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Family Planning Policies To Raise, Lower Birthrates Could Have ‘Unanticipated Consequences’ On Population

The Guardian: The Guardian view on family planning policies: two kids or too many?
Editorial Board

“…Reports emerged last month that China is considering scrapping all limits on family size — after a more modest shift from the ‘one-child’ policy to a universal two-child rule three years ago failed to produce the baby boom officials had sought. … Meanwhile, Egypt has declared ‘two is enough’ as it struggles to hold back a rising birthrate. … Population matters, but panics about both low and high levels tend to be exaggerated. The former might be better addressed through measures such as immigration and increased productivity than telling people to make more babies. In the latter case, the education and empowerment of women, improved access to contraception and family planning advice … and social support … are all part of the solution. Still, Egypt might want to proceed with care. As China and Singapore have found, an apparently desirable fall in the birthrate can have unanticipated consequences. Governments are able, in the last resort and at great human cost, to enforce maximal limits. Making people have more children is trickier” (6/3).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.