NFP for Overpopulation

In parts of the world where overpopulation is a big concern, such as Bangladesh, China, and Nigeria, is it permissible to use NFP to limit your family to only one child for population reasons?

This should be entertaining.

There is no overpopulation anywhere in the world and there never will be. Its an issue of the rich countries not doing enough to alleviate poverty in the developing countries.

I think it’s very irresponsible to completely deny overpopulation problems that are happening now and have happened historically. Even if the problems were caused by rich nations, countries like Bangladesh still have the problem of too many people with too few resources. In that case, would it be acceptable to have only 1 child?

This is something that can **only **be discerned by the individual couple, with guidance from their priest.

If individuals sincerely feel that God does not want them to have more children, then He knows the level of sincerity and unselfishness on which their reasoning is based. He also knows if there’s a degree of willful ignorance involved–with any of its proud or selfish motives.

So NFP. Naturally, contracepting would desecrate the marital act, which is another problem altogether.

BTW, it’s not irresponsble to note that the entire pop. of the globe would fit here in Oakland County, Mich. (standing shoulder-to-shoulder); would fit in the state of Montana (at a density equal to NY City); and would fit in the US at quite a generous spread.
It’s not irresponsible to note that the world food supply has increased faster than population throughout the past century, and continues to do so.
And it’s not irresponsible to note that poverty has been not merely present, but considerable, for all of human history, and that the impulse to characterize the problem as “too many people not enough food” is terribly simplistic, and can feed into a pragmatic view of human life and a selfish focus on standards-of-living.


Very well said. It not the problem of resources, but a problem of access to those resources.

There are not “Too Few Resources”. It is a matter of greed, waste and lack of distribution. Having fewer children is not a cure. It is a band aid. The root of the issue must be dealt with. And 1 child per couple will only make things worse. Imagine the next generations work force being only half the size of the current one.

Overpopulation is not a matter of how densely populated an area is.

Population grows exponentially while food and other resources grow linearly. Left unchecked, the population will exceed the food and other resources. This point is known as a Malthusian catastrophe. The population is then reduced due to famine or war.

This has happened many times. Take a look at the history of China.

That applies to lower life forms. Not human beings. We are not Deer dependent on whatever food nature gives us. We produce our own food. Therefore food resources also grow with the population because more people are producing more food. The amount of resources used to produce food currently exceeds what is needed to feed everybody. People starve because of greed, waste and lack of distribution. PERIOD. Not over-population. That simple. Economics. That is why millions of tons of produce ROTS in warehouses instead of being sent to hungry people.

Echoing Metal:

To say an economy’s production of food is linear or arithmetic is, I believe, simply untrue.

The theory you speak of, embraced by Zero Population Growth folks, began as a classist fear of the poor and disadvantaged:

The great Malthusian dread was that “indiscriminate charity” would lead to exponential growth in the population in poverty, increased charges to the public purse to support this growing army of the dependent, and, eventually, the catastrophe of national bankruptcy. Though Malthusianism has since come to be identified with the issue of general over-population, the original Malthusian concern was more specifically with the fear of over-population by the dependent poor!
[Dr. Dan Ritschel of the Center for History Education at the University of Maryland]

We produce our own food, but we depend on land and water, which are finite, to provide us with the means to do so. If there were 100 billion people in the world, would you think there’d be a lack of food?

There is economic waste that happens, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t, or hasn’t been, a problem. That’s flawed thinking. If Apple were throwing away iPhones, I cannot conclude that the reason every person in the world doesn’t have an iPhone is because Apple is throwing them away.

Again, I would recommend you learn some history on China.

This is another reason why I’m finding myself gradually straying away from the Catholic Church. I just can’t relate to Catholic philosophy anymore. If there is a problem that appears to go against Church doctrine, most Catholics will refuse to admit there is a problem instead of trying to come up with a logical answer or admitting they don’t know.

I would ask you the same question. If there were 100 billion people on the earth, or possibly even 1 trillion, would you think there’d be a food shortage?

How about a hundred trillion?!

Naturally there’d be a limit (having nothing to do with Malthus) because the earth is not infinitely large–NOT because population growth in this era or any era naturally outstrips food growth.

My point was that the simplistic blaming of poverty on the size of the population is faulty.

Does any sane person believe that if we’d limited the population growth of these various countries and the whole world–with the economies, the corruption and greed, the tendencies of human beings still being what they were–the poverty incidence today would be any different?

Now, if it came to the earth being utilized beyond its finite limits, as you and I hypothesize above (who knows if in some millenium it might actually come to that) zero population might have to be acheived.

I’m just trying to be real.

That is a pointless “If” statement because there are just to many lines of speculation that can be posited. But “IF” the population ever reached 1 trillion that would mean that there would be enough food to eat.

“Most Catholics”…maybe that’s the problem.

Please give the benefit of the doubt, AND remember what Catholic teaching is.

The Church claims to speak the truth about faith and morals. The Church doesn’t claim it knows what the ideal population of the earth is, or even that zero population growth is wrong or evil.

The teaching that our sexuality is a gift that is integrally tied to loving and creating life, doesn’t say that people can’t have legitimate reasons for limiting the number of children they have. This may even, theoretically, happen on a large scale, with no offense to God.


There is no overpopulation. In many countries, the birth rate is so low and the population is growing so much older that the replacement rate is declining. A few countries even have to pay couples to have children because of this birth rate decline.

If overpopulation folks had their way, I wouldn’t exist (because some want families limited to TWO Children) and two of my nephews would not exist. Why do I say this? Because I am #3 (youngest) as well as my 7 month old nephew and my 3 year old nephew (they are the 3rd child in their families). One of my cousins has 5 children.

Though I think NFP is taught in parts of China or India so couples don’t have to have the fear of a forced abortion.

NFP is not meant to act as a contraceptive, though. Its meant to help a couple be truly unitive in their Love.

This Malthusian hypothesis has been thoroughly refuted.

During what period? For example, every famine in China for the past 100 years has either resulted from war disrupting production or from Communists deliberately starving people. Neither situation supports any sort of overpopulation scenario.

– Mark L. Chance.

I repeat that there has been no overpopulation historically, no overpopulation currently and there will never be overpopulation in the future. The lack of equitable distribution of resources in the world creates and maintains poverty but not overpopulation.

More people = higher statistical probability for a scientific genius who will find more efficient ways to farm for the larger population!

God works in mysterious ways!

(TRUST while making wise choices in life. We should not abuse the gifts of this Earth that God has given us! It’s a balance.)

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