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Robert Walker
Robert Walker is the President of the Population Institute, which works to promote voluntary family planning and reproductive health services, and to increase awareness of the social, economic, and environmental consequences of rapid population growth.

Prior to joining the Population Institute in February 2009, Mr. Walker was President of the Population Resource Center. He formerly was the Executive Director of the Common Cause Education Fund, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to promote open, honest and accountable government.

He also served for three years as President of Handgun Control, Inc. and the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, and four years as legislative director at Handgun Control, where he led the lobbying campaigns that led to the successful passage of the Brady Law and the federal assault weapons ban. Prior to his work for Handgun Control, Mr. Walker worked for a total of 14 years on Capitol Hill, including five years as a legislative aide to Rep. John B. Anderson and six years as Legislative Director to Rep. Mo Udall, the Chairman of the House Interior Committee. He also served for two years as Legislative Counsel for the American Association of Retired Persons.

Mr. Walker received his B.A. in Economics from Rockford College and his J.D. from the University of Illinois School of Law. He attended the University of Sydney in Australia under a Rotary graduate fellowship.

Entries by Robert Walker

The Pope on Childess Couples

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2015 | 8:03 PM

Your Holiness, please do not disparage childless couples as "selfish" and "greedy." It's true that couples who do not enjoy children can make a "selfish" decision not to have a child. But some couples, even those who enjoy children, can elect to go childless because they are concerned...

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Population: Four Out of Five Scientists Agree...

(22) Comments | Posted January 30, 2015 | 1:45 PM

A new poll of American scientists suggests that a large majority of them (82 percent) regard population growth as a major challenge, almost as many as those who believe that climate change is mostly due to human activity (87 percent). The poll, which was conducted by the Pew...

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Reproductive Health: The Battle Resumes

(4) Comments | Posted January 8, 2015 | 4:36 PM

With the convening of the new Congress, the fight over reproductive health and rights has been renewed, and members of the new Congress are not wasting any time in drawing the battle lines. Reps. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) reintroduced legislation this week to stop women...

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Laadli and the Vital Importance of Girls in India

(3) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 5:26 AM

India is a country rich in opportunities for growth, but much of its vast potential is linked to the status of the girl child. While many factors will affect India's future economic and social development, few are as important as the promotion of gender equality and the protection of the...

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Do Not Underestimate Family Planning

(3) Comments | Posted October 31, 2014 | 3:34 PM

A recent article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) has ignited a small firestorm of criticism. As reflected by its title, "Human population reduction is not a quick fix for environmental problems," the authors argue that reducing projected population growth rates, by itself, would...

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Mulling the Motherhood Mandate

(1) Comments | Posted October 24, 2014 | 5:35 PM

Of all the important decisions we make in our lives, questions about whether to have a child or not, or even when to have a child, have to be near the top of the list, and while that is true for men, it is certainly the case with women. Given...

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The Catholic Church and Contraception: Revolution...or Evolution?

(6) Comments | Posted October 14, 2014 | 6:14 PM

The wording is far from clear and it's only a mid-term report, but the statement issued this week by the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in Rome is being described as an "earthquake" by Church liberals and a "betrayal" by Church conservatives. So, is the Catholic Church shifting its...

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Ebola: Another Avoidable Crisis

(3) Comments | Posted October 8, 2014 | 1:49 PM

In the wake of the recent Ebola outbreak, public health officials in this country are quick to assure the American public that there is no cause for panic. Ebola, we are told, can be contained in this country. We have some of the best medical facilities and personnel in the...

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Contraception: Saving Lives... and the Planet

(3) Comments | Posted September 25, 2014 | 6:30 PM

On Friday, September 26, the world is celebrating World Contraception Day. Okay, 'celebrating' may be too strong a word. 'Observing' may be more like it. And the number of people actually observing the day in some form is probably small. Okay, very small. To borrow a phrase from Lincoln's Gettysburg...

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Population, Climate Change, and the Post-2015 Development Agenda

(1) Comments | Posted September 22, 2014 | 10:25 PM

The UN this week is hosting dueling deliberations on population and climate change -- a special session of the United Nations General Assembly observing the 20th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and the UN Climate Summit on Sept. 23 -- and both meetings take place...

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Contraception: Time for a 'Just Ask' Campaign?

(0) Comments | Posted August 27, 2014 | 5:46 PM

When candidates seek to satisfy their political base without antagonizing the political center, they often engage in a tightrope act, and the latest high wire act is on contraception.

The Obama administration last week unveiled a set of new rules designed to ensure that workers affected by the Supreme...

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Malala's Inspiration

(0) Comments | Posted August 20, 2014 | 5:36 PM

Click here to watch the TEDTalk that inspired this post.

Behind every inspirational leader is another inspiring person. We have discovered the source of Malala's inspiration: her dad. His TED talk revealed the same personal courage and high ideals that we so admire in Malala.


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Staring Down the Barrel of Unsustainability

(1) Comments | Posted July 30, 2014 | 6:56 PM

Is humanity on a sustainable path? Are we on the verge of being unsustainable? And, if so, how will we know when we get there?

Sorry. We are already there. We are drawing down global resources, both renewable and nonrenewable, at an alarming rate. Nature cannot keep up with us....

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World Population Day: How Are We Doing?

(2) Comments | Posted July 10, 2014 | 4:10 PM

Twenty-five years ago, the United Nations Development Programme declared July 11 to be World Population Day. Much has changed in the past quarter century. Significant progress has been made, but many challenges remain. More women than ever are able to decide freely how many children to have and when, but...

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Fragile States/Fragile Families

(0) Comments | Posted June 28, 2014 | 3:07 PM

What do Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan all have in common? Plenty.

In Washington DC, a city consumed by headline stories, Foreign Policy magazine and the Fund for Peace this past week teamed up to give an in-depth look at the stories behind all the conflicts...

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As the World Bank Turns

(2) Comments | Posted June 25, 2014 | 2:59 PM

Something exciting, almost revolutionary, is happening at one of the most conservative of the world's international institutions. The World Bank, which for decades has been criticized has overly focused on the construction of dams and other infrastructures as the cure for poverty, is turning its focus to the real engine...

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The Declaration of Ignorance?

(4) Comments | Posted May 20, 2014 | 1:18 PM

If Thomas Jefferson were alive today, would he be a climate change denier? Would he join with fellow skeptics and write the "Declaration of Ignorance"....

When in the course of climatic events absolutely and unequivocally not caused by humans, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the bands of...

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The Vatican, Birth Control, and Galileo's Ghost

(17) Comments | Posted May 6, 2014 | 6:18 PM

This year, the year in which the world observes the 450th anniversary of Galileo's birth, the age-old conflict between faith and science is being played out on a dramatic new stage.

The Pontifical Academy of Sciences this week is hosting a four-day conference at the...

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If Food Could Fly

(0) Comments | Posted April 21, 2014 | 6:37 PM

Imagine that food could fly. Seriously, imagine it. Apples and oranges could fly from the orchards to the supermarket, or better yet fly directly into your kitchen. Potatoes and carrots could rise up from the earth, dust themselves off, and fly right into your pantry. Livestock could fly from the...

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Re-Examining the Global Barriers to Reproductive Freedom

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2014 | 5:30 PM

Every woman in the world should be able to space or limit her births. At a minimum, that means every woman should have access to the contraceptive method of her choice, whether it's a female condom, birth control pills, an IUD, sterilization or a long-acting injectable. But physical access to...

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