Should Evangelical Christian organizations support international family planning?
The evangelical Christian church and Christian international organizations today face considerable pressure to promote family planning in the course of their activities overseas. This pressure can be subtle, or overt; the need to provide family planning is often couched in terms of biblical compassion, justice, improvement in women’s health, poverty alleviation, or development. It is evident from even a superficial glance at the Internet that the concept of “family planning” is heavily laden with negative associations due to the bitter legacy of eugenics and population control. Does family planning include just contraception? Or is there a mentality or implicit agenda behind the use of contraceptive technology? What are the possible results of promoting family planning as part of the Church’s international activities? Is there a mandate, Scriptural or otherwise, for Christians and international Christian organizations, to promote pregnancy prevention? More important to the practicing Christian, what are the assumptions behind the “need” for family planning in the context of Christian global health? We discuss ethical and theological frameworks as well as scientific and epidemiologic data from an Evangelical Christian perspective that might help inform discourse and decision-making on this controversial subject .
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