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GLOBAL POPULATION MEDIA ANALYSIS

November 1 - 15, 2000

by Ketayoun Darvich-Kodjouri and Kathy Bonk
Communications Consortium Media Center,
1200 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 300,
Washington, DC 20005
202/326-8700

 

[With this edition of the media analysis, we begin hyperlinking to full stories that are available on the Web. Please note that Web links to news articles are accurate at the time of our writing but typically are valid for only a few weeks.]

INTERNATIONAL COVERAGE

China began its fifth national census on Nov. 1, according to an Associated Press story filed that day, with "6 million census workers" canvassing "China's 350 million households for the first full-scale head count in 10 years of the world's most populous nation."

The Associated Press reported Nov. 13 that "officials in central China illegally charged farmers for taking part in the national census," and that the census effort was extended to 15 days "amid concerns that millions weren't being counted."

The Nov. 10 Boston Globe reported that Chinese officials "are hoping the final results will unravel a number of mysteries about China's population, currently estimated at 1.25 billion," including how many "children have parents birthed in defiance of family planning laws" and "how many rural migrants have moved illegally to cities."

"The Year of 6 Billion received some long-overdue and generally sober coverage in 1999," according to a Nov.-Dec. E Magazine article that focused on U.S. population and environmental trends in a global context. The story noted that the United States "should get ready for a dramatic doubling of its population by 2100," according to U.S. Census Bureau figures, which puts in "peril both economic objectives and the quality of the environment." Link

By contrast, Cox News Service reported Nov. 5 that "because the birth rate is now lower than the death rate, Italy's current pace of baby production isn't even replenishing the population" with a birth rate that has "fallen to less than 1.2 child per woman, about half the rate in the United States and the lowest in the industrialized world."


INTERNATIONAL FAMILY PLANNING AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH

The Nov. 7 Agence France Presse reported that "family planning programmes in the Gaza Strip have all but come to a halt, with Palestinian women expecting some of their children to be killed anyway in the fighting against Israel." Though there "had been more openness on the part of some women to limiting
the sizes of their families," the recent violence in the region has "brought this trend to an abrupt halt.

In Ethiopia, "more Ethiopians in rural areas have realized the importance of family planning," according to the Xinhua News Service Nov. 12, with "house-to-house family planning services and reproductive health education" contributing to increased demand for services.

The PanAfrican News Agency reported Nov. 9 that in Tazania, "only 18 percent of married women, or less than half of those who demand it, are using modern forms of family planning." The story reported on campaigns by Population Services International "to help [educate] consumers and health care
providers about family planning and the oral contraceptive pill more
generally." Link

 

POLITICS OF U.S. POPULATION ASSISTANCE

The Nov. 7 Chicago Tribune reported that President Clinton signed the FY2001 Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, "even amid bitter election-year partisanship and a furious battle for control of the presidency and Congress." The bill included $425 million for international family planning funding and "lifted a ban on U.S. assistance to overseas family planning groups that advocate or participate in abortion." The Associated Press reported on the story Nov. 6.

 

OPINIONS AND EDITORIALS

A Nov. 3 commentary by Cox News Service columnist John Young profiled Dr. Henry Foster, Chair of the U.S. Committee for UNFPA, and his support of "family planning and women's health care in developing countries." Young noted that the United States, "long the world's leader in international
family planning aid, in recent years has had its feet tangled in politics when it could step out and do a most basic and decent thing."

The Chicago Tribune printed a Nov. 11 editorial supporting the foreign aid bill and noted that the final version "properly lifted an onerous ban on U.S. assistance to overseas family-planning groups that advocate or participate in abortion." Link


The above analysis was written by Ketayoun Darvich-Kodjouri and Kathy Bonk at the Communications Consortium Media Center, 1200 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20005, 202/326-8700.

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