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Stakeholders’ Perceptions of the Linkage Between Reproductive Rights and Environmental Sustainability

Céline Delacroix
University of Ottawa

Published 2021-12-14


  • family planning,
  • reproductive rights,
  • environmental sustainability,
  • population ethics,
  • population growth

How to Cite

Delacroix, Céline. 2021. “Stakeholders’ Perceptions of the Linkage Between Reproductive Rights and Environmental Sustainability”. The Journal of Population and Sustainability, December.


The fulfilment of reproductive health and rights may have a synergistic relationship to environmental sustainability because it leads to lower fertility levels. With this in mind, and with the objective of increasing the legitimacy, funding and acceptance of reproductive health and rights, I conducted a mixed-methods qualitative study consisting of an online survey followed by in-depth interviews. I reached out to two groups of participants: stakeholders of the reproductive health and rights movement, and stakeholders of the environmental sustainability movement. I explored how stakeholders perceived the linkages between family planning, population growth and environmental sustainability. Results indicate that these stakeholders overwhelmingly support the integration of the reproductive health and rights ideological framework in a wider sustainability frame reflecting environmental considerations. I identified three barriers to both addressing and implementing the linkage: responsibility allocation injustice, colonialism and discrimination, and marginalisation. Environmental sustainability and reproductive health and rights stakeholders appear in favour of applying what could be considered ‘environmental mainstreaming’ to the reproductive health and rights field. Environmental sustainability stakeholders were more likely than reproductive health and rights stakeholders, who were more divided on this issue, to endorse the linkage and related concepts.


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