Stephen D. Mumford, DrPH.
Stephen Mumford began his health services career in 1967 as a hospital administrator in the U.S. Army, providing for service personnel and their families. While working toward a doctorate in Health Services Administration and Population Studies, Mumford held a variety of research positions at Baylor Medical College and the University of Texas Schools of Medicine and Public Health in Houston, Texas. While there, he also served five years with Planned Parenthood of Houston, first as senior vasectomy counselor and later as director of research.
In 1977 Dr. Mumford moved to a leadership position at the International Fertility Research Program (now Family Health International), focusing on the development, analysis and program design of fertility regulating technologies as well as the social, political and religious pressures that keep reproductive services from people who want them. Mumford founded the Center for Research on Population and Security in 1984 to support and continue this work. It was at IFRP that he began a long association with the health professionals and scientists developing the quinacrine pellet nonsurgical method of female sterilization.
A review of the literature would find that Mumford has contributed to more peer reviewed articles and books on vasectomy technology, service program design and counseling than anyone in the field. He has been called to provide expert testimony before the U.S. Congress on the implications of world population growth. Mumford, who has been recognized for his work in advancing the cause of reproductive rights by the Feminist Caucus of the American Humanist Association, has addressed conferences world-wide on new contraceptive technologies and the stresses to the security of families, societies and nations that are created by continued uncontrolled population growth.
It was Mumford and colleagues who brought to the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Mexico City 1984, the first quantitative evidence showing that a society cannot possibly control population growth without providing safe, accessible abortion services. Those who have followed the issues arising from the Mexico City Conference recognize his research as pivotal in the ongoing debate over the responsibility of the world community in guaranteeing open access to abortion and contraception services. At the next ICPD conference, convened in Cairo in 1994, it was again Mumford who provided the research illuminating the most pressing issue of the conference. While a small group of representatives of the Vatican threatened to derail the conference with obstructions to consensus on important passages of the Program of Action, Mumford introduced research showing the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church as the principal power behind efforts to block the availability of contraceptive services world-wide.
Using church policy documents and writings of the Vatican elite, Mumford revealed an intense struggle within the church and a decision by those in power to act against the convictions of the vast majority of Catholics, whether in the laity, or part of the structure as theologians and clerics. The Pope has made his opposition to contraception the ultimate test of Papal authority. He has stated very clearly that a change in the Church's position on contraception would destroy the principal of Papal Infallibility. He has also said that it is the fundamental principal of the Church, ". . . the key to the certainty with which the faith is confessed and proclaimed." Few in the public health field have Mumford's background or the professional expertise required to measure the implications of Papal policy and the actions of Vatican activists on the lives and futures of people around the world. He has drawn his share of fire from the Catholic media network for his efforts. Of all the participants at the Cairo conference Elizabeth Liagin, a chief Vatican propagandist, has chosen only two for special condemnation, Bella Abzug and Stephen Mumford. As Madeline Weld, Ph.D., President of Global Population Concerns in Ottawa, has observed in a review of his recent work, " . . . the Vatican even now receives kid glove treatment from the media, its efforts at the suppression of information and the spread of disinformation are rarely exposed. Dr. Mumford has taken off the gloves and exposed the Vatican's ruthless agenda. . . . "
In addition to his books on biomedical and social aspects of family planning, as well as scientific articles in more than a score of journals, Mumford's major works include: Population Growth Control: The Next Move is America's (New York: Philosophical Library, 1977), American Democracy and the Vatican: Population Growth and National Security (Amherst, New York: Humanist Press, 1984); The Pope and the New Apocalypse: The Holy War Against Family Planning (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina: Center for Research on Population and Security, 1986); and The Life and Death of NSSM 200: How the Destruction of Political Will Doomed a U.S. Population Policy (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina: Center for Research on Population and Security, 1996).
As president of the Center for Research on Population and Security, Dr. Mumford continues his work of more than two decades as lead scientist in the development and evaluation of contraception methods and advancing the cause of reproductive rights. Collaborating with health providers and scientists in more than 20 countries, his office is in North Carolina where he makes his home. His wife of 32 years, a Chinese immigrant and leading cancer researcher, focuses much of her investigation on environmental cancers affecting large populations of poor women.
Dr. Mumford's Curriculum Vitae