World Vasectomy Day
Fifty years ago, Paul Ehrlich wrote THE POPULATION BOMB, igniting a passionate debate about our future and influencing the modern family planning movement. Indeed, concern for population growth was a central motivator for the launch of many of today’s prominent family planning agencies in the late 60’s.
Unfortunately, some subsequent zealous and politically motivated family planning campaigns resulted in human rights abuses, including forced sterilization and quotas, making discussions linking population size and family planning highly sensitive. Over time, population control has become one of the dirtiest phrases in the family planning lexicon.
Yet, avoiding discussions does little to address the systemic issue. When Ehrlich’s book was published, there were 3.5 billion people on the planet. Today, there are 7.5+ billion and estimates predict close to 10 billion by 2050. Despite economic advances in much of the world, the majority of people are still raising their children under the stress of high rates of unemployment, climate change and food insecurity. While numbers alone do not determine collective destiny, every major development problem is made more difficult to resolve with a growing population.
World Vasectomy Day does not judge the reasons why a man chooses a vasectomy, whether it be to determine one’s family size or to lower one’s carbon footprint. That said, a recognized and growing trend among childless 20-year-olds choosing vasectomies, reflects growing concern about population size and is a topic that deserves an intelligent discussion.
Join us as we take on this complex issue, covering both the impact of uncontrolled population growth as a threat to security, food safety, economic development and the environment, as well as the conflicts between population control and human rights, and how together, they might give us an idea how to solve all the world’s problems.
Jonathan Stack, co-founder of World Vasectomy Day
Jonathan Stack, renowned filmmaker and co-founder of World Vasectomy Day, will serve as moderator; reviewing the problem statement and this historical context of the discussion, including how the family planning sector has its roots in population growth concerns.
Suzanne York, Director of Transition Earth
Suzanne York is the director of Transition Earth, a U.S.-based NGO that works to increase awareness of the effects of population growth and unsustainable resource use on people and the planet. She has reported on international human rights, globalization, and environmental issues for over two decades. Previously Suzanne was Senior Writer and Program Director with the Institute for Population Studies in Berkeley, CA, where her work focused on the interconnectedness of population growth with women’s empowerment, human rights, consumption, alternative economies, and the environment. As research director with the International Forum on Globalization, Suzanne was a contributing author to Paradigm Wars: Indigenous Peoples’ Resistance to Economic Globalization. She has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from American University and a B.A. in Business Administration from Portland State University.
Dr. Suchitra Dalvie
Dr. Suchitra Dalvie is an OB-GYN, Coordinator of the Asia Safe Abortion Partnership and the former Director Medical of the Family Planning Association of India, best known for her strong pro-choice views and her unflinching support for safe abortion. She will illustrate the importance of a rights-based approach to family planning.
The three will engage in a moderated discussion of how their seemingly disparate approaches can work together to achieve shared goals.