Coercive population control

Other Names:
Forced used of family planning
Government imposed abortions
Coercive birth control
Coercive reproductive medical practices
State-imposed abortions
Forced sterilization
Biological colonialism

Governments of developed countries and international organizations with a bias towards the northern hemisphere may link economic aid to developing countries to the acceptance of contraception. Such bodies promote abortion and contraception and oppose natural family planning because it goes against powerful industrial, economic and financial interests.


In 1997 it was alleged that China required families with children born "out of plan" to pay a fine. Because the financial penalty often exceeded a family's yearly income, Tibetan women, for example, were obliged to submit to abortions and sterilization operations, or else risk the arrest and imprisonment of their husbands. Tibetan children born "out of plan" were denied the papers necessary to attend day-care centres and school and to receive medical care. Because these children's names were not registered, the family did not receive a ration card for the additional family member.

Other reports indicate that Tibetan women are subjected to abortions and sterilization procedures without being told of the nature of the operation, purportedly unrelated to their pregnancy.

Broader Problems:
Coercive enforcement
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Problem Type:
D: Detailed problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST