Use of measures designed to regulate the number and spacing of children within a family, largely to curb population growth and ensure each family’s access to limited resources. The first attempts to offer family planning services began with private groups and often aroused strong opposition. Activists such as Margaret Sanger in the U.S., Marie Stopes in England, and Dhanvanthis Rama Rau in India eventually succeeded in establishing clinics for family planning and health care. Today many countries have established national policies and encourage the use of public family services. The United Nations and the World Health Organization offer technical assistance. Seealso birth control.
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Economic system in which the means of production are publicly owned and economic activity is controlled by a central authority. Central planners determine the assortment of goods to be produced, allocate raw materials, fix quotas for each enterprise, and set prices. Most communist countries have had command economies; capitalist countries may also adopt such a system during national emergencies (e.g., wartime) in order to mobilize resources quickly. Seealso capitalism; communism.
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