Letter: No coercion on birth control

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The Independent Online
Sir: David Alton alleges in his letter (31 March) that the International Planned Parenthood Federation funds 'China's abhorrent policy of forced abortion and sterilisation'. I must point out that the IPPF does not fund, and has no intention of funding, China's internal policies.

It does, however, as Mark Lennox-Boyd, the Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign Office, stated in the House of Commons last July, contribute technical and financial support to the non-governmental and independent Family Planning Association of China, which covers family life and parenting education, including information on the full range of contraceptive methods to help increase people's awareness of the choices available to them. It supplies no clinical services. It does not support coercive approaches to family planning, nor the use of abortion as a means of contraception.

David Alton's slur on the IPPF is all the more serious in the light of the valuable work the IPPF does worldwide in meeting the demand from women for the means to decide the size of their own families, which is a basic human right.

Yours faithfully,

RICHARD OTTAWAY

MP for Croydon South (Con)

House of Commons

London, SW1

31 March

The writer is Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Population and Development.

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