Ethical Issues in Family Planning

The introduction of “the pill” in 1960 and legalization of abortion in 1973 measurably improved the success rate and safety level of two basic family planning choices—to conceive or not and to carry through or terminate a pregnancy. Since then, in vivo fertilization and other assisted reproductive technologies and growing understanding of the human genome have vastly expanded family planning choices. As this month’s contributors demonstrate, the emerging capability to control the timing, sex, and other genetic traits of one’s offspring has created tension among the reproductive desires of individuals, professional ethics, and government policies that reflect public (un)willingness to pay for various family planning services.

Volume 14, Number 2: 89-180 Full Issue PDF