To The Editor

My Great-Uncle Reimert Ravenholt had a Letter to the Editor published in the New York Times today, regarding the talk of aid to Africa:

To the Editor:

Proposals for helping Africa that ignore the need for birth control are bereft of good sense. Without birth control, all food and other assistance are wasted, and the problem is enlarged, as during the last 20 years.

Resources divided by population equals the human condition.

Africa needs not only oral contraceptives and condoms in every village and household, but also ready access to safe surgical services for tubal ligation and abortion for all women in need. Readily available throughout the wealthy world and in China, these services are desperately needed in Africa.

R. T. Ravenholt, M.D. Seattle, July 3, 2005 The writer was director of the United States Agency for International Development's Population Program, 1966-79.