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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)
JOICFP NEWS. 1999 Jan; (295):3.In an effort to increase public awareness in Japan of global population and reproductive health issues, 5 Japanese journalists from Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK), Kyodo News, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Yomiuri Shimbun, and FM Hokkaido traveled with a JOICFP team in Mexico for 12 days in October 1988. It is hoped that, following their experience in Mexico, the journalists will help to create favorable public opinion in Japan toward development assistance in population. The UNFPA Mexico office, the Japanese embassy, JICA, central and local ministries of health, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Mexico City and rural areas were visited during the tour. Specific sites and programs visited include a NGO in Catemaco, Veracruz state, a junior high school sexuality education program funded by the Packard Foundation, a community guest house for child deliveries in Puebla State, and a MEXFAM clinic funded by the owner of a towel factory. As a result of the study tour, an 8-minute program was aired on NHK, featuring an interview with the director of MEXFAM. The journalists learned from the tour.
[Unpublished] 1989 Jan. ii, 60,  p. (USAID Contract No. DPE-3028-C-00-4079-00)Results and recommendations are presented from an island-wide survey of knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) regarding sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and AIDS in Jamaica. In addition to providing broad baseline data for future studies of changes in KAP related to STDs and AIDS, the survey was conducted to examine the effect of earlier communication programs upon KAP, and family planning attitudes and practice. Researchers were specifically interested in the extent to which the image of the condom was affected as a family planning method and prophylactic. 1,200 interviews were completed for the survey. Findings are presented on the demographic and social characteristics of the sample; knowledge and awareness of STDs, AIDS, AIDS symptoms, and AIDS tests; impressions about AIDS cures; attitudes toward a person with AIDS; AIDS information sources; knowledge of measures to prevent or reduce the rick of contracting AIDS; perceptions of personal risk; changes in AIDS-related behavior; and the knowledge, image, use, and availability of condoms. Recommendations address the development of new revised media messages, education for the prevention of HIV infection, and the need to ensure the public of the safety of blood supplies in Jamaica. Interventions should be targeted to a broad audience, and efforts made to discourage fatalistic views on contracting HIV.
JOURNAL OF APPLIED SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY. 1986; 16(2):95-106.Government policy toward provision of sex education and contraception for adolescents is influenced by public opinion. This is reflected in the fact that recent program formulation appears to follow the conventional wisdom of a general conservative shift among the American public; i.e., recent policy toward adolescent pregnancy is conservative in the sense of being reactive rather than preventive. The validity of this conventional wisdom was checked by examining available data on public opinion toward sex education and birth control services for teenagers. However, these data reveal an upward, not a downward, trend in public approval of such services for adolescents, which runs counter to the conventional wisdom. The available data on American opinions and values demonstrate that the overall movement in attitudes decisively contradicts the idea of a simple conservative swing. Provision of more and better contraceptive services and sex education to teenagers is an important policy goal that would lower the incidence of adolescent pregnancy and would be supported by the American people. (author's modified.)
Lexington, Kentucky, University of Kentucky, Center for Developmental Change, 1985 Jun. vii, 141 p. (CDC Development Papers No. 21)An interdisciplinary study, which incorporates a community-based and multimethod approach in a rural, historically high fertility community of Southern Appalachia, was conducted to describe the current pattern of fertility regulation behavior among the study population and to discern the most significant factors associated with such regulation in this contemporary rural-mountain community. A 3-phase research design was used, combining an inventory of local public opinion about birth control and family planning services with a social survey and related ethnographic field studies on the fertility regulation behavior of individuals and specifically married couples living in the community. In addition, the research team conducted a county-wide survey consisting of interviews with 407 married women of childbearing age (15-45) in intact conjugal units and a follow-up study involving indepth interviews with 107 of the 407 women. The county community hospital and health department have played a major role in the provision and delivery of family planning services to community residents since at least the early to mid-1960s. There is general agreement among community leaders, health professionals, and survey respondents that family planning services are now widely available and accessible to individuals and families throughout the county. There is general community support for smaller families and the decision of young married couples to use birth control and to postpone childbearing for a period of time following their marriage. Also there is general community support for educational activities in secondary schools. Family has declined for several reasons since the 1970s, including a tendency to think of childbearing in terms of socioeconomic conditions and to consider the costs of raising and educating children. Active fertility management practices among married couples appear to be rooted primarily in biological, economic, and family considerations as well as increased knowledge of wives and husbands about birth control and greater availability and accessibility of modern contraceptive methods. 8 out of 10 couples with wives who are not currently pregnant are using a method of fertility management. About half of these couples have chosen sterilization. Almost 2/3 of the wives among couples who were sterilized were either pregnant or just had a baby when the couple first considered sterilization. It is concluded that the contemporary patterns of fertility regulation among married couples in the study community are strikingly similar to those found among most other American couples today.
