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The United Nations conference on population this September in Cairo, already marred by Vatican meddling (including warnings to Islamic nations that outside family planning services will lead to Westernization; see “Still ticking,” March/April 1993, and “The bomb ticks on,” Jan./Feb. 1994), will no doubt focus on populous and less-developed nations like China and India. But as the new book (and upcoming documentary) “World War III” details, the U.S. should hardly feel smug: Teens in Los Angeles have one of the highest birthrates of teens anywhere in the world. California’s birthrate in 1990 was 84.6 per thousand, vs. 21 per thousand in China; 31 in India. In 1991, Population Action International included the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Malawi, Haiti, and the U.S. as among the world’s least progressive countries in expanding access to family planning services.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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