A Matter of Life and Death: Women and the New Eugenics

May 18, 2018


New book challenges the development community to reconsider its approach to the need to remove barriers to girls and women accessing family planning services, in the context of a world with a growing population.

A long-term volunteer of the Margaret Pyke Trust, the coordinator of the Population & Sustainability Network, has authored a book calling for changes to the way the international community consider population issues. Barbara Rogers argues that the solution has to be an intense focus on women’s needs.

Barbara criticises opposition to family planning as a form of “modern eugenics” where rival factions in effect force women to bear more children than they would choose. Barbara argues that UN conferences have reached a dead end because of implacable opposition, especially from the Holy See. Barbara said, “The UN specialised agencies should be challenged to incorporate family planning into their programmes, perhaps with a resolution at the UN General Assembly. All development requires greater health provision, and this should always incorporate maternity care and family planning.” The book contains recommendations for new approaches from national governments and NGOs, to break the deadlock on this crucial issue.

David Johnson, Chief Executive of the Margaret Pyke Trust concluded, “Barbara has supported our work by volunteering for us for some time. Given her level of knowledge on the subject, I am unsurprised that she has now written this thoughtful book. Barbara’s book provides her own views, and not those of the Trust or Population & Sustainability Network, but it is a great addition to the growing debate and certainly worth a read.”

“A Matter of Life and Death: Women and the New Eugenics” by Barbara Rogers (Brown Dog Books 2018, £9.99/ $16.89) is available from Foyles and other good bookshops, and on Amazon.