The fifth freedom revisited: II, The way forward

PIP: The goal of doubling the number of contraceptive acceptors in the world during the 1990s is achievable if family planning services are made universally accessible and a continuous supply of contraceptives is maintained. With serious attention to the elimination of unwanted pregnancies, the world’s population could stabilize at under 8 billion; without it, the global population will approach 15 billion before stabilization. To counteract the impact of a 30% increase in the numbers of women of fertile age in developing countries during the 1990s, 130 million new contraceptive acceptors must be recruited during the decade. A doubling of contraceptive use by 2000 also implies an infusion of investment in international family planning if the quality of services is to be adequate and abortion rates reduced. Specific methods of contraception that should be given special attention in the 1990s include voluntary surgical sterilization and socially marketed condoms (also effective in reducing the transmission of human immuno- deficiency virus). Surveys consistently indicate that 50-80% of women in Third World countries want to space or limit future childbearing. The guarantee of universally accessible family planning services makes this possible and will also contribute to an ecologically global economy.”

Published in Lancet, 11 24 1990, 336(8726):1293-5