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INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HEALTH SERVICES. 1997; 27(3):523-40.This article draws largely on the work of Linda Gordon's "Woman's Body, Woman's Right" and of Bonnie Mass's "Population Target" to analyze the history of the birth control movement and trace the elements present in current debate to their origins in the conflicts and contradictions of the movement's history. After noting that humans have attempted to control births since ancient times, the article begins with the efforts of English radical neo-Malthusians to promote birth control and continues by sketching the change in emphasis from poverty reduction to women's rights. By the 20th century in the US, changing views of sexuality and working-class militancy ignited the US birth control movement and inspired the work of Margaret Sanger. After Sanger split with social radicals, professionals and eugenicists began to play a major role in population control efforts. Eugenicists and racists attempted to use birth control for social engineering; it was to be used again as a tool in a new era of social planning after World War II when it metamorphosized into "family planning." The US need for the resources of developing countries led to concerns about population growth fueling nationalistic fires. Thus, private agencies began a postwar population control effort in developing countries. This received official US approval with the 1958 report of the Draper Committee that targeted world population growth as a US security issue. In 1966, Dr. Ravenhold led the US Agency for International Development into the population field. Population control efforts garnered international opposition at the World Population Conference in Bucharest in 1974, however, but this had little impact on the strong US commitment to population control.
POPULATION RESEARCH AND POLICY REVIEW. 1994 Sep; 13(3):209-24.This paper examines the influence of population control ideology on the draft plan for the UN Cairo Conference on Population and Development. It is argued that this draft plan can only be fully understood in the context of the recent history of the population control movement and of the empirical reality of population control in particular countries. The paper focuses on the origins of the ideology of population control in the eugenics movement initially, and more recently in organizations such as International Planned Parenthood Federation. The role of the UNFPA, in promoting an incremental approach towards the wider acceptance of population control since the first intergovernmental conference on population in Bucharest in 1974, is outlined. Despite the serious loss of credibility for the UN, through the association of the UNFPA with the Chinese population control program--the most coercive program of its type in history--the UN in the draft plan for Cairo continues to promote the ideology of population control. This paper argues for the need to develop a more positive model of development, which acknowledges the complementarity between the lack of development of poorer countries and their potential for significant progress, and the overdevelopment of industrialized regions, whose future growth is increasingly based on intense competition for shrinking markets. (author's)
Family Planning Perspectives. November-December 1977; 9(6):286-292.When Margaret Sanger initiated the American birth control movement in the early twentieth century, she stressed female and sexual liberation. Victorian views on morality have since combined with the compromises necessitated to achieve legitimacy for the movement to lead to a desexualization of the birth control movement. The movement's communication now concentrates on reproduction and ignores sex; it emphasizes family planning and population control but does not mention sexual pleasure. Taboos against publicity concerning contraceptives are more powerful even than laws restricting the sale or distribution of contraceptives themselves in many countries. The movement must recover its earlier revolutionary stance.
In: Suitters, B. Be brave and angry. London, International Planned Parenthood Federation, 1973. p. 163-169The work of the International Planned Parenthood Federation culminating in the 6th International Conference in 1959 is reviewed. The last decade saw the growth of family planning in Ceylon and India, advances in the scientific development of contraceptives, in the realization that cultural differences and motivation factors in family planning needed study, and in program development. Study groups examined in depth some of the subjects of major importance - motivation and sterilization. The conference resolved to urge the Asian countries which are members of the United Nations to give full support to measures designed to reduce the growth of population in their countries and take advantage of the forthcoming session of the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East which will deal with population growth in relation to economic development. A seminar was held after the conference concerning the family planning situation in Pakistan. The work of individuals in the Federation is described, including such people as Dr. Marie Carmichael Stopes, Abraham Stone, Margaret Sanger, Vera Houghton, and Mrs. Brush.