OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS CONCERNS
This chapter reviews two issues in the development of family planning programs that are related to human rights. The preceding discussions of the demographic rationale and the broader context of reproductive health for family planning noted the significance of human rights considerations. The controversies, criticisms, and research presented in this chapter deal with other issues related to human rights—those based on fears of cultural intrusion stemming from the activities of the international population movement and religious concerns and influences that are an important component of culture in many settings.
The issue of cultural intrusion has appeared from time to time in different contexts over the past several decades. One of the first public expressions of this concern was at the 1974 UN population conference. Many of the government representatives from developing countries attending the conference reacted to what was seen as an attempt by a few developed countries to impose their definition of the international population agenda. In addition, charges of cultural intrusion, based on perceptions of Western aid supporting family planning programs as a way to contain the numbers of people living in developing countries, came from leftists in Latin American countries in the 1970s and from militant Muslims. Some of the concerns also presumed that couples in many developing countries were not interested in regulating their fertility (e.g., for cultural reasons such as a preference for sons) and that many couples were averse to using