Support Family Planning? Speak Up!
An Indian woman discusses spacing births. (RN Mittal/Photoshare)
You don't have to be an expert on contraception in order to make a difference. Tell friends, family and especially your lawmakers how important family planning access is to you -- and women around the world who need it.
Here are some sobering statistics: An estimated 222 million
women in developing nations want to delay or end childbearing but don’t
have access to modern
contraception. Here in the United States, nearly half of all
pregnancies are unintended. Those are the kind of numbers that might lead
you shake your head at the futility of it all and reach for a salty snack.
But here’s the deal: You – with your orange-stained Cheeto fingers – can be a
successful advocate for international and national family planning programs.
All you need are facts and the willingness to speak up for contraception access.
(And you might want to wipe off your fingers first. That orange goop can really
Here are some basic statistics to share with friends,
family, neighbors, co-workers, unsuspecting pizza delivery drivers, the letter
carrier, your lawmakers, etc.:
- Every year, the Earth has 80
million more people than it did the year before.
- Last October, we surpassed the 7
billion mark for the first time, according to demographers.
- United Nations projections show that if we make progress
on slowing down population growth in the nations where family planning programs
are limited, we’ll
hit 9.3 billion in 2050.
- If we don’t make progress, United Nations projections
show we could
hit 10.6 billion or higher in 2050.
- Based on current trends, 47% of the Earth’s population
water stress by 2030.
- Global food consumption is projected
to double by 2030, with meat consumption doubling by 2020.
- If everyone on Earth lived like Americans do, we’d need 5
planets just like ours to sustain us.
- According to UNFPA, about
22 million women have unsafe abortions every year.
- Family planning saves lives. Around 287,000 women die
each year in pregnancy and childbirth. Fully meeting the unmet need for family
planning would reduce
deaths by about two-thirds.
- Babies of women who use family planning are healthier.
Family planning would help prevent many of the 3
million newborn deaths each year.
I could go on and on, but that’s a great starting point.
You don’t have to be an expert to speak up for family
planning access. Share with others how access to contraception has made your
own life better. Talk about how women can more easily achieve their dreams when
they can plan their families. Discuss some of the statistics above with
your lawmakers, and ask that they support America making a real investment
by spending $1
billion on international family planning in the next fiscal year. That’s
our fair share to meet the needs of women around the world.
If you’re on Twitter
or Facebook, share
stories about family planning. Sign
up for our email alerts. We’ll let you know when we need your help to stand
up – and speak out!