Letters to the Editor
September 2018

I thoroughly enjoyed the “50 Years of Family Planning for Our Future” article by Stacie Murphy in the June 2018 issue. It was very comprehensive and informative. I was surprised to read about President Eisenhower and President Truman working together as honorary chairmen of Planned Parenthood in 1964. Those were the days when politicians worked for a common cause for the good of the people and the country, disregarding their party affiliation.

It was very interesting to notice the politics of our country — how the Global Gag Rule comes in and out with a stroke of a pen by every president of different point of view. It is like a football game they play without realizing its impact on half the humanity of the world.

The timeline design by Mali Welch was excellent and depicted very clearly all the milestones from 1968 to 2018. It has inspired me to join the President’s Circle.

Thank you very much. Keep up the good work.

Vimal Goyle

I love being a member of Population Connection and getting the magazine. As a data driven organization, accuracy is of course very important. Therefore, I was disappointed in looking at the graphs (Key Data Trends Since our Founding) in the June issue, where it is immediately obvious that the “Carbon Emissions per Capita” graph does not follow from the “Total Carbon Emissions” and “Total Population” graphs which appear to be correct.

If total carbon emissions in 2012 were about 10,000 million metric tons, and the 2012 world population was about 7 billion people, then the per capita emissions would have been about 1.4 metric tons per person. Your graph shows about 7,300, which is a factor of 5,000 too high. The trend is also wrong, showing the emissions per capita going down, when based on the other two graphs it should be going up.

Eric Korevaar

I have to admit something embarrassing: I am at a loss as to what happened here. I was working with so much data when I was putting this feature together that I must have pasted the wrong data into the wrong spreadsheet to give to the designer. The trend line didn’t stick out to me as an obvious inaccuracy because per capita emissions have actually remained relatively stable over the past half-century (because most population growth has occurred in the countries with the lowest emissions).

The data that I meant to use, and thought I had used, is from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center. The chart should have looked like this:

– Marian

I enjoy reading your magazine and appreciate the broad range of articles. Looking at the timeline in the most recent issue, however, I was disappointed to not see more people of color represented. Martin Luther King, Jr., for example, saw family planning and birth control as not only justifiable, but as an integral part of the Civil Rights movement. He spoke and wrote on many occasions about his support for family planning. I wish that one of those quotations had been included in the timeline.

Barbara Francisco

I recently finished reading the March issue of Population Connection. Thank you so much for your measured response to Jean Crocco’s supercilious, pompous letter.

The men featured in the December 2017 issue should be given medals, for they are truly heroes. They love their wives and children, and are taking a principled stand in their villages to help their wives, their families, and themselves. As well, they are enduring the snickers and snide comments of many of their fellow villagers.

The June 2018 issue of TIME has a six-page feature on the search for birth control for men, and the young man featured is posed exactly as the men in your issue.

I am proud to support your organization, and impressed by the work that you do.

Sue Boulais

I am working my way through your June 2018 issue of Population Connection and have a comment on the timeline, “50 Years of Family Planning for Our Future.” You mention the enactment of China’s one-child policy in 1980. However, I cannot find where you mention that China eased those restrictions in 2015. I think the fact that the policy no longer exists deemed a mention in your timeline.

Kathy Hoeschen Massey

It is great to have a history of family planning and ZPG/Population Connection over the past half-century — well done! One correction, however: On the inside front cover John states that LARCs are 200 times more effective than birth control pills. I think this is an exaggeration: Peipert and others state that the ratio is about 20 to 1. Birth control pills are still a very effective method of contraception, and it would be good not to underrate their effectiveness. It is interesting to note that women in Europe, using the same pills, have fewer failures than women in the U.S. Apparently, we just aren’t as compulsive at taking “the pill” regularly.

Richard Grossman

Thanks for your message, Richard. John rounded up in his comments about the effectiveness of LARC methods vis a vis pills. According to the CDC, the implant has a failure rate of 0.05 percent and the pill has a failure rate of 9 percent (typical use) — that makes the implant 180 times more effective than the pill. Of course, with perfect use, the pill rises to 99 percent effectiveness, but as evidenced by your comments about European women having fewer failures, user error is a real problem, at least here in the United States.

– Marian

I was disappointed not to see my name listed in your June issue of long-time donors. I was with you in the early ZPG days and have been a monthly donor for many years.

Lindley Sloan

To Mr. Sloan, and any other members who may have been upset — we apologize. Our records date as far back as 1978, when our members’ information was stored on notecards. We have the good fortune of maintaining many long-standing members, and made the difficult decision to print the names of donors whose records appeared in 1978. Many more members’ records began in the following decade, and we simply didn’t have enough space to print all of your names. We know many supporters like you have volunteered and advocated since 1968, and we thank you for your steadfast commitment over the years! And Mr. Sloan, thank you for your generous contributions as a monthly supporter through our Leadership Circle. We appreciate you!

– Shauna Scherer, Vice President for Marketing and Development


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