Publication Date

April 2016

Advisor(s)

Jennifer Tucker

Major

Hispanic Literatures and Cultures

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

Information on the nature and significance of early family planning programs in Mexico is scant and scattered, tucked into obscure, seldom-read books. This essay, thus, first offers an account of the family planning activities in Mexico from 1952 to 1962, years that were crucial for laying the groundwork of the family planning movement in the country. By incorporating extant secondary source literature, analyzing underused sources from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Archives, and asking different questions than other authors have asked, this essay examines the work that the International Planned Parenthood Federation and other family planning promoters were doing in Mexico from 1952 to 1962 and why they were doing this work. It does so primarily by exploring the motives of specific actors engaging in family planning activities in Mexico during this ten-year period. Ultimately it concludes that various, complex, and often conflicting interests shaped the family planning movement in Mexico from 1952 to 1962. These included compassion for women, personal religious callings, desires to do research, fears of global instability, and individual and corporate financial necessity. All of these interests overlapped and diverged, making it impossible to identify one single factor that drove the family planning movement in Mexico from 1952 to 1962.

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