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Does Family Planning Bring Down Fertility?

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Science  29 Jul 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6042, pp. 548-549
DOI: 10.1126/science.333.6042.548

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Summary

It's a long-running debate in the development field: whether family planning programs help reduce high fertility rates. Many demographers say that millions of women lack access to contraception, and if that gap is filled, they will have fewer children. But some economists argue that couples have large families because they want them, and until desired family size drops, family planning programs are a waste of money. More data from countries with strong family planning programs and falling birth rates have brought the two sides closer together. Now some are urging policymakers to test new projects to make sure they work in target communities before they are widely deployed.