Participating in CNN’s “Climate Crisis” town hall on Sep. 4, Senator and 2020 Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said he supports U.S.-taxpayer funded birth control projects in poor countries around the world in order to combat climate change.
CNN hosted seven hours of town halls on the topic with ten 2020 democratic presidential candidates on Wednesday. Each candidate was given a 40-minute segment and took questions from a live audience.
An audience member asked Sanders: “Human population growth has more than doubled in the past 50 years. The planet cannot sustain this growth. I realize this is a poisonous topic for politicians, but it’s crucial to face.
“Empowering women and educating everyone on the need to curb population growth seems a reasonable campaign to enact. Would you be courageous enough to discuss this issue and make it a key feature of a plan to address climate catastrophe?”
Sanders replied: “The answer is yes, and the answer has everything to do with the fact that women—in the United States of America, by the way—have a right to control their own bodies and make reproductive decisions.”
Sanders criticized the Mexico City Agreement that prevents allocation of U.S. federal funding for non-governmental organizations working on abortion-related issues.
“And the Mexico City agreement, which denies American aid to those organizations around the world that allow women to have abortions or even get involved in birth control, to me is totally absurd. So I think, especially in poor countries around the world, where women do not necessarily want to have large numbers of babies and where they can have the opportunity through birth control to control the number of kids they have: something I very, very strongly support,” he said.
In an interview with The Epoch Times, Mathew Barlow, an expert on climate change and an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, said “access to health care in the developing world, including birth control, is a critically important topic. I don’t think it is central to addressing climate change.”
Barlow said the global population growth is already slowing down and is forecasted to flatten by this century’s end.