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Will the UK follow India in bribing teens to be sterilised?

Britain has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe despite morning after pills being available to children in schools, and a multitude of chemicals and devices readily available on the high street and from GPs. 

In 2010 Optimum Population Trust contributed £5 000 to Brook Advisory centres ‘Roll with it’ programme promoting condom usage to young children, with which to offset 500 tonnes of CO2.

The average Brit emits 9.8 tonnes of CO2 per annum so 500 tonnes of CO2 is 51 years.  £5 000 however is approximately 10 times as costly as offsetting the carbon.  Opt-pop also contributed £5 000 to a birth control project in Madagascar offsetting a paltry 50 tonnes.

It could be that the charity is blindly dishing out cash, perhaps the Directors don’t know what they’re doing. Surely it’s not manufacturing case studies to reinforce a viewpoint?

Elective contraception would appear to be expensive and ineffective especially in less developed nations.  But as this appears to be a borderless fund, why not go for the top of the carbon tree?  The average Qatari will output 79.3 tonnes of CO2 per annum so an equivalent 51 year reduction would yield 4,044 tonnes, making it a cost effective alternative to carbon offsetting.

“… We simply must reduce both our own excessive carbon emissions, individually and nationally, and – by voluntary means - the number of our own carbon emitters. But we also have to help over 200 million women in the world, many with no access to family planning, to take control of their own fertility” - Optimum Population Trust - 2010, Roger Martin, Chairman.


Different social classes have different carbon footprints.  If we take these results as to not be based on countries but on class in the UK it could be said that a working class person would equate to a Madagascan, a middle class person a Brit, and a Qatari to be a middle to upper class person.  In doing this we have a more realistic spread of carbon usage with the wealthier but less numerous class using more carbon, with the middle and working classes using progressively less.

What we see then is that offering barrier contraceptives to the poor is too costly to be effective.  If elective contraception and sex education aren’t cost effective for this class then perhaps India has the answer.

By 2020 India will be a super power.  By 2030 it’s population will have overtaken that of China.  Since the 50s India has implemented elective and forced sterilisation programmes with mixed success.  Today though you can swap your seed for a brand new car or a food mixer as authorities have begin bribing people into permanent sterilisation with the promise of a chance to win a Colour tv, a motorbike or cash prizes!  This is in addition to the state payment (roughly £15) for choosing to have a vasectomy.  Or £2 for persuading someone else.

The Indian experiment runs for three months ending October 2011.  The chief medical officer is hoping to perform 30 000 additional vasectomies from this promotion, so potentially 120 000 vasectomies in a year.  From a single province.  Thats a whole load of carbon offsetting with a hint of ‘reward based’ eugenics thrown in for good measure.

Will we see a rewards based abstinence and sterilisation culture in the UK?  In fact we already have it. American charity ‘Project Prevention’  has paid £200 to at least one ‘John’  to have the snip, and many more are being paid to take hormonal contraceptives.  The difference is Project Prevention targets drug users to prevent babies being born with fetal alcohol syndrome for instance.

British Culture demonises having children before you’ve had a career and turned 30.  At state school in the 80’s and 90s it was drummed into us not to have children, don’t get a girl pregnant else your entire life is over and that message reverberated throughout our careers and lives.  Except that when you get to your 30’s and find having a child is one of the most amazing things a person can do with their life you might wish you’d started earlier.  Even more worrying is that as an impetuous over-sexed 18 year old pumped full of propaganda, choosing ‘permanent sterilisation’ in exchange for an iphone5 or a university education might be a lot closer to actuality than we wish to believe, and then at what point does this incentivising become coercion?

As soon as fertility has a monetary value attached, it will be taxed and it will then become a privilege.  Austerity and population control measures may lead to sterilising children by default based on socio-economic grading, or Galton Class Eugenics by its correct title.  

We’re not there yet but we’re certainly on our way. Cheer up! Go and have a fiddle with the bizarrely named ‘Contraception tool’ over here http://www.brook.org.uk/contraception/my-contraception-tool

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