Mission: Overpopulation threatens the quality of life for people everywhere. Population Connection is the national grassroots population organization that educates young people and advocates progressive action to stabilize world population at a level that can be sustained by Earth’s resources.
Population Connection’s mission remains critical. Global population is projected to hit 8 billion in seven years (2024). One billion people live on less than a dollar per day—and 70% of them are women and girls. 225 million women want to prevent pregnancy but aren’t using modern contraception. With intractable political opposition, we have our work cut out for us to ensure that women everywhere gain access to affordable birth control and reproductive health care. Otherwise, global environmental crises, food and water shortages, and entrenched poverty will continue unabated. We must dedicate every ounce of our resources to advocating in Washington, D.C. for drastic increases in family planning aid, urging Americans to support sound population policies, and educating tomorrow’s leaders about the troubling realities of rapid population growth.
The U.S. has a shockingly high rate of unintended pregnancies—45 percent of all pregnancies are unplanned. Eight out of ten teen pregnancies are unintended. Meanwhile, low income American women face the real threat of having crucial family planning programs defunded. We work to protect women’s access to birth control and reproductive health care by standing up to Right Wing attacks on vital Title X funding for family planning providers here in the U.S.
The Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative and the Affordable Care Act also both contribute significant funding toward comprehensive sex education for teens. Both are under attack. We work to protect funding for programs that will reduce teen pregnancy.
UNFPA is the largest multilateral provider of family planning services in the world. It works in some 150 countries and receives contributions from 180, including some of the most desperately impoverished nations in the world. House leaders have made it clear that ending all U.S. aid to UNFPA remains high on their agenda. UNFPA is a critical partner in the effort to expand access to contraceptives and to provide women with basic reproductive health care.
Too often, family planning providers abroad are banned from receiving essential U.S. funding due to the Global Gag Rule. This executive order “gags” family planning providers from discussing the option of abortion. It’s a backwards policy that harms women by shutting down some of the most effective family planning providers. Even when a progressive president repeals it, as Presidents Clinton and Obama did, the future specter of the Gag Rule prevents women’s health providers from expanding services. We are determined to work with our allies in Congress to legislate a permanent end to the Global Gag Rule.
The number of women in the developing world who want to avoid pregnancy but are not using modern contraception stands at an estimated 225 million. The U.S. must make a real investment in international family planning programs. $1 billion a year, or about $3 per American, will help many of these women to choose smaller families.
Inform and Organize
In April 2016, we brought 173 advocates from 27 states to attend our Washington, D.C. lobby days (Capitol Hill Days) for increased access to birth control and reproductive health care, both here in the U.S. and around the world. With the help of expert speakers, we educated activists on hot button population issues and trained them to be effective constituent lobbyists.
Held annually, Capitol Hill Days is our flagship training event, bringing activists together each spring for several days intensive advocacy education and training.
Our quarterly magazine, Population Connection, highlights the connections between population, the environment, and women’s empowerment. It provides important population news, research, program developments, and legislative updates. With a circulation exceeding 100,000, the magazine is sent to our members, university libraries, teachers, journalists, and every member of Congress.
Population Education staff and volunteers conduct over 500 workshops annually, training about 11,000 educators to use our curriculum materials in their classrooms. The teachers we’ve trained reach three million students annually in grades K-12 with up-to-date lessons on our world’s population.
Each year, we host leadership training for 30 or more influential educators who want to train their fellow teachers to use Population Education materials. Our network of volunteer trainers presents two-thirds of our workshops every year, making an invaluable contribution to our program and vastly extending our reach. With our Teacher Training Network of more than 400 professional educators who volunteer their time, we can ensure that today’s students—tomorrow’s leaders—gain access to factual information about global population trends and impacts.