There is enough to eat for all humans if distributed reasonably. But if the same global harvest needs to be divided by more and more people, our children will be worse off and their children even worse. At the moment, many people still live in poverty. They don´t want to stay there and want to improve their lives and the lives of their children. Therefore, their ecological footprint will grow. In the past this has been mainly a question of fair sharing. Nowadays it is becoming a question of a limited planet with limited resources. For the first time in history we are about to exceed planetary carrying capacity. Therefore, family planning and birth control are very important issues.
According to Yuval Noah Harari’s best-selling book Homo Deus, today’s biomass of large animals worldwide can be divided into 300 million tons of humans, 700 million tons of farm animals and 100 million tons of wild large animals, all species combined. This is a factor of 10 to 1 in favour of humanity on a global scale and has already led to the sixth mass extinction event of species on this planet. We are already far too many. Our numbers are not sustainable. The dwindling groundwater resources remind us to act more reasonably. Desalination plants will not be able to serve 20 billion people and landscapes of farmland. The 2000-year-old recommendation of the Bible to `go forth and multiply´ is inacceptable today.
Have a look at this amazing film of the American Museum of Natural History on the history of the human population through time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUwmA3Q0_OE
Have a look at the pages of the UN Population Division.
We achieve this by women’s education, better social security systems, change of cultural values and especially easy access to contraceptives.
Poor families everywhere are very aware of scarce resources and usually do not choose to have many children. They just cannot afford contraception. Therefore, contraception should be free for all.
There is nothing wrong with contraception. Nature has equipped us with a lot of reproductive power. Men produce thousands of living sperm cells during their lifetime and every woman will have approximately 482 ovulations in her lifetime meaning 482 living eggs and 482 potential children. Most of these eggs will die unfertilized and will be removed by nature’s cleaning up service, menstruation.
Sponsor or foster or adopt a child. Help people who are in need. Promote women´s education. In a paper on the consequences for children of their birth planning status published by the National Centre for Biotechnology Information 1995, the author N. Baydar states that “of 1327 US children younger than two in 1986, whose mothers were participants in a US National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 61% were wanted, 34% were mistimed and 5% were unwanted. Planning status was associated with the level of developmental resources the children received at home: mistimed and unwanted children scored significantly lower on a scale measuring opportunity for skill development than their wanted peers; by preschool age, they also had significantly less positive relationships with their mothers.
Measures of the direct effects of birth planning status on development also indicate that mistimed and unwanted children are at a disadvantage: Those younger than two have higher mean scores for fearfulness than wanted infants and lower scores for positive affect; unintended pre-schoolers score lower on a measure of receptive vocabulary.”
Baydar N.: Consequences for children of their birth planning status. Fam Plann Perspect. 1995 Nov-Dec;27(6):228-34, 245.; Battelle Centers for Public Health Research and Evaluation, Seattle, Wash., USA published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information NCBI » www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
In 2012 a study by the Guttmacher institute found that worldwide 40% of 213 million pregnancies that occurred that year were unintended which matches the previous data from the US. These 85 million unintended pregnancies take a serious toll on the children themselves, their mothers and their families and impede efforts to reduce poverty and spur development.