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Reuters AlertNet. 2004 Jan 14;  p..Thoraya Obaid, first Arab woman to head a major United Nations agency, on Wednesday urged U.S. President George W. Bush to drop his controversial ban on funding for the family planning programmes she runs around the world. Giving people, especially women, in developing countries the chance to decide when they have children can help limit global population growth and be at least as effective as free trade in tackling poverty, she told Reuters in an interview. "We hope and plead for the United States to come back as a major donor," said Obaid, a 58-year-old U.S.-educated campaigner for women's rights from Saudi Arabia, who has headed the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for the past two years. Obaid, a U.N. under-secretary general who officials say has recently had problems entering the United States, was speaking during a conference on population issues at which the United States has come under heavy fire. Bush stopped the annual $34 million funding for the New York-based UNFPA when he came to office in 2000, arguing that by working in China it was sustaining a Beijing policy of forced abortion in pursuit of its "one child per family" programme. (excerpt)
Conscience. 2002 Autumn; 23(3):37.Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote to President Bush commending him for his decision to withhold the funds. "In the name of the Catholic Bishops of the United States, I thank you for taking this action in defense of women and children in developing nations," the bishop said. (excerpt)
London, England, International Planned Parenthood Federation [IPPF], 1994. 112 p.This booklet contains a selection of nine speeches and articles written by Dr. Fred Sai since he assumed the presidency of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) in 1989. The first article is an open letter to Pope John Paul II written on World Population Day, July 11, 1991, in which Sai points out that the values of IPPF mirror those of the Catholic Church, suggests that the Church misunderstands the family planning (FP) movement, and calls for the opening of a dialogue with the Church. Article 2 is adapted from Sai's acceptance speech on the occasion of receiving the UN Population Award in 1993. Sai dedicated his prize to the mothers in Africa who persist in trusting in the future despite terrible obstacles. In the third article, Sai describes political, religious, cultural, medical, technical, financial, and quality of service obstacles which hinder FP programs. Article 4 discusses the mother-child dyad as it applies to combatting maternal and neonatal health problems. The fifth article presents an African perspective on what works and what does not work in FP programs. Article 6 sets out the scenario for achieving economic and social development through successful population programs. The seventh article considers whether the Mexico City consensus has been implemented. Article 8 takes a look at politics and ethics in FP, and the last article provides a view from the South on the topic of working with parliamentarians.
FORUM. 1994 Jun; 10(1):36-41.1994 marks the 40th anniversary of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Western Hemisphere Region (WHR). At its inception, the WHR had only 4 family planning (FP) associations (FPAs) outside of the US (in Jamaica, Barbados, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico). The WHR was unique among the 6 regions of the IPPF in that it was registered as a non-profit agency in New York and was organized with an independent Board of Directors. Early advocates of FP had to operate in a legal climate which held that promoting contraception would promote immorality. As social legitimization forced a change in the laws, scientific advancements made ever more reliable contraception methods available. The goal of the WHR from the start was to bring FP to Latin America. In 1960, a breakthrough made by the University of Chile in the collection of statistics about the incidence of illegal abortion confirmed the worst suspicions of the medical establishment. Further research in Uruguay revealed that the women of Montevideo had 3 abortions for every live birth. While the medical establishment wondered how to provide contraceptive services on a large enough scale to combat this problem in Catholic countries, Ofelia Mendoza, a staff member of the WHR, visited Dr. Hermogenes Alvarez in Uruguay to offer him the financial and moral support of the IPPF. Dr. Alvarez then opened the first IPPF affiliate in all of South America in 1961, even though he had to resign his position as Dean of the Medical School to do so. Ms. Mendoza also took the IPPF message to Chile where Dr. Benjamin Viel established the Chilean Association for Family Protection in 1962. In Chile, the government agreed to provide contraceptive services if the FPA provided information and education to support the program. Soon FPAs were established throughout Latin America. As governments changed, FPAs were closed in Argentina and Peru and later reopened. In Peru, Dr. Miguel Ramos was jailed briefly for defying a government order to cease offering services. Since all of the countries, except Chile, had laws which would obviate the FPAs, they kept a low profile and depended on word-of-mouth promotion of their activities. However, by 1970, PROFAMILIA, in Colombia, began to adopt aggressive promotion tactics. PROFAMILIA began a national radio advertising campaign which made the clinic in Bogota the busiest in the world. In order to reach distant populations, PROFAMILIA recruited and trained community-based distributors (CBDs) to sell contraceptives and make medical referrals. Then they applied the tactic to the urban slums. By 1972, BEMFAM in Brazil was enlisting the cooperation of states and municipalities in its programs. It set up the largest CBD system in the world. This tradition of innovation spread throughout the region. Today, the second regional director, Dr. Hernan Sanhueza, oversees a region which provides half of the FP services delivered worldwide by a third of the number of FPAs in the world. The challenge faced by the WHR today is to expand its donor base. Those who wish to see an excellent model of North-South integration can find it in the WHR of the IPPF.
Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard Institute for International Development, 1990 Jun. , 52 p. (Development Discussion Paper No. 344)Ideology of population control has fueled population research and fertility control programs. This ideology comprises the prochoice and prolife positions; the Roman Catholic doctrine on responsible parenthood and contraception; and fertility control professed by Marxists and environmentalists. The predominant ideology of demographic research and family planning (FP) from the 1950s to 1974 is examined. The solution of population was to be by voluntary action as demonstrated by knowledge-attitude-practice (KAP) surveys sponsored by the Population Council that was founded at the behest of John D. Rockefeller III in 1952. The Council also supported technical assistance and vigorously promoted (FP). The Ford Foundation developed a population control program in 1958, funding research with over $181 million during the period. In 1967 the Agency for International Development (USAID) joined population donors, and became the largest financier of FP programs that produced a decline of fertility from 6.1 children/woman to 4.5 in 28 countries. At the World Population Conference in 1974 held in Bucharest the claim of population growth inhibiting development was challenged, and the development of socioeconomic and health care conditions was advocated. The Project on Cultural Values and Population Policy was an 8-nation study on cultural values in FP program implementation whose utility was questioned by UNFPA staff. The World Development Report 1984 by the World Bank was influential and reiterated the danger of population growth checking economic development, although critics charged biases and distortions. The Lapham-Mauldin Scale devised for the evaluation of FP program success is replete with value judgments. FP program implementation difficulties and shortcomings are further examined in Latin America, China, India, and Indonesia.
ASIA-PACIFIC POPIN BULLETIN. 1991 Jun; 3(2):7-11.George Walmsley, UNFPA country director for the Philippines, discusses demographic and economic conditions in the Philippines, and present plans to revitalize the national population program after 20 years of only modest achievements. The Philippines is a rapidly growing country with much poverty, unemployment and underemployment, uneven population distribution, and a large, highly dependent segment of children and youths under age 15. Initial thrusts of the population program were in favor of fertility reduction, ultimately changing to adopt a perspective more attuned to promoting overall family welfare. Concurrent with this change also came a shift from a clinic-based to community-based approach. Fertility declines have nonetheless grown weaker over the past 8-10 years. A large gap exists between family planning knowledge and practice, with contraceptive prevalence rates declining from 45% in 1986 to 36% in 1988. Behind this lackluster performance are a lack of consistent political support, discontinuities in program implementation, a lack of coordination among participating agencies, and obstacles to program implementation at the field level. The present government considers the revitalization of this program a priority concern. Mr. Walmsley discusses UNFPA's definition of a priority country, and what that means for the Philippines in terms of resources nd future activities. He further responds to questions about the expected effect of the Catholic church upon program implementation and success, non-governmental organization involvement, the role of information and information systems in the program, the relationship between population, environment and sustainable development, and the status of women and its effect on population.
Journal of Family Welfare. 1980 Jun; 26(4):64-72.The November 1979 progress report of the Western Hemisphere region of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which comprises North and South America and the Caribbean, is presented. Problems faced by different Associations within the region, such as the attacks made by conservative elements of the Catholic Church on the IPPF affiliate in Paraguay, attacks on the Chilean and Costa Rican programs which attempted to include voluntary sterilization, the replacement of governments favorable to birth control by indifferent or hostile governments in a number of countries, and violence in Central America, are discussed. Improvements were noted however in Nicaragua, and in Peru the government has been slightly less hostile recently. Associations in most of the region continue their day-to-day activities despite their problems. The particular situations and activities in each of the countries are sketched. Activities of the region as a whole are then described, including observations of the International Year of the Child, encouragement of sex education, and development of the IPPF infrastructure. Future directions of the IPPF Western Hemisphere region and the individual affiliates are suggested.
In: McCoy, T.L., ed. The dynamics of population policy in Latin America. Cambridge, Massachusetts, Ballinger Publishing Company, 1974. p. 353-375Peru has the problems created by a 3.1% annual growth rate and heavy rural-to-urban migration, but the Peruvian government has not formulated a population policy. There is a feeling of complacency because of the vast unused tracts of land. In Peru there has been a long-term commitment to social and economic development. With the military take-over in 1968, the few government-sponsored family planning clinics were discontinued. The ruling military aims at a mixed capitalistic-socialistic state while maintaining national sovereignth. Since 1968, there have been a few unofficial, foreign-supported family planning programs. What is needed is leadership, coming neither from the United States nor from the local elite, to convince the Peruvian government to embrace family planning. Population growth must be perceived as a threat to adequate development.
Humanist. 1983 Sep-Oct; 43(5):18-24, 34.The writer's purpose is to document why an American confrontation with the Vatican over its anti-family planning efforts is a prerequisite to removal of this obstruction. The role of the Roman Catholic Church is seen as an important factor in thwarting organized family planning efforts; it is a variable which must enter population scientists' search for the determinants of fertility. Reasons for which communication with the leadership of the Church will not occur are discussed. Among those is the introduction, under President Reagan, of an administration which is the most Catholic in American history. In addition, international agencies' "population moneys" are being spent for "general development" and not on family planning. It is argued that Catholics have been primarily responsible for propagating the strategy "development will take care of population growth". The decline of the world population growth control effort in the past couple of years has coincided with the activities of the Pope and his position that immoral contraception must be fought. It is claimed that until this stronghold on predominantly Catholic countries is reduced, and the Vatican's strong influence on international donor agencies is eliminated, very little improvement in world efforts to control population growth can be expected. The Vatican's control over governments in predominantly Catholic countries is illustrated by excerpts from a study by a Canadian sociologist who points out that the world is faced with Vatican imperialism to some extent. This article concludes that nothing significant is likely to happen in population control efforts until the United States confronts the Vatican on this issue as the weak governments of most nations would not survive such as effort.