Heading by Catholic Herald
26 June 2015
SIR – Dennis Sewell’s distress at those episodes of forced sterilisation, which we have seen in India, Peru, and perhaps up to a dozen of the world’s 196 countries, will be shared by us all. (“The plot to sterilise the world’s poor” 19 June.) Happily, this forced sterilisation is condemned by the World Health Organization, by UNICEF, and by many other world organizations dealing with health and population and there is good reason to believe that we will see no more of it.
Nevertheless, those countries that can see that repeated doubling of their populations will ultimately bring disaster need to know how to control population growth voluntarily. The best example of how to do it is seen in Iran, where the fertility rate fell from 5.62 children per woman in 1985-1990 to 1.89 in 2005-2010. This was done by the provision of virtually free family planning, with health workers and clinics in most localities, encouragement from the government and from religious leaders, teaching about population matters in schools, and lessons on family planning for both men and women before marriage.