Funding family planningBMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6930.718 (Published 12 March 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:718
EDITOR, - Brian Harradine calls for an end to “population control programmes” funded by, among others, the International Planned Parenthood Federation “because of their coercive nature and the negative effect they have on women's health.”1 The aim of the International Planned Parenthood Federation is to provide women and their families with information and services that will allow them to live healthier and longer lives. Through its worldwide network of autonomous national family planning associations the federation responds to family planning needs and reproductive health needs expressed by local people, particularly women.
Currently more than 120 million women in the developing world are not using contraception although they say that they want to avoid pregnancy.2 As many as 500 000 women die every year from causes related to pregnancy.3 An African woman has a 1 in 22 likelihood of dying from a cause related to pregnancy.4 These figures are well known to those working with reproductive health issues. On paper, however, they do not necessarily reflect the suffering and ill health that each of those women may encounter in her desire to practise the right to regulate her own fertility.
The International Planned Parenthood Federation agrees with Harradine's hope that family planning programmes will continue to concentrate on the individual needs of users. It enjoys a close relationship with the Australian International Development Assistance Bureau and hopes for the bureau's continuing support in its work.