In her latest book, ‘A Matter of Life and Death – Women and the New Eugenics’, Barbara Rogers argues that population growth would not be a problem if all women had access to safe and effective contraception.
If half the world’s women have one less child our numbers would stabilise. The women’s movement and environmentalists should take this up as a priority, allowing poor women the same access to reproductive choice as richer ones take for granted.
Modern eugenics, developed by Nazi racial theorists, is now rife among fundamentalists, racists and nationalists. It aims to suppress women’s ability to choose when to get pregnant, crudely aimed at forcing us to “breed”.
About 40% of pregnancies worldwide are unintended, and about half of these are ended by abortion, most of which are dangerous. The best way to reduce abortions is through good contraception.
The book examines the strange origins of the Catholic Church’s ban on choice. It has failed to convince most of its own members and has resorted to pressurising governments and infiltrating the United Nations and international conferences.
The United States under Donald Trump has slashed funding for reproductive health and imposed a “global gag”. This can and must be challenged internationally.
Family planning organisations must also rethink their strategy and focus on women’s need to decide for themselves how many children to have, and when. All international bodies and national governments have a crucial role to play: this book explains how.
This book is due to be published at the end of February 2018. If you would like an advance copy to review, or to feature or interview Barbara, please email [email protected].
Barbara Rogers has worked at the United Nations in New York and some of its specialised agencies, and worked extensively on African issues and on women’s interests in international development. Her book The Domestication of Women helped to focus attention on the crucial role of women in developing countries and the importance of including them in all economic development programmes and projects.
She has also worked in the UK as founder Editor of the current affairs magazine Everywoman. Her publications include Men Only: An Investigation into Men’s Organisations, 52%: Getting Women’s Power into Politics, and Race: No Peace Without Justice, as well as books on southern Africa.