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People and the Planet: The World at 7 Billion

Think Progress | 10-28-2011

Any day now, if it hasn’t happened already, the 7 billionth baby will be born on our small planet.

While many may assume that the environmental and reproductive health movements have divergent agendas—the health of the planet vs. the health of the people—we agree on one very simple principle: everyone, whether born into the bustling streets of New York or a remote village in Nicaragua, is entitled to a set of fundamental human rights. These include the right to live in a healthy and safe environment, and the right to decide if and when to have children.

Today, more than ever, those rights are deeply intertwined. The 7 billionth baby will inherit a planet facing enormous threats and challenges. And while environmental and reproductive health organizations have different missions, we know, based on decades of experience, that the health of our planet and our people are inseparable. We can be mindful of our environment and improve the lives of women, men, and youth worldwide.

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