Thursday, June 25, 2009

"A Family Planning Page-Turner"

By Stacie Murphy

In the most recent issue of The Reporter, our communications manager, Marian Starkey, reviewed Michelle Goldberg’s new book The Means of Reproduction. Today, the Wilson Center held a release event for the book, and Ms. Goldberg was there to share her thoughts and answer questions about the work that one presenter called “a family planning page-turner.”

While the entire discussion was interesting, there was one moment that really stood out for me. Ms. Goldberg noted that the idea of family planning as politically “controversial” is a relatively recent phenomenon, pointing out that at one time both Dwight Eisenhower and Harry Truman were board members of Planned Parenthood. Hard to imagine that today, but it’s true. There was a time when population growth was broadly understood as an issue of importance to the mainstream, not just to the left.

Happily, she believes we may be experiencing a resurgence of interest in population. Goldberg mentioned a recent spate of stories about resource scarcity and population and environment issues, and also pointed former CIA director Michael Hayden’s reference to population growth as a security concern as evidence of a new trend.

The full video of the event will be available here in about a week. I’d recommend watching.

Population Connection website

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