From National Public Radio
In Pakistan, family planning is an uncomfortable topic fraught with religious overtones.
But in one of Asia’s fastest growing populations, a story of women giving birth challenges stereotypes, including what Islam has to say about women’s health and family planning.
According to a new government survey, Pakistan is producing nearly 4 million babies every year, and most are born into poverty. The World Bank says 60 percent of Pakistanis live on less than $2 a day.
Yet clerics in religiously conservative Pakistan tell the Muslim majority that the Quran instructs women to keep bearing as many babies as possible. The message from the mullahs is that contraception is generally Haram, or a sin.
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