Ottawa, Canada, International Development Research Centre, 1973. 30 p. (IDRC-009e)This paper evaluates the progress of a Latin American population through stages in family planning adoption. The focus is on changes in knowledge of contraception, attitudes, and practices which occurred over 5 years (1964-69) of widespread public discussion concerning family planning and of program activity in Bogota, Colombia. Data from 2 surveys, 1 in 1964 and the other in 1969, permit the 1st temporal analysis of family planning adoption for a major metropolitan city in Latin America. Additional data on rural and small urban areas of Colombia from the 2nd survey permit a limited assessment of diffusion of family planning from the city to the nation as a whole. The 1st survey in Bogota revealed moderate to high levels of knowledge of contraceptive methods and generally favorable attitudes to birth limitation. However, at this time many women had never spoken to their husbands about the number of children they wanted, nor tried a contraceptive method at any time. The 2nd survey showed substantial changes in this picture. The proportion of currently mated women who had spoken to their husbands about family size preference changed from 43 to 62% for an increase of 71%. Fertility fell appreciably over this period, especially among younger women. Family planning program services had a significant direct contribution to the adoption process, since 36% of mated women had been to a clinic by 1969. The most modern methods of birth control -- the anovulatory pill and the intrauterine device -- which were scarcely known in 1964 were widely known in 1969, and contributed most to the observed increase in current contraceptive practice. However, among the previously known methods, the simplest method of all, withdrawal (coitus interruptus), showed the greatest increase in current practice and remained the most commonly used method. These findings suggest that favorable attitudes and knowledge tend to become rather widespread before levels of husband-wife discussion of family size preferences and levels of contraceptive trial increase appreciably. The results also indicate that contraceptive knowledge and favorable family planning attitudes are spreading rapidly outward from the cities into the rural areas, but that contraceptive practice is still predominantly restricted to urban populations. (author's)
Victor-Bostrom Fund Report. 1968 Fall; (10):24-6.As government increasingly recognizes its own obligations to support and provide family planning as a health and social measure, serious questions are raised as to the proper role for Planned Parenthood World Federation as a private organization. Federal programs both at home and abroad tend to make private fundraising more difficult, whatever the role of this organization may be. Contrary to common impression, experience thus far indicates that the existence of governmental programs does not decrease demands on Planned Parenthood as a private agency. A wide gap also exists between public acceptance, which has been realized, and public conviction, which still has not been accepted. Only those who feel distress at the vision of an all-encompassing megalopolis, only those with concern for the qualify of life in the crowd, and only those who see finite limits of resources recognize that the US must someday plan a halt to population growth. As the gap between the developed and the underdeveloped world widens, economists point out that the US, with less than 6% of the world's population, already consumes some 50% of the world's available raw materials. Business and government leaders are beginning to understand the rate at which an industrial and affluent society consumes the world's substance and threatens the environment. If the assumption is correct that the population explosion constitutes a major threat to life on earth, then America's own attitudes and actions at home, as well as abroad and in the developing countries, are vital. In the next few years Planned Parenthood faces the task of converting the tide of public acceptance into one of conviction and effective action on a giant scale both at home and abroad. In its effort, Planned Parenthood has continued to expand its own service functions. It now has 157 local affiliates with an additional 30 in the organizational stage. In 1967 Planned Parenthood affiliates operated 470 family planning centers, 71 more than in the previous year. Beginning in 1964 an attempt was made to quantify the needs and the costs of bringing birth control services to all who need it in the US. The partnership with government has been more intimate than simple parallelism of effort. Planned Parenthood initiated or helped to administer nearly half of the family planning projects sponsored by the War on Poverty. It has served as a consultant on family planning programs to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and assisted affiliates and other community agencies in developing project applications for federal funds totalling about $4 million, of which about $2 million for 25 projects has been funded. Planned Parenthood World Population has undertaken the planning function and has for that purpose established a national technical assistance center and program.
