Sunday, February 03, 2008

Poor black babies getting in the way of our consumption? Abort 'em!

“The contentious issue of population growth and ‘overpopulation’ looms large in our collective imagination. Since Malthus, and more insistently in the last four decades, we have been barraged with strident claims that proclaim ‘overpopulation’ is at the root of all our problems... ‘They’ are the problem. ‘We’ are absolved of all responsibility.”

Jael Silliman. (1999). Introduction. In J. Silliman & Y. King, Dangerous intersections: Feminist Perspectives on population, environment and development (pp. vii-xxiv).

Keeping that in mind, this piece by Kelpie Wilson, the environment editor at, is the biggest load of horseshit I’ve ever read. She takes it as a given that population growth is the main cause of environmental degradation, rather than, oh I don't know, the progressive accumulation of capital and the increased militarism (which lead to widespread poverty, recognized as the leading cause of the rise we've seen in populations in the Global South!) of wealthy nations.

This group has a much more promising approach, exposing the likes of Kelpie Wilson as racist and classist, as "over time, women having abortions have become increasingly likely to be poor, nonwhite and unmarried, and to already have one or more children. [...] The rates are 49 per 1,000 and 33 per 1,000 among black and Hispanic women, respectively, vs. 13 per 1,000 among non-Hispanic white women."

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