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 You are in: Special Report: 1999: 06/99: World population  
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World population Wednesday, 30 June, 1999, 15:19 GMT 16:19 UK
Viewpoints: Population control
Family planning issues provoke deep controversy
The issue of population control is a political and moral battlefield. BBC News Online invited two organisations with opposing views on the subject to outline their concerns:

  • The International Planned Parenthood Organisation: expects to fight hard to defend the Cairo programme. It believes extending choice over family planning will improve women's health and alleviate poverty.
  • Human Life International: says it is the world's biggest pro-family organisation and whose aim is to promote the teachings of the Catholic Church, opposes contraception, believing it an affront to the sanctity of human life, and calls 'comprehensive sex education' immoral.


    Father Richard Welch, President of Human Life International:

    "Five years ago, the Clinton administration and other western interests utilised the Cairo conference to promote their agenda of population control.

    "They called for 'ethnic cleansing' of the undeveloped world through worldwide abortion on demand and pushed global birth control and autonomous rights for children as young as 10 without parental rights.

    World Population
    "They might have succeeded had it not been for the intervention of the Holy See and knowledgeable NGOs who formed a coalition of Christian and Muslim Third World nations to oppose attempts to impose birth control and abortion on demand by wealthier UN member states.

    "Undaunted by defeat, population controllers are back again. This time they are attempting to remove reference to parental rights and responsibilities from the final document they submit to the UN for approval.

    "They will also seek to make some nations change their laws to permit abortion on demand and artificial birth control - both clearly forbidden by Christian and Muslim teachings.

    "To force religious people to submit to such blatantly racist and genocidal agendas is an affront to the UN charter.

    "If approved, population controllers will have economic sanctions and international law on their side, and the rights of parents will be subjugated to the state."


    International Planned Parenthood Federation:

    "Global statistics show that there is still much work to be done if the international community is serious about meeting the sexual and reproductive needs of women, men and young people.

    "IPPF believes that reproductive rights are crucial in this context. These rights are not new rights and have been affirmed in international conventions, covenants and declarations for decades.

    "Reproductive rights protect the individual against coercion, discrimination and violence, as well as include the right of couples and individuals to make decisions concerning their reproductive health.

    "High quality family planning and sexual and reproductive health services must be made available, accessible and affordable to everyone who needs them.

    "Such services are necessary to ensure that individuals can choose whether or not to have children, when to have them, how many to have and how frequently to have them."

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