“Family Planning” in the Developing World

by Hallie Dukoff on February 21, 2014



Population control is something that is highly debated. Many areas of the world have been capable of having a decent control over the population growth. In certain countries in Europe, the population growth has actually fallen below a 0% increase and into negative numbers, meaning the amount of deaths actually outweighs the number of births. However, there are areas of the world, such as Africa, where the population growth rate is incredibly high. This is still a developing area of the world, where resources like family planning are not readily available. Without easy access to these services, many families are unable to have access to information and contraceptives to prevent the conception of children and continue the rapid population increase.

A study was done on a colony of rats that did not allow any control over the population. The behavior of the rats showed that males were more likely to fight and become hyperactive and hypersexual, while females aborted pregnancies and more frequently neglected and killed their young. While rats are not the best example of animals with similar behavior of humans, this is an example of what could happen to society if the population is left unchecked. When families have higher amounts of children, as they do in underdeveloped areas of the world, there will not be enough resources to provide adequate care and nourishment for the children.

In the past, the United States has tried to implement methods of family planning in developing countries in order to curve the rapid population growth. Since the early 1970’s, the US has attempted to provide funding using American tax dollars for what they called “family planning” in over 25 different developing nations, including Haiti, Bangladesh, and El Salvador. What actually occurred when the “family planning” was brought to these nations was not actually what it was said to be. The US government had teamed up with the A. H. Robbins Corporation, which is now defunct, used soldiers that would force experimental contraceptives in women, and even forcibly sterilize them. The organizations that the US government created as “family planning” units were named the United Nations Population Fund and the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

Beginning in the 1980’s, they were given sterilization quotas, which they had to meet. Women were sterilized without their consent, and were even denied humanitarian help when flooding destroyed villages in Bangladesh if they did not become sterilized. Women in Haiti were given the option of receiving the Norplant contraceptive implant, but were misled about the effects the implant could have on them. This made some women extremely ill, but they were refused the medical care necessary to remove the implant and restore their health. In Mexican government hospitals, women who were there to give birth were also given an IUD as contraceptive or were sterilized without their knowledge or consent immediately after giving birth.

The apparent “family planning” that was being provided was not the education and options that many in the developing world know. These methods were just seen as an easy way to try to force the population growth to decrease without spending time educating people about contraceptives and actual family planning. While trying to seem helpful, the United States government was just funding something that was more like an experiment than an actual plan. They went ahead and forced “family planning” without any regard the health and safety of the women they implemented these practices on. The only hope was population control, and not what family planning actually is.





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Sauvegarde automatique April 28, 2014 at 3:51 pm

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