Population growth reduction can aid U.S. health system.
Persons seeking an improved health system and those seeking rapid reduction in population growth can work in harmony toward the stabilized population recommended by the Commission of Population Growth and the American Future, Frederick S. Jaffe said at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association. The commission's principal conclusion is that there is no convincing argument for continued population growth, said Mr. Jaffe, director of the Center for Family Planning Program Development of Planned Parenthood-World Population. Further growth will make it more difficult for the U.S. to cope with its economic, social, health, and educational problems, but slower growth can provide the opportunity to devote resources to improving the quality of life rather than merely coping with its quantity, according to the recently published commission report on population and the American future. Unwanted pregnancies, or pregnancies which the parents would have avoided if they could, continue to have serious adverse effects on individual health and on social and economic status, and to constitute a large part of recent rates of natural population increases. The nation's approach to unwanted fertility can have a significant impact on national health policies, according to the Commission. ''Reduction of elimination of unwanted pregnancy would contribute not only to population stabilization but also to improvements in maternal and child health, educational attainment, family stability, and economic status,'' Mr. Jaffe said. Allocating more of the nation's health resources to that area of health care related to fertility, will result in a more comprehensive system of health care generally, he said. (Full text)