Letter to the editor: Overpopulation issue overstated

It is surprising — and not so surprising — that Mr. Van Vleck (“Nonprofit helps with pregnancies”, June 21) proposes the false dilemma of aborting children to save them from eventual starvation. Apparently Yemen and South Sudan need Planned Parenthood more than they need Oxfam.
The specter of overpopulation and lack of resources continues to be repeated, despite evidence to the contrary. China relaxed its one-child policy because it distorted its own demographics; Italy paid ‘baby bonuses’ to stem its demographic slide. On the local level, we read in the Independent how the tiny state of Vermont produces more food and milk than it can collect or sell.
We get to the heart of the matter, in the letter, when Mr. Van Vleck focuses on the third world. Our attempts at cultural competence, however, will be enriched by voices from developing nations. Nigerian-born Obianuju Ekeocha recently authored “Target Africa: Ideological Neo-Colonialism of the Twenty-first Century,” calling into question wealthy Western donors who are, in essence, re-colonizing Africa.
Father Luke Austin

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