Here is something you don’t read every day, not by a long shot: an official of Planned Parenthood pleading with his countrymen and women to have MORE children. He calls upon them to prevent abortion, to promote marriage and to encourage young people to marry and have children:

"Religious groups need to advocate respect for life, abortion prevention and positive values on marriage and parenthood, encouraging the younger generation to form families and have children."

We are quoting the president of the Planned Population Federation of Korea, Choi Seon-jeong, writing in the JoongAng Daily. In 2008, South Korea had the lowest birth rate in the world, after Hong Kong – 1.18. With the world economic crisis, he expects the figure to drop even further. So Mr Choi is desperate to combat a "national crisis of super-low fertility", or Korea will disappear.

"If the trend continues – he writes — the population will plunge to one-third by 2100, and the Korean children who are born today will be the first generation to witness the population cut in half."

Mr Choi argues that Korean women want to have children but their society is skewed against it. Couples simply cannot afford to have children, he says.

"We are now living in an environment where people cannot afford to have more children even if they want to. Our private education expenses are some of the highest in the world, and the cost of education has made having two or more children a luxury. Working mothers have to be prepared to lose their jobs unless they return to work shortly after giving birth, usually within three months."

The Planned Population Federation of Korea is the local affiliate of  the International Planned Parenthood Federation. Is this the message that the world body will be sending around in the future —  plan your family: have more kids! ~ JoongAng Daily, May 22

Michael Cook

Michael Cook is the editor of MercatorNet.