Reproductive Rights and Wrongs: The Global Politics of Population Control by
Call Number: Ebook and Print: Lakeland Circulation; HQ766 .H38 2016
Publication Date: 2016-11-21
"Those involved in women's health issues, Third World studies, and economic development should find food for thought" (Kirkus Reviews). This is an updated edition of the "influential study" (Publishers Weekly) of issues surrounding childbirth and the history of population control programs. Challenging conventional wisdom about overpopulation, and uncovering the deeper roots of poverty, environmental degradation, and gender inequalities, the author uses data and vivid case studies to explore how population control programs came to be promoted by powerful governments, foundations, and international agencies as an instrument of Cold War development and security policy. Mainly targeting poor women, these programs were designed to drive down birth rates as rapidly and cheaply as possible, with coercion often a matter of course. In the war on population growth, birth control was deployed as a weapon, rather than a tool of reproductive choice. Threaded throughout is the story of how international women's health activists fought to reform population control and promote a new agenda of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. While their efforts bore fruit, obstacles remain. On one side is the anti-choice movement that wants to deny women access not only to abortion but to most methods of contraception. On the other is a resurgent, well-funded population control lobby that often obscures its motives with the language of women's empowerment. Despite declining birth rates worldwide--average global family size is now 2.5 children--overpopulation alarm is on the rise, tied now to the threats of climate change and terrorism. Reproductive Rights and Wrongs reveals how these developments are rooted in the longer history and politics of population control. In this book, a new generation of readers will find knowledge and inspiration for the ongoing struggle to achieve reproductive rights and social, environmental, and gender justice.