After years of contraception and abortion, Quebec is said to be trying to raise its birth rate. Are any UN countries having second thoughts about their policies of population control?  B.S. Toronto.

Singapore is an interesting example, and Japan, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia also come to mind.

In 1974, at the Bucharest Conference, the Singapore Minister of Health and Home Affairs said that, in response to intense demographic pressure, his country had embarked on a crash program of population control. There were a number of government measures intended to prevent families having more than two children: higher hospital fees for the delivery of third and subsequent babies; no paid maternity leave after two children; fourth and subsequent children could not be enrolled in a local school unless there was proof that at least one parent had been sterilized.

By 1983 the Prime Minister had realized that it was the better educated groups who were not having many children.  The more educated women were not marrying at all, marrying late, and not having babies.  His Policies, aimed at encouraging more births in this group, were rejected as being eugenic and class-oriented.  Meanwhile, the birth rate dropped to 1.4 (far below replacement level) and the proportion of older citizens who would have to be supported was causing concern. 

In 1987, Singapore’s population policy was turned around to include incentives for having three or more children, in order to reach replacement level.  There was a tax rebate of $10,000 U.S. for the third child, and for working mothers an extra rebate of 15% of earned income.  There were government incentives for marrying, including government computer matchmaking services and “love-boat” cruises.  (Truly).

Today, in 1994, twenty years after Bucharest, Singapore does face serious demographic problems, depopulation, an increasingly large proportion of the elderly, and a shrinking number of young people to fill the work force.  Immigration (which would be mainly Chinese) is a potentially explosive issue in Singapore, where the small minority group of native Malays have for at least  80 years resented the power and affluence  of the “immigrant” Chinese.

Japan, too, is having second thoughts.  In his inaugural speech in 1987, Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu spoke of measures to encourage a higher birth rate.  Three years later, according to reports, the Minister of Finance caused an uproar when he said that perhaps the policy of encouraging higher education for women should be changed because it had caused a lowering of the birthrate.

We have learned that abortion, either spontaneous or induced, increases the chance of breast cancer.  Now we hear that the birth control pill does the same.  Is this true?  And if so, why are our children being forced to learn about oral contraceptives in sex-education (with no warning)?  K.H. London

Over the last two or three years there have been at least sixty major research studies linking oral contraceptives with breast cancer.  One recent study titled “Breast Cancer Among Young U.S. Women in Relation to Oral Contraception use” was published in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute, April 6, 1994.  Researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle have found that women who were on “the pill” for ten years or more have 70 times the risk of breast cancer compared with women who have never used oral contraceptives or used them for less than a year.

It is very important to note that the researchers found that the earlier a girl takes the birth-control pill the greater the risk of breast cancer.  Dr. Herbert Ratner in the U.S. has explained:  “The normal balance of hormones in the body has been carefully worked out by nature, and the moment you begin changing the balance of hormones, as you do with birth control pills and early abortion—especially in the formative years of breast development—then you are going to have these hormonal imbalances that cause disease.”

There is irony in the fact that many environmentalists who (and quite rightly) warn the world of the dangers of upsetting the balance of nature, are the very ones who are promoting the upsetting of nature’s balance in the bodies of women.

An earlier and important study was conducted in the University of Southern California by Dr. Malcolm Pike.  His report, “Oral Contraceptive Use and Early Abortion as Risk Factors in Breast Cancer in Young Women,” was published in 1981 in The British Journal of Cancer. Naturally the drug manufacturers attacked the report (for billions of dollars were at stake) but later studies in the US, as well as in New Zealand, Britain and Sweden have all confirmed his findings. 

There is a strong probability that many girls and young women will have breast cancer as the price of avoiding having babies.  They are not being told the price that they might have to pay.