The human rights advocacy group Fair Start Movement today urged the National Institutes of Health to prioritize funding and research for male contraceptives like the male pill as a way to improve family planning, and reduce unwanted pregnancies.
“Fair Start Movement believes that in light of the world’s current population increasing at the rate of 80 million persons a year, and projected to exceed 9 billion by 2050, it is imperative that NIH make research and funding for the development of male contraception an extremely high priority over the next five years,” wrote Katherine A. Meyer, an outside lawyer for the group, in a letter to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
Meyer noted that while clinical trials of some male contraceptives have shown promise, more research is needed to ensure they are safe and effective.
“NICHD can play a crucial role in making this a reality,” she wrote.
The letter noted that groups such as the Population Council and private foundations have funded male contraception research, but can’t afford the large, phase-3 clinical trials required by the Food and Drug Administration. NICHD could give this effort a boost by seeking congressional appropriations for research, and directing current funding toward this clinical research.
Also today, Fair Start Movement issued an illuminating report and campaign announcement on how federal agencies have failed to take into account population growth when examining the environmental impact of federal actions under the National Environmental Protection Act.
The report noted that the Council on Environmental Quality, which issues regulations interpreting NEPA, under President Richard Nixon did take population into account. Six months after signing NEPA into law, Nixon said In a letter to Congress that the CEQ “is concerned with all aspects of environmental quality – wildlife preservation, parklands, land use, and population growth, as well as pollution.” Every subsequent CEQ report during the Nixon Administration addressed population in its analysis. But over the last 40 years or so, CEQ stopped identifying population growth as a significant factor affecting the environment.
Fair Start Movement works to promote smaller, sustainable, and more equitable families, as a way to help children, restore the environment, and protect animals.