ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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'Meeting the Unmet'

Innovations in Family Planning: Case Studies from India edited by Jay Satia, Kavita Chauhan, Aruna Bhattacharya and Nirmala Mishra (2016); New Delhi: Sage Publications; pp 292, ₹850.

Family planning has had a long, diverse and tempestuous history in our country. After independence, India was one of the first countries to implement a state-sponsored family planning programme, with concerted efforts towards reduction of fertility and population growth rates. Various strategies were applied over time in this direction. These ranged from contraceptive-specific incentives to the infamous target-based coercive sterilisation approach, and, more recently, the integrated reproductive and child health approach.

This reduction in total fertility and population growth rates, however, has stagnated over the past decade. The population momentum has driven about 70% of the population growth. Hence, the declines have not been as they would have been expected, to be concomitant with developments in society. India has missed the Millennium Development Goals target of reduction in infant and child mortality, and has barely met the maternal mortality reduction targets. It becomes imperative, in this context, to discuss women’s access to family planning choices while determining the gaps leading to unplanned and unsafe pregnancies.

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