The Right to Family Planning, Contraception, and Abortion


in Sacred Rights

Published in print April 2003 | ISBN: 9780195160017
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849611 | DOI:
The Right to Family Planning, Contraception, and Abortion

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This chapter discusses the perspective of India on the issues of family planning, contraception and abortion. India's religion, Hinduism, is properly known as the Sannatan Dharma, or the Eternal Tradition. It is believed to be biased in favor of big families and male offspring, which resulted in the phenomenon of people breeding to the limit. For many decades, there was a grievous lack of societal awareness on the issue of population and fertility management. However, in modern Hindus, it stands to reason that the stability of social order necessitates the adoption of the small-family norm, and dharma includes the notion of public duty and public responsibility. Hence the small-family norm, achievable through contraception and family planning methods, is entirely consistent with and in no way opposed to the Hindu concept of dharma. This concept of family planning is backed by a broad social consensus. Thus, in the nineteenth century a genre of social reform concerning various family planning programs began.

Keywords: India; family planning; contraception; abortion; Hinduism; Sannatan Dharma; population; fertility management; dharma

Chapter.  6867 words. 

Subjects: Christianity

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