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Servir. 1997 Nov-Dec;45(6):325-6.

[Conscientious and responsible demographic family planning].

[Article in Portuguese]



The present age is characterized by real contradictions: a dangerous population explosion in poor countries and the drastic reduction of fertility in developed countries. In Portugal, average fertility equals 1.5 children for married couples. The Catholic Church has developed criteria of conscientious and responsible fertility policies for couples. Some of these aspects are: 1) the service of human life is a conjugal and social responsibility; 2) conscientious and responsible family planning should always occur within the context of an attitude that promotes and restricts the capacity of married couples; 3) the proper regulation of fertility for married couples should avoid the two extremes: egoism and childlessness or lack of concern about the number of children; 4) fertility should be considered in the context of human completeness, which includes health, relative autonomy, access to culture, and a productive life that fits individual aspirations as well as the needs of the community; 5) each couple should resort to certain criteria in terms of maturity and intellectual, affective, social, economic, and educational capacity; 6) ethical criteria apply to contraceptive methods used for married couples; 7) married couples need to respect each other to overcome the risk of infidelity and the breakdown of the marriage; 8) on a regular basis, contraceptive methods should be evaluated and changed for the best compatibility; 9) although natural methods are considered a utopia, tracking the fertile period leads to the use of such methods; 10) married couples need pertinent information for making the right choice; and 11) assistance to single mothers should stress the avoidance of abortion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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