This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Friday, July 13, 2012

Croatia Eases its Fertility Law

As the London Summit on Family Planning was winding down, the Croatian parliament took action that made it easier for women to control their own fertility, but not in the way that you might think. At last count, Croatia's total fertility rate was 1.5 children each, so women in that country obviously know how to limit their family size. The problem was that some women who were having difficulty conceiving were being denied the right to infertility treatment, and that is now fixed.
The new law notably authorises the freezing of embryos and recognises the right of single women to assisted fertilisation.The main conservative opposition party, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) said the new legislation was a "violation of the right to life" echoing the position of the influential local Catholic Church, which have qualified it as "profoundly immoral and inhuman."
This is a good lesson on the nuances of religion and fertility. If you assumed that the Catholic Church was mainly pronatalist, then you would assume that it would be in favor of measures that would encourage a rise in the birth rate. In this case, at least, that is not true.

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