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Obstacles to Population Control

Richmond K. Anderson, MD
JAMA. 1966;197(8):643-645. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110080083026.
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The word "obstacles" in the title given to me was well chosen, for the world is in the throes of a colossal obstacle race between production and reproduction, with the outcome dependent on its success in overcoming the obstacles that restrain the former and those that prevent restraint of the latter. On both sides these obstacles are numerous, formidable, and ofttimes similar, and, though I shall discuss primarily those that influence the control of reproduction, one cannot rationally consider the problems of population without giving equal stress to the factors affecting the other side of the equation.

Time would hardly permit even a listing, much less an intelligent analysis of the many factors influencing utilization of fertility-regulation mechanisms—or, stated in simpler terms, the effective practice of contraception. I shall therefore discuss primarily problems related to the implementation of population-control programs, particularly the rapidly increasing numbers which are now in various


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