Stemming the Tide

Who’s Who in Fighting Overpopulation
Photo: Population Services International

Family planning works. That’s the message from numerous activists and politicians from both parties, including many pro-life supporters. A 30 percent reduction in unintended pregnancies would result in 200,000 fewer unintended births and some 800,000 fewer abortions in the U.S. each year, according to a study by the Institute of Medicine.

Despite widespread public support for family planning, a small but powerful segment of Congress, among others, has sidetracked America’s role in helping stem the tide of world population growth. As a result, a variety of groups have stepped up their efforts to promote reproductive health issues. The Planned Parenthood Federation of America, for one, recently announced its “Responsible Choices Action Agenda,” to strengthen its legislative and grassroots campaigns. Others, such as Negative Population Growth, are pursuing campaigns that encourage people to have no more than two children.

To get involved, here are some of the main organizations to contact:

The National Audubon Society’s Population and Habitat Campaign
Seeks to “educate and mobilize” people around the U.S. regarding the link between population and threats to the environment. 1901 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20006, tel. (202) 861-2242,

The Sierra Club’s International Population Program
Works to affect change on legislation concerning family planning and related issues. Supports grassroots organizing, operates speakers bureau, and provides outreach in Mexico and Latin America. 408 C Street NE, Washington, DC 20002, tel. (202) 547-1141,

Zero Population Growth
Focuses on population and its impact on the world, with strong advocacy and education programs. 1400 16th Street NW, Suite 320, Washington DC 20036, tel. (202) 332-2200,

Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Devoted to the individual’s right “to choose when and whether to have children.” Operates 900 clinics in 47 states and the District of Columbia, with medical and educational services. 810 7th Avenue, New York, NY 10019, tel. (212) 541-7800,

Population Action International
“Dedicated to advancing policies and programs that slow population growth in order to enhance the quality of life for all people.” Strong research, publications and international advocacy components. 1120 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036, tel. (202) 659-1833,

Population Services International
The leading contraceptive marketing organization in the world, PSI evaluates health needs, educates, and provides family planning products to millions of low-income people, worldwide, each year. 1120 19th Street NW, Suite 600, Washington DC 20036, tel. (202) 785-0072,

Catholics for a Free Choice
This independent, not-for-profit engages in research, policy analysis, education and advocacy on matters of gender equality, reproductive health and Church reform. 1436 U Street NW, Suite 301, Washington, DC 20009, tel. (202) 986-6093,

United Nations Population Fund
Provides technical assistance and support to improve reproductive programs around the world. Active in research, policy analysis and data collection. Also supports advocacy groups in areas of sexual and reproductive health. 220 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017, tel. (212) 297-5020,

Negative Population Growth
Advocacy and educational group seeking “to stabilize the U.S. population at a smaller, more sustainable level.” 1608 20th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009, tel. (202) 667-8950,

Population-Environment Balance
A grassroots advocacy organization focusing on stabilizing U.S. population, with particular attention to immigration and the environment. 2000 P Street NW, Suite 210, Washington, DC 20036, tel. (800) 866-6269,