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REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH MATTERS. 2000 Nov; 8(16):185.A new reproductive health law was passed in the city of Buenos Aires in June 2000, marking an important turning point in the history of reproductive health and rights in Argentina. The law is based on the City's Constitution of 1996 which "recognizes sexual and reproductive rights free of violence and coercion as basic human rights". The law: 1) guarantees women's and men's access to contraceptive information, methods and services needed for the responsible exercise of their sexual and reproductive rights; 2) guarantees holistic care for women during pregnancy, delivery and puerperium; and 3) establishes actions to reduce maternal/child mortality and morbidity. The law generated heated debate and street demonstrations, particularly regarding whether adolescents should have access to contraceptives without parental authorization, whether the IUD should be included among the methods provided at public facilities (as many opponents claimed the IUD is an abortifacient), and the duty of public health care workers to provide family planning services even if this is against their principles or religious beliefs. When the law was passed, the provision of IUDs was included along with other reversible and temporary methods; sterilization, therefore, appears to have been excluded. Parental authorization for adolescents requesting contraception was not required, but instead the law encouraged the participation of parents in everything to do with the reproductive health of their children, where possible. Finally, the law encouraged the use of condoms for dual protection. There was no reference to conscientious objection. (full text)
Menlo Park, California, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 1996 Jan 31.  p.This series of tables illustrates findings from the Kaiser Family Foundation's 1996 National (US) Survey on Public Perceptions about Contraception. Pie charts show that 43% of women aged 18-44 (women of reproductive age [WRA]) and 39% of all Americans believe that oral contraceptives (OCs) are somewhat safe and an additional 25 and 17%, respectively, believe OCs are very safe. The charts indicate that 61% of WRA and 44% of all Americans cite potential health risks as their primary safety concerns (20 and 24%, respectively, cite lack of protection against disease, and 20 and 7%, respectively, doubt the contraceptive efficacy of OCs). Most WRA (58%) believe that OCs have no effect on the likelihood of developing osteoporosis, but only 41% believe that chances of acquiring breast cancer are unaffected by OC use (32% believe chances are heightened). Most WRA (57%) believe that OCs increase chances of blood clots, and only 16% believe that OC use reduces chances of developing ovarian cancer. Nearly half (47%) of the WRA believe that women's chances of getting heart disease are not affected by OC use. WRA receive most of their contraceptive information from physicians (88%), nurses (75%), family/friends (60%), television (48%), magazines (43%), advertisements (41%), and printed media (40%). Among WRA who have ever used OCs, 53% reported that their partner had no influence in their decision to use this method (19% reported that their partner had a lot of influence). Most men (76%) whose current or most recent partner used OCs reported that their partner had a lot of influence in this decision.
Family Planning Perspectives. 1997 Mar-Apr; 29(2):70-5.A 1994-95 survey of men and women aged 18-44 years in the US, Canada, and the Netherlands revealed considerable differences in public knowledge and perceptions about unplanned pregnancy and contraception. The proportion who believe that unplanned pregnancy is a "very big problem" is 60% in the US, 36% in Canada, and 6% in the Netherlands. Americans are more likely than their Canadian or Dutch counterparts to cite societal problems as significant factors in the rate of unplanned pregnancy; higher proportions of Americans also cite the cost of contraceptives (52% vs. 46% of Canadians and 34% of the Dutch) and an inability to obtain methods (66%, 51%, and 33%, respectively). In all three countries, adults are generally well informed about the relative effectiveness of commonly used contraceptives, but Americans are more skeptical about method safety and effectiveness. For example, 17% think the pill is "very safe," compared with 21% of Canadians and 40% of the Dutch; and whereas 64% of Americans consider the pill "very effective," 73% of Canadians and 90% of the Dutch give it this rating. Health care professionals are the most frequently cited source of contraceptive information, but only 51-63% of adults have ever discussed contraception with such a practitioner. (author's)
[Unpublished] 1988 Nov. ii, 23 p. (USAID Contract No. DPE-3028-C-00-4079-00)Associated with sexually transmitted diseases and illicit sex, condoms suffer poor images as family planning methods in some countries. Research was therefore conducted to examine the effect of AIDS communications programs upon condom use in family planning in Mexico. Reaching samples of 1300 males and 1300 females aged 15-60 years in 36 Mexican cities, 5 questions regarding attitudes toward and knowledge of condoms were included in 6 waves of omnibus surveys over the course of 1988. The surveys were conducted concurrently with a governmental AIDS information campaign, and aimed to measure attitudinal changes over the period. Unprompted knowledge of condoms' use in protecting against HIV infection increased from baseline levels of 14% to a high of 37% in the 5th survey wave, while unprompted knowledge of condoms for both family planning and AIDS prevention grew to 32% from an initial 11%. Knowledge targeted for increase by the campaign, therefore, significantly increased over the campaign and survey period. The image of condoms has not been tarnished, and may have, in fact, been bolstered by the campaign and related media attention. These results suggest that AIDS information campaigns are likely to lead to increased demand for condoms.
Social Biology. 1977 Winter; 24(4):267-280.Until recently it appeared as if oral contraception greatly reduced the costs of fertility control. The advantages of effectiveness and the convenience of this method in preference to coitus-related contraception led to the dramatic increase in oral contraceptive (OC) use during the 1960s in the U.S. The trend in the 1970s is different. OC use has leveled off, and suspicions have arisen that the net costs to women of using this form of birth control are higher than was previously believed. Discontinuation rates by women who have been on OCs have increased despite major improvement in the chemistry of the OC in recent years. In view of the evidence concerning the apparent risks to health associated with OCs, the current trend is not surprising. The range of major diseases for which the relative risk is higher among OC users seems to be broadening, and, as a consequence, the cumulative absolute risk overall of these diseases may be very much higher than was believed when only selected thromboembolic entities seemed to be involved. In order to obtain the public's view about the safety of OCs, 1500 voting age adults have been questioned in national surveys since 1966. 34% of the respondents in 1976 said that they believed the OC to be safe, but 47% of this group meant that it is as safe as aspirin. 34% ranked it as being somewhat less safe than aspirin. Their answers indicate that over time there had been increasing anxiety about the safety of the OC, but no general sense of panic. Even among those who felt it is unsafe, only a minority are willing to label it as "really dangerous."