We have two options: We can make family planning a priority and invest the money needed to give women control of their own lives and futures. Or we can allow our nation – and our world – to slide backward.
The London Summit aims to meet the contraceptive needs of 120 million women in the world’s poorest countries. This moment is about women and girls who deserve the opportunity to “have it all,” if you will. I believe we have all the consensus we need on that front.
All of the contraceptive technologies and reproductive health interventions in the world will not make a difference if there are not skilled health workers to deliver them.
Yet international support for such programs has not kept pace with the need for family planning. As a result, many developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, continue to face rapid population growth and other impediments to social and economic development.
In mid-July, world leaders will gather in London to discuss a real and urgent need: increased funding for family planning. The summit documents link the dearth of contraceptives and health services to poverty. This vision is not so much wrong as it is incomplete.