Eighteen Months of Legal Change (Fertility control)

 In most countries there have been recent shifts of legal policy in support of family planning as an integral part of national programs.  Restrictions on abortion and sterilization have been eased in some countries.  Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary have narrowed the relatively broad eligibility for abortion but called for added emphasis on family planning education.  In June 1974 an international symposium on Law and Population organized by the International Advisory Committee on Population and Law, UNFPA, and other international groups was held in Tunis.  It recommended a number of legal changes intended to assist in the extension of family planning information and services which is essential if every couple is to exercise the basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number  and spacing of their offspring.  Effective methods of contraception must readily be available also.  This has been happening in several European countries through effective legislation.  Also, several countries are now taking legal action to alter the economic advantages and disadvantages of having children.  Tables in this report show changes in law or policy which have taken place in various countries between January 1973 - June 1974 relating to family planning information and services, contraceptive methods, voluntary sterilization, abortion,  and economic incentives and disincentives.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health,Center for Communication Programs,Population Information Program