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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology

Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index

Frequency: Bi-Monthly

ISSN 0026-4784

Online ISSN 1827-1650


Minerva Ginecologica 2004 June;56(3):271-82



The meaning of fertility control in an integrated world

Benagiano G., Testa G., Cocuzzi L.

Modern contraception was born out of the momentum of the demographic explosion that characterised the 20th century; today the phenomenon has acquired complexity because it is interconnected with population aging which is already very evident in the industrialised West, but is about to explode in the developing world too. Modern contraception played a decisive role in slowing down demographic growth which is now at a point below replacement level in numerous industrialised countries, including Italy. A phenomenon that has, unfortunately, often accompanied family planning education campaigns has been that of coercion: in the most highly populated countries and thus in those countries most exposed to the severe consequences of ultra-rapid increases in the population, governments and particularly zealous public servants have often resorted to more or less forced sterilisation and even abortion in order to achieve their targets. All of this ended in 1994 when the Cairo International Conference for Coopera-tion and Development recognised and sanctioned the new integrated concept of Repro-ductive Health. This new concept mandates that family planning and modern contraception must be integrated with all other interventions aimed at creating a state of psychophysical wellbeing in everything that concerns reproduction. Today then it is absolutely impossible to speak of ''family planning'', ''fertility control'' or ''contraception'' in isolated fashion; it is necessary to insert interventions in these fields into the global context of all other interventions in matters of reproduction. Finally, it should be recalled that in the 2nd half of the 20th century, after hundreds of thousands of years, homo sapiens performed at least 2 revolutions: the contraceptive revolution, which permitted sexuality without reproduction, and the reproductive revolution, which permitted reproduction without sexuality. Given the speed of these changes it should not surprise that they were received with suspicion, not to say fear or panic. Progress should, however, be welcomed favourably provided it does not change the essence of the relationship between parents and children and the biological balance that sustains them.

language: Italian


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