ‘marriage’ acceptance from Scripture

Professor Gerald Schlabach of the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota recently published a piece for The Christian Century utilizing the writing of St. Paul to create an argument legitimizing acceptance of same-sex marriage. In light of Schlabach’s article, The Cardinal Newman Society…Continue Reading

Pro-Life Group: “We Will Not Obey the Obamacare HHS Mandate, Not Today, Not Ever”

The pro-life group Priests for Life was one of the earliest organizations to file a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its HHS mandate. The mandate compels religious groups to pay for birth control drugs and drugs like ella that…Continue Reading

Court Says Obama Admin Can Force Pro-Life Group to Obey Pro-Abortion HHS Mandate

The pro-life group Priests for Life was one of the earliest organizations to file a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its HHS mandate. The mandate compels religious groups to pay for birth control drugs and drugs like ella that…Continue Reading

Where Are Our Young People Going?

During the 10:30 Mass in my parish a couple of Sundays ago 32 boys and girls stood in front of the altar, faced the congregation, and formally affirmed their desire to be confirmed. It was part of the preparation for…Continue Reading

US Bishops Elect New Secretary, Discuss Health Care Ethics Guide

Baltimore, Md., Nov 11, 2014 / 08:22 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted Tuesday on several committee leadership positions, also considering several liturgical proposals and moving forward with a New York canonization cause. At their fall…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to subscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.

 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

'From our friends at The Foundry'


Today . . .

Pope At Santa Marta: Depression And Hope

2014-11-27 Vatican Radio   (Vatican Radio) Reality can be ugly, but despite the suffering, corruption and indifference in today’s world as Christians we must hold our heads high in hope said Pope Francis at Mass Thursday morning in Casa Santa Marta. Basing his reflections on the Readings of the Day, Pope Francis spoke of the fate of the two cities…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: Europe is like a poplar tree that needs nourishment

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Tuesday told European leaders that the development of today’s societies and their peaceful coexistence require constant reflection on the tenets that form the basis of Europe: human rights, democracy and the rule of law.  Like a tree, Europe also needs care and nourishment for healthy growth.  In a wide-ranging speech to the Council of Europe…Continue Reading

Pope Urges A “lonely” “Self-absorbed” Europe To Recover Its Soul

pope671

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis called on a “haggard” and “lonely” Europe to recover its role as a world protagonist, its identity as a defender of the transcendent dignity of man, the poor, the migrant, the persecuted, the old and the young, to recover its soul: Christianity. Emer McCarthy reports: In a lengthy address– the first of two on his one…Continue Reading

Pope at Santa Marta: Everything For The Lord And Others

pope669

(Vatican Radio) When the Church is humble and poor, then “it is faithful” to Christ, giving all it has for the Lord and others, leaving nothing for itself said Pope Francis at morning Mass in  Casa Santa Marta Monday. Pope Francis based his reflections on the Gospel of the Day which recounts the episode of the poor widow who gives…Continue Reading

Laws Of Association And Their Contravention

By JUDE P. DOUGHERTY Contra Thomas Hobbes and his fictional state of nature, it is the family that is nature’s first form of association, for only within the family can human life survive. It is within the context of the family that the infant is nourished and for years provided with his basic needs, food,…Continue Reading

Are City Folks Less Christian?

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK Are the people who live in America’s cities less Christ-like than those who live in small towns and rural areas? Michael Rossmann, a Jesuit scholastic (a member of the order, not yet ordained a priest), does not say that, not in so many words. But he comes close. Rossmann is now…Continue Reading

Giving Thanks

By DONALD DeMARCO The word “thanks” is etymologically rooted in the word “thought.” With this in mind, G.K. Chesterton could say: “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” Chesterton had a genius for expressing expansive ideas in a concise way. Many of his…Continue Reading

Changing Their Tune

By PHILLIP DEAN (Editor’s Note: Music has always been especially important to Phillip Dean. Gifted as a singer and musician, the high school sophomore leads a Wednesday night youth band at his Rock Hill, S.C., church. And, though he completes his academic coursework online from home, he played for the last four years in the…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “The Birth Control Pill: Unintended Consequences”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For a CD containing hundreds of patient information pamphlets showing that the most common methods of birth control are abortifacient in their actions, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + We have seen…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Preparing A Way

By FR ROBERT ALTIER Second Sunday Of Advent (YR B) Readings: Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11 2 Peter 3:8-14 Mark 1:1-8 In the first reading today God speaks to Isaiah telling him to give comfort to His people. This message comes at the end of a long period of suffering for the people of Israel during which their sins were expiated. Now…Continue Reading

Pope Francis’ Address At Colloquium . . . Complementary Is At The Root Of Marriage And Family

VATICAN CITY (ZENIT) — Here is the translation of Pope Francis’ address in the Vatican at the opening of the “Colloquium on the Complementarity of Man and Woman,” November 17-19. In his talk, the Holy Father stated: “Children have a right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother capable of creating a suitable environment for…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Some Bishops Are Beginning To Find Their Voice

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK In recent weeks the Pope hosted the “Humanum” conference in Rome. In his remarks of welcome he clearly reiterated his commitment to the right of children to have both a mother and a father while stating that marriages and families cannot be redefined by or subject to manipulation by ideologies. (See p. 4B of this…Continue Reading

Is The Rosary A Prayer Of “Vain Repetitions”?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 3 The visit I received from two Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs, for short) gave me the opportunity to demonstrate that repetitive prayer — especially the rosary — is entirely in line with Sacred Scripture. When they walked into my living room and did not miss the sight of my rosary on the mantelpiece, I knew…Continue Reading

Reading And Interpreting Scripture

By DON FIER We ended last week’s installment by launching into a discussion on a question of critical importance: “How is Sacred Scripture to be read and interpreted?” The significance and the relevance of this question become apparent if one examines findings outlined in the 2012 “Status of Global Mission” report, a publication of the International Bulletin of Missionary Research…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Catherine Labouré

By CAROLE BRESLIN A miracle is a sensibly perceptible effect, surpassing the powers of visible nature, produced by God to witness to some truth or to testify to someone’s sanctity. During His life on earth, Jesus performed many miracles. Miracles did not end with Christ’s Ascension into Heaven. They have continued to be performed throughout the history of the Church.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Cecilia

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Catholic Church has thousands of saints. For the last two millennia, people of great holiness, exemplifying heroic virtue, have been honored as saints, members of the Church Triumphant in Heaven giving honor and glory to God. Some have been formally declared saints by the Church, while others have been so honored from the beginnings of the…Continue Reading

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading