Columnist Proposes One-Child Policy to Battle Climate Change

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 11, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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LAURA INGRAHAM, GUEST HOST: In the "Culture War" segment tonight: a shocking proposal to save the earth from climate change. A columnist for one of Canada's largest newspapers wants the whole world to adopt China's one child per family policy:

"Humankind has not yet recalibrated its behavior to account for the fact that the world can only accommodate so many people, especially if billions get indoor plumbing and cars. The fix is simple. It's dramatic. And yet the world's leaders don't even have it on their agenda in Copenhagen."

The writer of that controversial piece, Diane Francis, joins us now from Toronto. Ms. Francis is an editor at large for the National Post.

Diane, I'm reading your piece, and I'm thinking you're extolling the virtues of China's one-child policy, and I'm wondering how you enforce that in a place like the United States of America or even Canada.

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DIANE FRANCIS, EDITOR AT LARGE, NATIONAL POST: Well, I mean, the point of the piece was — and I think it's ironic, and I'm not a fan of military dictatorships with Communist ties. But I'm a fan of the goal of population control, and they've taken very tough action. And the way in which they enforce it, I don't know and I don't think it's anything that I want to get involved in.

But I think that I want the conversation in Copenhagen to get off cap-and-trade and subsidizing people to pollute and all that stuff or the science argument, which I don't understand, and get on to things like conservation and population control.

You know, we have 16,000 children every day who die of illnesses that are linked to starvation. There's too many people having too many children they can't afford. And I think that what China did, while you may disagree with how they enforce it or so on, or put another way, imagine China if it hadn't had a one-child policy, how big and unstable it would be.


FRANCIS: There's all kinds of ways to achieve a goal like this. There's education. There's abstinence. There's birth control.

INGRAHAM: But I want to get into that though because you say well, you know, China does this, I'm not necessarily advocating the means, which is forced infanticide. I'm sure you're aware of the fact that the suicide rate…

FRANCIS: Well, I'm not sure.

INGRAHAM: ...among women in China is among the highest in the world. Are you aware of that?

FRANCIS: Yeah, I'm not — Laura — I'm not sure about that.

INGRAHAM: Why do you think women in China are killing themselves at that rate? Why do you think they're doing that? Maybe because they're being forced…

FRANCIS: No, I think, I said…

INGRAHAM: …by a totalitarian state to abort their children?

FRANCIS: There's a cultural bias toward having male children in that culture. And you know, I mean, I think that's really awful. I'm a feminist. And as far as imposing abortion on people, I don't think so. You can have more than one child in China. But you have to pay a penalty for it. I mean, you can incentivize people to have fewer children rather than — I mean, look, the point is…

INGRAHAM: How do you call yourself — Diane? Diane, hold on. We're getting off track here. How do you call yourself a feminist if you say that it's not necessarily a bad thing for a totalitarian state to tell women how many children they can have? Yet, that is the ultimate anti-choice attitude, is it not?

FRANCIS: No, it's really — I liken it to a form of survival and economic policy. I mean, China has one out of five human beings living in a country that's already very overcrowded. They're trying to get everybody to get a job. They're trying to lift their living standards. They just can't have — they couldn't sustain the birth rates that they were having before, and this is the measure in which they've done it.

INGRAHAM: It's a totalitarian Communist state, Diane. It's a totalitarian state…

FRANCIS: Yeah, exactly.

INGRAHAM: ...that enforces its will on its people through brutal, oppressive means where human rights mean little to nothing and where women…

FRANCIS: Exactly.

INGRAHAM: ...are frankly treated like property and inconvenient breeders. That's what China does with its population.

FRANCIS: Well, you know what? But can I answer?

INGRAHAM: And for someone that's a feminist to say that she's in favor of this is stunning to me.

FRANCIS: Yeah. Well, let me just also point out that China may be the only country in the world trying to control its population growth. There are plenty of countries in the world that are encouraging women to be breeders when it's not in the best interests of the children, the family, or their economy or society, so...

INGRAHAM: According to whom? According to you?

FRANCIS: ...there's many, many more.

INGRAHAM: Here's what I — right.

FRANCIS: There's many…

INGRAHAM: Here's what I think you should do, Diane.

FRANCIS: ...countries in the world that are run by religious leaders…


FRANCIS: ...that want lots and lots of babies born so they can have…

INGRAHAM: OK, oh no, OK. This is where we're getting into it, OK? I got the cross on. So we can get right into this. What happens with the Catholic Church under this utopian vision of either people having no children or just one child? What happens to the Catholic Church?

FRANCIS: Well, the Catholic Church, I think, has a lot to be answered — has a lot to answer for in terms of…

INGRAHAM: OK, so that's the answer, I guess.

FRANCIS: (INAUDIBLE) children they can't afford.

INGRAHAM: The Catholic Church should cease to exist. According to whom? According to you?

FRANCIS: No, I didn't say that.

INGRAHAM: What I don't understand is…

FRANCIS: I said they have a lot to answer for.

INGRAHAM: ...feminists and eco warriors who believe in this completely spurious notion of population control and the world's going to come to an end, blah, blah, blah. Why don't you guys just have no children? I mean, don't talk to us about what we should do. You all should take it upon yourselves to champion this and tell other people, well, you should consider having no children. But don't put your moral view about the planet vs. the people on us. That's your view. That's not the view of the majority of Americans certainly. And I can't imagine it's the view of the majority of Canadians. And I love Canada, by the way.

FRANCIS: Yeah, no, I think the point I'm trying to raise here is I want the conversation to be extended into things other than the science, the junk science. We have, you know, every day you see on television, you see starving children.


FRANCIS: And it's heartbreaking and it's terrible. And yet you see lots of governments that are encouraging women to have children they can't afford. We got to do something about that.

INGRAHAM: Save the planet. Save the planet. Abort the babies. I get it. I see the bumper sticker. Diane, we appreciate it. Thanks for joining us.

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