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Financial Times Analyzes Global Approaches To, Debate Over Family Planning

The Financial Times‘ Andrew Jack analyzes the debate over different approaches to family planning worldwide. According to Jack, there is a “growing worry that some developing countries have failed to follow the broader ‘demographic transition’ to lower fertility levels that has occurred in past decades in the western world and more recently across Latin America and much of Asia. Experts and policymakers are calling increasingly for a renewed and more nuanced approach to family planning, focused on countries in sub-Saharan Africa as well as others such as Yemen and Pakistan that trail the trend.”

The article examines the history and future of family planning, including U.S. policy on the issue, with President Barack Obama’s recision of the Mexico City policy, which banned U.S. funding for international health groups that use their own funds to perform abortions, lobby their governments in favor of abortion rights or provide counseling about terminating pregnancies. Jack writes, Obama “has since announced an overhaul of global health funding, with fresh emphasis on broader programmes including family planning rather than focusing on a handful of high-priority diseases. His actions have been mirrored by other large donors.”

Jack also looks at the relationship between economic development and family planning and highlights some disputes in those areas among experts (Jack, 12/9).