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Laws and policies affecting fertility: a decade of change. Leis e politicas que afetam a fecundidade: uma decada de mudancas.
Population Reports. Series E: Law and Policy. 1984; (7):E105-E151.In the last decade over 50 countries have strengthened laws or policies relating to fertility. Approximately 40 developing countries have issued explicit statements on population policy emphasizing the relationship to national development. In several countries constitutional amendments have been passed reflecting a more positive attitude toward family planning. High-level units, e.g. small technical units, interministerial councils and coordinating councils have been established to formulate policies or coordinate programs. Other actions relating to fertility include: increased resources for family planning programs, both in the public and in the private sector; elimination of restrictions on family planning information, services and supplies; special benefits for family planning acceptors or couples with small families, and measures to improve the status of women, which indirectly affects childbearing patterns. The recognition that policies, laws and programs to influence fertility are an integral part of efforts to promote social and economic development was reaffirmed at the International Conference on Population in Mexico City in 1984. 147 governments expressed their support for voluntary programs to help people control their fertility. Governments cite at least 4 reasons for increased attention to policies affecting fertility and family planning. Some of these are the desire to slow population growth to achieve national development objectives, concern for maternal and child health, support for the basic human right to determine family size, and equity in the provision of health services. In addition to the strongest laws and policies to lower fertility in Asia, legal changes are occurring in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. Family planning programs, laws on contraceptives and voluntary sterilization, compensation, incentives and disincentives, the legal status of women and fertility and policy-making and implementation are reviewed, as well as equal employment, education, political and civil rights and equality of women within marriage and the family.
Washington, D.C., Heritage Foundation, 1984 Aug 27. 16 p. (Backgrounder No. 376)The United Nations' 2nd World Population Conference (Mexico City, 1984) called for greatly expanding funding for family planning assistance worldwide. The United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), the conference's chief sponsor, will no doubt receive the largest portion of any assistance increase. UNFPA plays a critical role in population-related programs worldwide. The central debate on population policy should be over the extent and adequacy of the natural resources base and how countries can humanely and voluntarily change family size preferences. In countries like Singapore and South Korea, success has been achieved by combining social and economic incentives to discourage large families. Although couples in developing countries report wanting contraceptive service programs, they also want families of 4 to 6 children. So far UNFPA has been ineffective in changing the population situation. This overview of its activities reveals that UNFPA loses ultimate reponsibility for implementation of many of its own programs. UNFPA does not advocate a reduction in population growth within a single country, but rather helps couples have the number of children they desire. UNFPA's specific population and family programs are divided into functional areas: basic data collection, population change study, formulation and implementation of population policies, support for family planning/maternal child health programs and educational and communication programs. UNFPA stresses the importance of using contraceptives but not of achieving the small family norm. UNFPA's projects in some of the largest less developed nations are described, illustrating how the UN agency spends its assistance funds. From 1971 to 1982, the UNFPA spent almost US $230 million in the 10 largest less developed countries without any significant change in population growth. UNFPA program administrators are far from resolving the serious population problems facing developing countries and generally oblivious to new directions in which population policies should move. No progress will be made until UNFPA recognizes the need to approach the problem from a different perspective, working to change attitudes toward small families.
Fertility and the family: highlights of the issues in the context of the World Population Plan of Action.
In: United Nations. Department of International Economic and Social Affairs. Population Division. Fertility and family. New York, New York, United Nations, 1984. 45-73. (International Conference on Popualtion, 1984; Statements)This paper uses as its organizing principle 5 major themes which run through the sections of the 1974 World Population Plan of Action (WPPA) devoted to fertility and the family. The purpose of this paper it to assure that their discussion is comprehensive and that it reviews all the major research and policy concerns with respect to fertility and the family that have played an important role in the general debate about these issues since 1974. Summerized here are the contributions included in this volumen, as each deals with at least 1 of these issues. The 1st major theme focuses on fertility response to modernization as a facet of the interrelationship between population and development. Discussed are aspects of modernization leading to fertility increases, in particular the reduced incidence and shorter duration of breastfeeding, and those leading to fertility decline, namely the decline in the value of children as a source of labor and old-age support. Freedom of choice, information and education are the principal approaches within which childbearing decision making is discussed. Women's reproductive and economic activity during their life cycle, and the relationship of family types and functions to fertility levels and change are equally addressed. Finally, demographic goals and policy alternatives with respect to fertility change are discussed in terms of a number of policy options: family planning programs, economic incentives and disincentives and more global socioeconomic measures. Although primary attention is given to the problems and policies of developing countries, the special problems of certrain developed countries which view their fertility as too low are also considered. The issues raised in this paper are put forward as an aid to assist in the identification of emderging areas of policy concern and of fruitful new research directions.