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  1. 1

    Coercion in a good cause? Challenging the ethics and effectiveness of population control.

    Narayan G

    Ann Arbor, Michigan, UMI Dissertation Services, 1995. [3], x, 124 p.

    The author of this doctoral dissertation states that population control refers to measures undertaken to reduce fertility, which, according to the "population establishment," is currently so high that it endangers planetary survival. A "crisis mentality" exists among advocates of population control, who thus support the use of coercive measures to contain the spectre of overpopulation. Coercion, manifested in the use of targets, incentives, and disincentives, is an inherent part of population control. It is used mainly against women in the Third World; the population establishment defines the "overpopulation problem" in terms of national, racial, class and gender boundaries. Moreover, as the experience of India demonstrates, coercion is ineffective in reducing fertility. Coercion is thus both unethical and ineffective, and must be abandoned. (author's)
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  2. 2

    The Norplant solution: population control Indonesian-style.

    Helwig M

    PEOPLE'S PERSPECTIVES. 1994 Jan-Feb; (6-7):27-8.

    Massive distribution of the contraceptive implant Norplant is the focus of a UN Fund for Population Assistance-supported fertility control project in Indonesia. Although information on the project's activities is limited, there are concerns that Norplant is being used specifically to reduce the East Timor population. Depo-Provera was aggressively promoted in East Timor in a 1987 government campaign, and health care workers dispensing injections were reportedly accompanied by soldiers to enforce compliance. Occupied East Timor has the highest rates of infant and maternal mortality in Indonesia. At present, two-thirds of all Norplant implants produced worldwide are sent to Indonesia, and the national family planning program is phasing out more acceptable methods such as condoms and oral contraceptives that are under the user's control. Indonesia's birth control program has been criticized for its coercive aspects, lack of range of contraceptive options, and failure to provide women with accurate information about procedures performed as part of clinical trials.
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  3. 3

    The ethics of population control.

    Warwick DP

    In: Population policy: contemporary issues, edited by Godfrey Roberts. New York, New York/London, England, Praeger, 1990. 21-37.

    On the basis of the orthodox assumption that population growth constitutes an obstacle to economic development, most countries have established programs aimed at reducing fertility through contraception. The methods used by family planning programs, ranging from voluntary acceptance through educational and informational campaigns to financial incentives or disincentives to outright forced sterilization, raise complex ethical issues. Specifically, there are 5 ethical principles--freedom, justice, welfare, truth-telling, and security/survival--that can be used to evaluate deliberate attempts to control human fertility. Such an approach suggests that forced abortion, compulsory sterilization, and all other forms of heavy pressure on clients to accept a given means of fertility control violate human freedom, justice, and welfare. The violations inherent in financial incentives are demonstrated by the fact that they are attractive only to the poor and disadvantaged sectors of the population. Family planning programs that offer incentives to field workers to meet acceptor quotas often lead to a disregard of client health and welfare by subtly encouraging workers to withhold information on medical side effects, outright deceive clients about methods that are not being promoted by the family planning program, and fail to take the time for adequate medical counseling and follow-up. Even programs that provide free choice to clients are illusory if the methods offered include controversial agents such as Depo-Provera and acceptors lack the capacity to make an informed choice about longterm effects. Recommended is the establishment of an international code of ethics for population programs drafted by a broad working group that does not have a vested interest in the code's terms.
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  4. 4

    Family planning: changed emphasis.

    ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL WEEKLY. 1987 Jul 11; 22(28):1099.

    India's family planning program has been restructured from a massive effort, using multimedia promotion and 2 million volunteers and designed to convey the "small family message" directly to the families concerned, to a smaller scale program emphasizing child survival, delayed marriage, village infrastructure, and birth spacing. The change is due to 2 factors: 1) The terminal approach failed to achieve lower birth rates because people will not accept the small family unless they can rely on the survival of the children; and 2) The terminal approach contained an element of coercion which caused the US to reduce support to the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the UN Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA). The new scaled-down approach should be more effective, since more couples are now practicing family planning and birth spacing, oral contraceptives, IUDs, and longterm hormonal contraceptives are more appropriate than terminal methods to the present demographic picture.
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  5. 5

    Compulsory sterilization: the change in India's population policy.


    Science. March 25, 1977; 195(4284):1300-1305.

    India's official advocacy of compulsory sterilization has caused dismay among those who think voluntary birth control services were never provided on a mass scale and that compulsory measures will cause resistance to family planning in general, but it has also brought relief to those who felt India's stand at the World Population Conference in 1972 was not nearly antinatalist enough. The new policy is in effect an admission that education and economic development will not bring about a drop in fertility soon enough. The timing of the policy shift can be explained by the state of emergency declared in June 1975. Prior to that, it would have been politically impossible for Mrs. Gandhi to make any strong statements in favor of birth control. Since the family planning program's inception in 1952 sterilization has been an important part, and incidence increased significantly every year until 1974 when budget cuts did not allow for program expansion. There are various possible explanations for the government's rethinking of its priorities but what was clear was that there was no clamor from the people to reinstate the services. The motivation to have small families seemed to be lacking, perhaps because it is connected to a certain socioeconomic threshhold which had not been reached by the populace when the focus shifted from sterilization to economic development as the best contraceptive. The 5 states that appear to have had a significant decline in fertility have also done well in economic development, while the family planning performance of the poorest states, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, has been dismal. The problem of motivation is further complicated by a tradition and culture that require large families. The current population contains a huge growth potential for the future; all projections of the population show substantial increases. The Chinese example in family planning cannot be followed without fundamentally changing the structure of the entire economic and political system. Only the most economically prosperous states have the personnel and facilities to enforce a compulsory sterilization law. 1 of those, Maharashtra, is on the point of passing such a law. The experience of the state will be important for future consideration of compulsory sterilization nationwide.
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