Family Welfare program in India is voluntary and there is no compulsion on a couple and they are free to decide the size of their respective family. International experience shows that any coercion to have a certain number of children is counter-productive and leads to demographic distortions: Centre contended in the Honorable Supreme Court.
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) While replying to the petition filed by BJP leader Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay who is demanding enaction of laws related to the population control stated that India is a signatory to International Conference on Population and Development, 1994 which is against the coercion related to the family planning.
Ministry also contended that India is witnessing a constant decline in Fertility Rate and according to National Fertility Health Survey-4, currently it is only 1.8, against the actual fertility of 2.2 prevailing early which indicates that couples do not want more than 2 children. Also, 25 out of 36 UT's and States have already achieved the replacement level fertility rate i.e., 2.1. in addition to this census, 2001-2011 shows a decline in population decadal growth rate from 21.54% in 1991-2001 to 17.64% in 2001-2011.
The impact of programmatic interventions is now beginning to yield dividends. At present, India is knocking at the door of achieving replacement level fertility and has made a remarkable improvement in reducing maternal and child mortality. With commitment and perseverance, we can achieve the goal of population stabilisation and advancing the development goals of the country", Government mention in reply to the Court among other things.