Prolific pro-life author and activist Jacqueline Kasun, known especially for her book The War Against Population, passed away at the age of 84 on Jan. 1. She was born in 1924 in Watts California, did her undergraduate studies at UCLA and Berkeley, and earned a PhD in economics from Columbia University in 1956. According to a tribute written in 2007 by her son, Walter, Kasun entered the male-dominated field of economics at a time when there were more women doctors and physicists than economists.
Kasun would go on to use her knowledge of economics to defend and promote a conservative, free market model of economics. She would also put her expertise to use in defending the cause of life.
In the early 1970s she co-founded Humboldt Pro-Life, a pro-life activist organization in northern California. According to the Humboldt Pro-Life website, Kasun “was a world-wide champion for the cause of the unborn.” Kasun “testified before Senate committees, was a guest with Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes and with Ted Koppel on the Nightly News program.”
In 1987, Kasun published the seminal work, The War Against Population, which has become a cornerstone work for pro-life activists across the globe. In 1999, a revised and updated edition of the book was published through Ignatius Press.
In the book, Kasun attempted to dismantle the anti-human worldview promoted most famously by Paul Ehrlich in The Population Bomb, which argues that human beings are outstripping the availability of natural resources and that in order to protect the species and the planet, government centralization of resources and massive reductions in population are necessary. “The idea that humanity is multiplying at a terrible and accelerating rate is one of the false dogmas of our times,” she wrote. “These ideas form the basis for an enormous international population-control industry that involves billions of dollars of taxes, as well as the full time efforts of scores of private philanthropies. Embodied in their agenda is the sort of social planning that actually mandates draconian control over families, churches and other voluntary institutions around the globe.” Kasun responded by formulating a human-centred and freedom-based economic philosophy that treats a growing human population as an asset, instead of a liability.
Notably, Kasun also predicted the rise of the “mercy killing” movement and the utilitarian bioethical mindset that would weigh whether or not to provide medical treatment according to “cost-benefit” measures. “The important – by virtue of their incomes, political connections or value to research – will be treated,” she said. “Those who are not – the poor, the politically undistinguished, the routine medical cases – will be classified as ‘terminal’ and sent to hospices for expeditious therapy.”
Kasun and her husband, Joseph, had three children – two daughters and a son.
Until recently, Kasun had continued her tireless work, writing articles and letters from her home and carrying out extensive correspondences with economists and others across the globe.
In his 2007 tribute, Walter Kasun declared that, even in her old age, “From India to South Africa, from Ireland to Australia and from Italy to Singapore, she was spreading the word of economic freedom, the efficiency of free markets and the danger of liberalism and state control over population and resource use.
“It is the power of ideas, widely disseminated, that will win the war against tyranny and oppression in this world,” he said. “My mother made a lasting contribution to that end. I am proud to be her son.”
This article originally appeared Jan. 7 at LifeSiteNews.com and is reprinted with permission.