• U.S.

Environment: Population Package

1 minute read

The U.S. has spent millions to help other nations contain their burgeoning populations. At home, it has often treated birth control as an embarrassing subject. Last week Congress faced the facts by passing the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act of 1970. When President Nixon signs it into law, the U.S. will start spending $382 million to put into practice at home what it has preached abroad.

The biggest bundle in the three-year budget ($236 million) will be used for grants to nonprofit organizations to establish and expand family-planning clinics. Offering medical advice and contraceptives, by request, such clinics will aim to help low-income groups.

In addition, the bill will benefit all Americans by setting up an Office of Population Affairs in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. The new office will disburse grants for research in areas including what Kentucky Congressman Tim Lee Carter calls “acceptable” methods of cheaper, easier birth control. Abortion, which was carefully excluded in a last-minute amendment, is unacceptable.

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