Journal of Social History. 1985 Spring; 18(3):399-411.The transition from resistance to acceptance of birth control in the US can be characterized as a 3 stage process, with each period facing its own issues and choices. The 1st stage -- the fight over birth control in the early 20th century -- has been documented by historians like James Reed, Linda Gordon, and David Kennedy. A 2nd stage, approximately the years from 1936-60, has not been fully explored although the period was crucial in shaping the current system of contraceptive health care. This discussion focuses on this transitional period, particularly its 1st decade, 1936-47. Physicians' attitudes, as revealed through American Medical Association (AMA) policy and a national survey conducted in 1947, are considered in relation to reported data on clinic and private practice. This evidence reveals that despite the liberalization of laws and public opinion in the mid-1930s, contraception did not become widely available until after 1960 -- the beginning of the 3rd stage in the history of American contraception -- and that the restriction of birth control information during the period was traceble in large part to the medical profession. Analysis of the 1936-47 decade, particularly with regard to the concerns of doctors, provides a framework for understanding the forces that affected contraceptive health care in the mid 20th century and suggests conditions that continue to shape the politics of birth control. In 1936, when the AMA's committee on contraception submitted its 1st report, it was clear that legal and public opinion had moved decisively toward more liberal attitudes concerning birth control. In 1937 the AMA passed a qualified endorsement of birth control, indicating that the organized medical profession as represented by the AMA held views on birth control at the beginning of the 2nd stage that were more conservative than those of most middle-class Americans. Its conservatism was challenged by lay groups who threatened to circumvent standard office practice if physicians failed to modify their views. Public opinion and behavior thus had a demonstrable effect on medical attitudes. 10 years after the AMA resolution a suvey found that more than 2/3 of physicians approved of contraception for any married women who requested it. The 1937-47 period witnessed 2 important changes in medical attitudes toward contraception: the profession's public, though cautious, endorsement of birth control; and the apparent adoption of liberalized standards for the prescription of contraceptive materials. The period also was a time of tremendous growth for the new birth control clinics that offered services to women who could not afford private care. Available evidence suggests that physicians' attitudes toward contraception, and particularly toward birth control clinics, were more important than either laws or public opinion in limiting the availability of those contraceptives considered most efficient (and most compatible with sexual pleasure) between 1936-60.
Family Planning Perspectives. October 1972; 4(4):44-55.During the years from 1965 to 1970, American attitudes shifted toward support of voluntary fertility control with many more people supporting elective abortion and contraception. Gallup polls taken in 1972, based on 1574 respondents, showed that 64% of whites and 51% of blacks agreed: "abortion should be a decision between a woman and her doctor." 3 out of 4 Americans agreed that birth control services (counseling, information, supplies) should be provided for sexually active teenagers. Highest support for both birth control and abortion came from better educated, more affluent Westerners. Causes of these attitude changes may be traced to factors such as availability of effective contraceptives, alternate roles for women, and liberalization of restrictive laws concerning abortion, contraception, and sterilization.
In: McDaniel EB, ed. Second Asian Regional Workshop on Injectable Contraceptives. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, World Neighbors, 1982. 74-83.To prevent anti Depo-Provera publicity family planning associations have used a number of techniques. They have helped to create positive attitudes to family planning by identifying, contacting, and informing decision makers and community opinion leaders. They have also pinpointed the opposition and tried to find areas of agreement. The author suggests that in reassuring the public serious concerns about Depo-Provera should be investigated and corrected and that a possible complication should not be covered up. The anti Depo-Provera publicity is mostly concentrated in the international women's movement and it is suggested to try to establish communication with women's groups which are not completely opposed to Depo-Provera. Planning family planning with a broader social context has depended on adjusting family planning programs to local development needs. If family planning organizations are seen as helping with community health and better living conditions there might be more positive attitudes toward the use of Depo-Provera as a family planning product. Successful Depo-Provera users also need to be encouraged to speak openly, especially if they are in influential positions. In addition journalists can be invited to hear the positive arguments for Depo-Provera and about family planning organizations in general, and if the confidence of the journalism community is gained then the family planning organization will be asked for its viewpoint more often. Some suggestions for creating good relations with media are: 1) hold press lunches, 2) hold informal briefings, 3) mail background information, 4) have third party medical support with the media, and 5) always be prepared to answer questions.