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Project Small Family
Alex Steffen, 31 Aug 04

Reader John Norris recommends Project Small Family, an effort to encourage family planning and reproductive choice in India's Seoni and Chindwara districts by paying women Rs.250 a month not to become pregnant. The women themselves are free to choose any method of avoiding preganacy, "from abstinence to abortion," and the program claims not exercise any form of coercion (though the threat of losing Rs.3000/yr might well be seen as economic coercion by many). There's no mention of what would seem to me to be the natural tie-ins to such a program (though some may be available to the women through existing government/NGO programs): family-planning counselling, family-based health care, microcredit, "school feeding" programs and access to education resources (like Room to Read's library-building programs). Still, assuming that this increases choices and opportunities for the women who are the program's clients, it seems like a pretty interesting idea.

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