2016 was a year full of challenges…to say the least.
But despite setbacks, Population Connection made some amazing progress towards tackling the population challenge. All of it is thanks to YOU—our dedicated, generous donors, activists, volunteers, and supporters make all of our progress possible!
We reached some major milestones in 2016.
- We built the first real movement on reinterpreting the Helms Amendment in more than 40 years. This backwards policy bars U.S. foreign aid from being used for safe, legal abortion, even when women’s lives are in danger, or they are pregnant as a result of incest or rape. We mounted a serious campaign last year with Population Connection Action Fund to raise awareness about the Helms Amendment—inspiring grassroots activism in key states and getting some major media coverage. Our biggest victory came when it became part of the Democratic national platform last year—demonstrating real buy-in from our nation’s leaders who are taking a cue from the wellspring of grassroots activism around the country. We’re shifting gears now and building support for a permanent repeal of the Helms Amendment.
- 200 activists learned about population, the environment, and women’s health issues at our annual Capitol Hill Days lobbying event in Washington, D.C. Attendees personally lobbied 153 members of Congress for family planning funding. (Interested in attending our 2017 event? Find more info here!)
- We engaged thousands of students and teachers internationally through our innovative online activities, available at Worldof7Billion.org and www.WorldPopulationHistory.org, where our famous World Population “Dot” video gained more than 600,000 unique views!
- Our innovative and award-winning Population Education program trained 11,500 teachers in 700+ Population Education workshops nationwide.
But our work is far from done.
- We’re adding 228,000 people to our planet every day, or 83 million a year. Global population is projected to surpass 8,000,000,000 people in just SEVEN YEARS.
- Right now, 225 million women in the developing world who want to avoid pregnancy are not using modern contraception. Every year, women in the developing world have 74 million unintended pregnancies, which result in 28 million unintended births
- In the U.S., nearly half of all pregnancies are unplanned. For teen pregnancies, that number jumps to four out of five.
- In 2015, 303,000 women died from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. Each year, an estimated 47,000 women die from unsafe abortions.
- Over 900 million people—1 in 7—live in poverty.
- One in nine people doesn’t have enough food to eat, and one in seven people lives with water scarcity.
- We consume one and a half times Earth’s renewable resources every year.
- Human activities have driven thousands of species to extinction, triggering what scientists now call the Sixth Mass Extinction.
- We have accelerated the pace of climate change, and scientists warn of the possibility of a 6 foot sea level rise by the end of the century.
In short? People and our planet are suffering the brunt of rapid population growth’s most dire consequences.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by such a monumental challenge, but we’re here to tell you that YOU—yes, YOU—can help us meet it. Some truly impactful things you can do to help:
- Stay up to date on legislative issues and news related to women’s access to family planning! Join our email list here. YOUR voice is extremely powerful—by staying informed, you’ll have the ability to be an effective advocate for population-related issues and push your elected officials to stand up for women everywhere…
- …so you can contact your national lawmakers to urge them to invest in family planning programs. Don’t know who represents you in Congress? Find out here and here.
- Request multiple copies of our magazine, Population Connection, at no charge, to distribute at your local libraries, coffee shops, or other public venues. Email Marian Starkey at firstname.lastname@example.org to get some copies ASAP.
- Sign up to attend our next Capitol Hill Days lobbying event in Washington, D.C. This annual event is a unique opportunity to learn more about our issue, receive training on how to effectively lobby elected officials, and meet and network with like-minded population advocates from all over the United States! Learn more here.
- Distribute informational materials at your local Earth Day fair or environmental expo. We’re a grassroots organization and our strength lies in numbers. You can help by getting members of your own community on board! Get informational materials from our Field and Outreach staff by contacting Lauren Salmiery at email@example.com.
- Are you a professional educator? Do you teach in a classroom, or know somebody who does? Visit our PopEd program’s website at populationeducation.org to learn about opportunities to attend a workshop in your area, become a volunteer trainer for the program, or request FREE, high-quality curriculum materials to use in your own classroom!
In short—stay informed, stay active, and stay committed.
As part of a grassroots network over 500,000 strong, we are uniquely placed to make a true and lasting difference on this most critical issue. Here at Population Connection, we’re optimistic about our ability to make headway towards ensuring a bright, sustainable future for the entire planet. I hope you’ll join us in 2017 to keep the momentum going forward!