During the first week of November, members of the Sierra Club traversed one end of California to the other for a series of conferences called “Sex and the Environment.” Accompanying them at most of their stops were representatives of Planned Parenthood.
Such conferences were held between Nov. 6 and Nov. 9 in Oakland, Santa Cruz, Fresno, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, mostly on university campuses. The “tour,” says the Sierra Club’s website, was “co-sponsored by International Health Programs of the Public Health Institute, Campus Progress, Global Exchange, as well as Planned Parenthood affiliates and a number of University of California Women's Centers and student groups.”
The 115-year-old Sierra Club, based in San Francisco and founded by California environmentalist John Muir in 1892 to “explore, enjoy and protect the planet,” now declares on its web site: “Sierra Club is a pro-choice organization.”
The November tour was part of the Sierra Club’s Global Population and Environment Program, which states as its mission: “to protect the global environment and preserve natural resources for future generations by advancing global reproductive health and sustainable development initiatives.”
The term “reproductive health” has long been understood as a code word for “abortion,” especially in Third World countries where the outright use of the word “abortion” would be politically unwise.
In a question-and-answer section on the Sierra Club’s web site discussing the Population and Environment Program, the group says it has endorsed a 1970 resolution drafted by the group Zero Population Growth. Among the provisions of the resolution: “families should not have more than two natural children,” “state and federal laws should be changed to encourage small families and to discourage large families,” “policies, and attitudes that foster population growth or big families, or that restrict abortion and contraception, or that attempt to constrict the roles of men and women, should be abandoned.”
The Nov. 20 alternative weekly Sacramento News & Review reported on one of the Sierra Club/Planned Parenthood “Sex and the Environment” conferences. The conference covered by the weekly was held at the University of California, Davis, and featured a speaker from each organization. Speaking for the Sierra Club was Cassie Gardner. “Gardner’s job was created to address the connection Sierra Club sees between sex and the environment: If you educate women about their reproductive rights, many will choose to have smaller families, which will slow population growth and subsequently slow resource depletion,” the News & Review reported.
But apparently not all students at the conference bought the Sierra Club line, according to the newspaper. “At the close of Gardner’s lecture, an ethical debate erupted,” said the News & Review. “The gender-studies students asked: Is it fair to advocate a curb on population growth in developing countries when the United States uses 25 percent of the world’s resources for 5 percent of the world’s population?”
The original story can be found at California Catholic Daily.