Decisions concerning the number of children a couple should have are personal. In other words, it is a fundamental human right for everyone to feel free to exercise the judgement on whether to have children or not.
Some people have a strong urge to have as many children as they can, without recourse to how they will take care of those children. Others, uncertain about the future, decide to have a specific number of children.
But the reality is that we live in a challenging world and having many children which the family is unable to take care of complicates matters.
Today, there is an increasing burden on many families because they are unable to take care of the number of children they have.
The shrinking job market and an economy that is not growing in tandem with the population have compounded matters. This is a major challenge which, if not addressed, could lead to devastating consequences for the nation.
Around the globe, some countries which faced explosive population growths have come up with birth control policies that are working for them. China, for instance, has the one-child policy; in india, the state offers newly wedded couples cash grant to wait for two years before they have their first child, while, in other parts of that country, having more than two children disqualifies one from holding public office.
As a country, we have a choice on whether or not to implement laws on birth control. In doing that, we must not lose sight of the population growth of the country.
Ghana’s population was estimated at 28.2 million in 2016, and against the background that average population growth between 2004 and 2016 was about 2.5 per cent, the situation does not look good for us as we struggle to overcome economic challenges and poverty.
The Daily Graphic of September 7, 2017 reported that the National Population Council (NPC) is pushing for fewer children per couple. The council wants the strict implementation of the National Population Policy to control what it sees as the abnormal population and fertility growth.
Fortunately, the 1992 Constitution gives backing to the state to maintain a population policy which is consistent with the aspirations and development needs of the country. This means the state is clothed with the right legal regime to enact laws that can control population growth.
The Daily Graphic thinks the move by the NPC is in order. We cannot sit down and close our eyes while population growth gets to explosive levels. The resources to take care of a huge population are not ready and we need to act decisively to contain our population to levels that our economy can provide for.