While the health and well-being of millions of people throughout the world is adversely affected by many factors -- inequitable distribution, failure fully to develop resources, etc., -- the uncontrolled increase in population is undoubtedly one of the most important elements. In many areas of the world substantial population increase means malnutrition and outright starvation. In other areas it may mean increased stress in family life, reduction of educational opportunities, and in undeveloped lands retardation of the industrial development on which the nation's rising standard of living depends.
The healthful effects, both physically and emotionally, of family planning and spacing of births has been recognized by leaders of the major religious groups, as well as Leaders in medicine, welfare and public affairs. Several methods for the regulation of conception are now available. one or another of these may be acceptable as medically appropriate, as economically feasible, and as consistent with the creed and mores of the family concerned.
The American Ethical Union believes therefore that:
1. Tax supported hospitals and public health facilities should give increased attention to the impact of population change on health.
2. Scientific research should be expanded and intensified on all aspects of the control of human fertility, and educational techniques should be broadly employed for the better informing of the public.
3. Programs concerned with population growth and family size should be integral parts of all public health and welfare projects, and should include advice and services solicited by individuals.
4. Full freedom should be extended, and all information made available for the selection and use of such methods for the regulation of family size as are consistent with the creed and mores of the individuals concerned.
Source: Where We Stand ... 1969
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