World Health & Population

World Health & Population 17(1) September 2016 : 21-25.doi:10.12927/whp.2016.25040

Calling a Spade a Spoon: Are Non-American Donors Likely to Need the Same “Reshaping” of Terms for International Family Planning?

Wendy V. Norman and Danielle Mazza


Dyer et al., in their article “International Family Planning: How Political and Religious Conservatives Respond and How to Shape Messaging for Successful Advocacy” (2016), have found that American religious and political conservatives respond favorably to the concepts underlying Family Planning, yet unfavorably to the term itself. We cite Canadian and Australian perspectives to argue that the Dyer finding that the term “Family Planning” is synonymous with abortion (or so nearly so to make it “unfundable” without a term change) is not a consideration in at least two countries, and may not be relevant outside the American context. Irrespective of the language that may be necessary for fundraising among American donors to elicit support for international Family Planning initiatives, there exists a clear need to establish common understanding on reproductive health issues. Now more than ever, we must identify effective terminology and disseminate facts that support women and their families to achieve their reproductive goals, and thus contribute to improved health, education and economic prosperity throughout our global village. 



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