Monday, November 16, 2009

Korean Planned Parenthood Affiliate Looking to PROMOTE childbirth

I was rather bowled over by this interview with the Choi Seon-jeong, the head of the Planned Population Federation of Korea, the Korean affiliate of the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

MercatorNet: You recently argued in the JoongAng Daily that "Religious groups need to advocate respect for life, abortion prevention and positive values on marriage and parenthood, encouraging the younger generation to form families and have children." These are unusual suggestions from Planned Parenthood. Does this indicate a shift in policy, or special circumstances faced by Korea?

Choi Seon-jeong: It is true that Korea implemented the family control policy to reduce the volume of population. It was a kind of family planning to meet the needs of that time. In principle, family planning means to plan how many children to have for happy family life. So when too many children impose a heavy burden on a family and the society, to reduce the number could be an appropriate way of family planning. On the contrary, when there are few children, to bear and raise more children will contribute to our happiness and the way of family planning will be also changed accordingly.

As the needs of Korean society have changed, we changed the name from "family planning association" into "planned population federation" in 2006.

Doesn't that sound just a wee bit creepy to you? I'm all for more babies, but it's just weird to go from the "family planning" business to the "population planning". It just smacks of big-brotherism.

With the change of name, we have reorganised ourselves into a low fertility rate team, an ageing society team, a public relation team, and so on and started to design and implement more comprehensive family planning programs, such as programs to prevent induced abortions, programs to support infertile couples, match-making programs, programs to dispatch assistants to women with her new-born babies, programs to enhance awareness of the public, and so on. To promote child-bearing and child-rearing, we should make efforts to prevent induced abortion, especially in cooperation with religious circles.

But...but...but...abortion was all about a woman's choice. Encouraging child-bearing? Preventing abortions. Match-making. Not very feminist, at all.

But it was never about feminism in the first place, right?