chapter  5
30 Pages

Panorama of Fertility Control in the World

WithSimone Bateman Novaes, Michèle Biégelmann-Massari

Post-war demographic trends–a declining mortality rate with a fertility rate stable at high figures in many geographical regions–clearly seemed to indicate an accelerating increase in population growth. The UN also sponsored a series of World Conferences on Population, providing a forum for international organisations to voice their concerns. Conference was that individuals or couples should be given the freedom to set their own personal objectives with respect to fertility. Contemporary concern with the uncontrolled growth of the world’s population has tended to obscure the fact that the desire to control reproductive capacity is not specific to modern times or to developed countries. The history of eugenic uses of sterilisation at the turn of the century is well-documented, and has in many countries led to mistrust concerning the appropriateness of sterilisation as a contraceptive method.