Rotterdam is stepping up its campaign to reduce the number of children born to vulnerable women. The city council has set a target of persuading 500 women a year with addiction problems or learning difficulties, or who are homeless, to use contraception.
Since the council launched its contraception strategy last year in partnership with the local public health service (GGD), 161 women have voluntarily signed up to a contraception programme and another 93 have been approached.
The council aims to broaden the scheme by involving family doctors, maternity support services and youth protection agencies. It has set aside €370,000 in funding and has not ruled out a parallel scheme for vulnerable men ‘if adequate long-term contraception comes onto the market’.
Alderman Hugo de Jonge, who is responsible for healthcare, argued such women were not capable of raising children and has said that preventing them giving birth ‘is a form of child protection’.
‘The evidence suggests there is still a lot of reluctance among care workers to ask clients about their family plans and use of contraception,’ he told the Telegraaf.
‘This reluctance means that in practice the issue of vulnerable parenthood is not discussed.’
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