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Articles by Jade Sasser

Jade Sasser is completing a PhD on the intersections of population-environment linkages, global environmental politics, and reproductive justice. She worked on family planning in sub-Saharan Africa, first as a Peace Corps volunteer, and later at an international health NGO. She now works on a project focused on the health impacts of climate change.

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Ensure she has access to reproductive health care, then trust her to make her own decisions.Cross-posted from RH Reality Check.

Who’s afraid of climate change? Well, I am, but not necessarily for the reasons you may think. I’m afraid that the recent, much-deserved attention to climate change will revive some of the old alarmist debates on population. And with those debates, I’m worried that the specter of population control will rear its ugly head again.

You see, as a woman of color, I am particularly sensitive to population-control arguments. After all, claims of “overpopulation” usually target women who look like me.

Throughout the 20th century, coercive welfare policies led to thousands of African-American women in the United States being sterilized without their consent in a procedure that came to be known as the “Mississippi Appendectomy.” In the 1950s, Puerto Rican women’s bodies were used as the testing grounds for controversial and experimental contraceptive trials, in part due to government perceptions that these experiments could help solve the island’s “population problem.” Around t... Read more