Source: Site of Carta Capital
Family Planning - Omission and
The birth rate among the poor people is one of the
major problems of the country, hidden by statistics and
perpetuated by ingenuity or lack of courage
By Drauzio Varella
The most serious problem of the country maybe is the birth rate
among the poor population. In a time that we are provided with
effective contraception methods, the number of undesired
pregnancies in the most unprotected classes is so exaggerated
that it must be questioned: why those responsible for the
elaboration of public policies run from this subject like the
devil runs from the cross?
In addition to the carelessness, I can find only two
explanations for the omission, ingenuity or lack of courage to
be contrary to the Church.
The ingenuity is in the hurry interpretation of the statistics
that show a decrease of the average birth rates: 2.4 children
per woman in the Census of 2000, in comparison with 6.2 in 1960.
The distortion when analyzing average rates, however, is in the
fact of not to perceive what happens with certain
Young people in the Febem (State Foundation for the Minor’s
Welfare): many of them are not desired already at the time of
For example, the Census of 2000 showed that the women with
university formation have in the average 1.4 child (like in the
developed countries), while the non-alphabetized women have 5.6
(the same rate of Namibia). Women living in houses with per
capita income above five minimum wages have in the average 1.1
child, while in the houses where the income is of up to
one-fourth of the minimum wage, such number increases to 4.6.
In 2002, the proportion of children born from mothers minor than
20 years, poor in the absolute majority, was of 20.75%. In the
State of Acre, such number reaches 27%; in Pará, 26.3% and in
Mato Grosso, 25.5%. Each child born as such takes the mother
from the school and makes poorer the family of the grandparents,
because the today’s men hardly assume undesired paternity.
Who already entered in a jail knows how much is difficult to
find a prisoner who has been created by a working father; the
huge majority is comprised of children of known, absent, dead in
shooting or prisoner fathers, like them.
Those babies not desired by the parents come to the world as a
consequence of the lack of knowledge and of the difficult access
to the contraceptive methods. Although formally the Brazilian
program of family planning is considered as one of the world’s
most advanced, in the practice it reaches the low-income
population in an improper manner.
The pills distributed in the health care stations are the
cheaper of the market (and those that cause more side effects);
the contraceptives in adhesive to be exchanged only once per
week, ideal to face the indiscipline of the teenagers, as
demonstrated by the studies, are not available and the
intrauterine devices (IUD) are virtually absent; and condoms
enough, only in the Carnival.
To make a vasectomy or sterilization by the Government Health
System (SUS), therefore, is virtually impossible. Consultation
must be settled with physicians, with the social worker and with
the psychologist. It takes months of peregrination by the aisles
of the public hospitals, which mothers or fathers of five
children are obliged to do, to hear questions such as: “And if
you separate from your wife and marry to another younger woman?
And if your children die and you want to have others?”
In the booklet that the Ministry of Health distributes to the
pregnant women, the access to sterilization is ensured to every
woman more than 25 years old that have two or more children,
free of charge, through the SUS. Does anybody know about it?
What insane ideology or hypocrite religious principle justify
the fact of your daughters cross their adolescence without
getting pregnant, while the daughters of the poorer people give
birth at 15 years old? Why do we have one or two children, at
most, while they have the double or the triple?
The lack of resources for comprehensive family planning programs
is an irresponsible excuse! It is must more expressive to open
schools, hospitals, health care stations, to serve food in the
school, to give drugs and find physical space for all of those
children. And, later, to build a jail after other to arrest the