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California Western International Law Journal. 1978 Spring; 8(2):342-67.The legislative assembly of the Marharashtra State, India, passed in 1976 a bill for compulsory sterilization which would limit families to a governmentally determined size. Such imposed prescription conflicts with the principle, recognized in 1966 by the UN, of the human right to determine family size, space children, and, most important, to have an awareness of and access to the means necessary to facilitate that decision. This principle accepts the idea that merely providing contraception is an ineffective and deficient method to reduce population. Thus, in order to be permissible, any governmental limitation on individual freedom to determine family size can be imposed only subsequent to the actual and full availability of birth control information and methods. The Marharashtra Family Act requires that if a couple has 3 living children one of the parents be sterilized, unless the children are of the same sex. This Act, as written, exceeds the scope of permissible limitation to family size, since the Act fails to protect the individual's right prior to sterilization. Indeed, there is no provision in the Act to ensure that the government will inform the people of the available methods of family planning prior to the imposition of sterilization. The existing structure of the Act, which has not been implemented yet, must be completed with a scheme for compulsory family planning education and for the provision of birth control methods before compulsory sterilization can be enacted. Without such amendment the Marharashtra Family Act will not be compatible with the human right of family planning, and continued UN funding in support of its population program would no longer be justified. The article includes the full text of bill No. 25 of 1976 for restrictions on the size of certain families in Marharashtra.
San Francisco, San Francisco Press, 1974. 292 p.Despite its high effectiveness, lack of side effects, ease of use, and low cost, condom utilization has declined in the U.S. from 30% of contracepting couples in 1955 to 15% in 1970. The present status of the condom, actions needed to facilitate its increased availability and acceptance, and research required to improve understanding of factors affecting its use are reviewed in the proceedings of a conference on the condom sponsored by the Battelle Population Study Center in 1973. It is concluded that condom use in the U.S. is not meeting its potential. Factors affecting its underutilization include negative attitudes among the medical and family planning professions; state laws restricting sales outlets, display, and advertising; inapplicable testing standards; the National Association of Broadcasters' ban on contraceptive advertising; media's reluctance to carry condom ads; manufacturer's hesitancy to widen the range of products and use aggressive marketing techniques; and physical properties of the condom itself. Further, the condom has an image problem, tending to be associated with venereal disease and prostitution and regarded as a hassle to use and an impediment to sexual sensation. Innovative, broad-based marketing and sales through a variety of outlets have been key to effective widespread condom usage in England, Japan, and Sweden. Such campaigns could be directed toward couples who cannot or will not use other methods and teenagers whose unplanned, sporadic sexual activity lends itself to condom use. Other means of increasing U.S. condom utilization include repealing state and local laws restricting condom sales to pharmacies and limiting open display; removing the ban on contraceptive advertising and changing the attitude of the media; using educational programs to correct erroneous images; and developing support for condom distribution in family planning programs. Also possible is modifying the extreme stringency of condom standards. Thinner condoms could increase usage without significantly affecting failure rates. More research is needed on condom use-effectiveness in potential user populations and in preventing venereal disease transmission; the effects of condom shape, thickness, and lubrication on consumer acceptance; reactions to condom advertising; and the point at which an acceptable level of utilization has been achieved.
Country Profiles. The Population Council, New York. September 1973.The last census in Morocco, which was done in 1971, showed the population to be 15,379,259; 111,987 were foreigners. The crude birth rate has been estimated at 50 per thousand per year and the crude death rate at 17 per thousand per year. The natural increase as estimated in 1969 was 3.3%. A coherent demographic policy was begun by the Moroccan Government in 1968 through a five-year plan. The family planning program was integrated into the structure of the Ministry of Public Health. Better education will permit the masses to better understand the importance of family planning for health and economic well-being. Staff training is essential to the program and constitutes a primary objective.