Complications from pregnancy and childbirth are a leading cause of death for women in developing countries— the reality is that contraceptives save lives. Family planning enables millions of girls to stay in school, reduces maternal deaths worldwide, and has the capacity to lift entire communities out of poverty. This is why we need to increase understanding of this issue and encourage demand for family planning.
One of the biggest barriers to girls staying in school in both developed and developing countries is that they become pregnant too young, and tend to have more children than they can care for because they lack information and access to contraception.
Giving women and girls access to contraceptives is transformational— families become healthier, wealthier, and better educated. Reducing unintended pregnancies leads to fewer girls dropping out of school and a greater opportunity to escape poverty. Contraceptives are also one of the best investments a country can make in its future, delivering big savings in healthcare costs. Each dollar spent on family planning can save governments up to 6 dollars on health, housing, water, and other public services.
The U.S. has a key part to play in leading international efforts to meet the demand for family planning by committing $1 billion to family planning annually. If the US deliver their $1 billion 'fair share' of the $6.7 billion investment needed to meet international family planning targets, this will take us one step closer to 120 more million women being able to plan their lives.
Photo: Erik De Castro/Reuters
To: Congressional Leadership, President Obama
In July 2012, governments, foundations and civil society came together to address a global challenge. 222 million women around the world lack access to contraception. $2.6 billion dollars were pledged to halve this number by 2020.
The U.S. has a key role to play in leading international efforts to meet the demand for family planning by committing to $1 billion annually. The $1 billion figure is the U.S.’ fair share of the $6.7 billion investment needed to meet international family planning targets, and would accelerate progress on the U.N. Millennium Development Goals. This would enable 222 million women around the world to plan their fertility and therefore plan their lives.
[Your name here]