P.M. Briefing : U.S. Role in Contraception Hit

From Times Wire Services

The World Bank and the International Planned Parenthood Federation today accused the United States of relinquishing its leadership role in contraceptive technology, leaving Third World women with limited options for family planning.

IPPF Secretary General Halfdan Mahler said the United States abandoned the leadership role it took 30 years ago in developing new methods of contraception. "There is a disaster in the U.S. lack of leadership in reproduction," he said.

World Bank President Barber Conable defended U.S. aid programs for family planning, saying the United States still provides $230 million a year--more than any other country--on such programs.

But he acknowledged that the United States suffers from an "ideological hang-up" over abortion that caused the Republican Administration to cut contributions to international Planned Parenthood programs that offer abortions or abortion counseling.

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