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Should Government Intervene in the Rights of the Individual with Regard to Family Planning?

Family is a small social group whose members are linked by blood and family ties. It is the foundation of society. The main functions of the family are population reproduction and parenting. The most states of the world take the responsibility to protect the interests of the family, to raise its role in society via creating all necessary social, economic and legal conditions (Johnson, 1987).

Family planning is one of the major health problems of the state as a whole. The solution of this problem is aimed at creating conditions for the birth of healthy and wanted children, reproductive health, and thereby to preserve the nation’s gene pool. The problem of family planning concerns every man, but it is essentially a problem of national security, because it is directly related to the health of future generations.

Family planning is a complex of medical and social measures to ensure the reduction of morbidity and late delivery. International experience with family planning services shows that the principles of family planning are different in different countries and depend mostly on demographics, level of socio-economic development, and relationship of religion to family planning (Kirby, 2009).

Demographic situation in the world is characterized by the following factors: 1) sharp decline in fertility and population growth and aging of it in developed countries, 2) rapid increase of population, high rates of maternal and child mortality in developing countries (Feyisetan, 2000). Programs of family planning services have different goals and priorities depending on these parameters. For example, in developed countries the primary goal is to stimulate the birth rate while in developing countries programs of planning are intended to reduce population growth. There are three types of state family planning policy:

  1. Constraining (repressive);
  2. Patronizing (aimed mainly at the distribution of family planning means);
  3. Supporting (satisfying all citizens’ requests for family planning services) (Kirby, 2009).

Of all the countries of the European Region only Ireland adheres the repressive policy. Patronizing policy is conducted in most countries in Europe and the USA, supporting – in Denmark, France, Portugal, Sweden, constraining – in Africa and Asia. Planning parenthood is regarded as one of the fundamental human rights in more than 60 countries around the world. Implementation of family planning programs contribute to the health of mother and child, controlled demographic situation, economic stability and favorable conditions for the state’s development as a whole. Creating conditions for an optimal family planning is a priority. At the present time almost every country has special programs in which implementation is a part of the state policy on family planning, aimed at preserving the health of all people around the world.

For example, Asia and Africa are continents that determine the population of the Earth in the near and medium term. On average forecast of the UN in 2050, 9322 million will live in the world and combined share of Asia and Africa will reach 80% or four fifths of the population. Growth rates and size of each continent has its own peculiarities (Feyisetan, 2000). Asia is characterized by high levels of absolute population growth while Africa has a high growth rate far surpassing the Asian. There is the conclusion that reduction in fertility through family planning services in both parts of the world is an extremely urgent task, which does not permit a long time delay. Rapid population growth compared to the rate of socio-economic development in these regions exacerbate the problems of employment, poverty, the food situation, underdevelopment of infrastructure, land issue, the low level of education, and health impacts. At the same time developed countries in Europe and the USA suffer from reduction of populations. Government creates special programs for stimulating parents for having at least one or more children.

Addressing these and many other problems lies not only in the plane of the demographic development, population policy and its important part – family planning – can achieve a gradual deceleration of natural population growth, that will facilitate the solution of the problems in Asia and Africa and create favorable situation for having children in the USA. With regard to the activities of these services and their results, as well as the aspirations of leaders of the states and the public policy of birth control, then in these areas, there are significant differences between the countries of Asia and Africa. If the leadership in most Asian countries agrees with the necessity of birth control and the appropriate policies, the countries of Africa, with few exceptions, do not show the same activity. Meanwhile, family planning has been and remains an integral part of the transformation of Asia and Africa, and most people see it as a way to increase incomes, employment, education and other elements of the transition from traditional to modern society. Family planning is a critical factor in these changes. At the same time developed countries need more different programs which could make a couple, and especially women, having a child and avoiding reduction of nation.

International Planned Parenthood Federation was established for solving problems of rapid growth and reduction of population in different countries in 1948. It is an international specialized non-governmental organization of national family planning associations from 95 countries (in Africa – 24 countries, America – 24 Asian – 22, Europe – 21 Oceania – 4). The main objectives of the International Planned Parenthood Federation are coordinative and informative activities on population and family planning; providing concerned organizations and institutions with literature and materials; training courses, seminars, exhibitions, audit and issuance permits for new means and methods of contraception, the implementation of clinical and laboratory findings (Goodson, 1997).

Having studying the situation in different countries we can see that some of them need reduction of population and the other need stimulation for giving birth to children. Family must cease to be a sphere of “private life” only. I think the government should intervene into the family planning in favor of its citizens and economy. Therefore, it is necessary to improve legislation, the adoption of laws aimed at creating favorable conditions for the family and the atmosphere in it, which will become the legal basis to combat domestic violence in any form, and forming a healthy moral climate, in every family and in society.


Works Cited:

Goodson, Patricia. Protestants and Family Planning. Journal of Religion and Health, 1997, Volume 36, Number 4, pp. 353-356. Print.
Feyisetan В., Casterline J. Fertility Preference and Contraceptive Change in Developing Countries. International Family Planning Perspectives. 2000. Volume 26. Number 3. Pp. 17-18. Print.
Johnson S.P. World Population and the United Nations. Cambridge, 1987. Pp. 45-46. Print.
Kirby, Jill. From Broken Families to the Broken Society. The Political Quarterly, April-June 2009, Volume 80, Number 2, pp. 243-247. Print.