International Family Planning Programs

Criticisms and Responses

by Judith R. Seltzer

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This research brief describes work documented in The Origins and Evolution of Family Planning Programs in Developing Countries (MR-1276-WFHF/DLPF/RF).

Excerpt: Family planning programs occupy an unusual place in the public policy arena. They exist in virtually every nation in the world (see figure), yet they continue to spark controversy in some quarters. The Origins and Evolution of Family Planning Programs in Developing Countries, by Judith R. Seltzer, examines the main critiques of family planning programs and places these in historical context. The report also examines the research record to assess the validity of these criticisms and to document how programs have evolved in response to these criticisms. The intent in surveying this historical record is to enable readers to view current debates about family planning in a broader context and to evaluate the research evidence associated with claims made by proponents as well as critics of family planning programs.

Population Matters is funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation research brief series. RAND research briefs present policy-oriented summaries of individual published, peer-reviewed documents or of a body of published work.

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