Over 200 million women currently lack access to family planning. They are concentrated in the world’s poorest countries, like Niger and Yemen, where there are high birth rates, very limited resources, and where people are going hungry.
Free access to family planning protects the health of women by enabling them to space their pregnancies and choose when best to have them. It reduces the high rates of death and disability from childbirth and unsafe abortions which persist in developing countries. By giving women control over their fertility, it enables them to build a career, be financially independent and play a full role in their society. It reduces poverty by reducing the number of mouths to feed and allows communities to invest in development and education by reducing the cost of maintaining an ever growing number of children. It ensures that every child is a wanted child and improves family relationships.
Free access to family planning also reduces the disastrous human pressure on the climate, the environment and resources. The world’s population is still growing at 250,000 every day. The UN estimates that human numbers might reach ten billion in this century. By limiting numbers, we create the headroom in resources and the environment for the poorest of the world to improve their living standards.
Free access to family planning helps women, their children, their communities, wildlife and future generations.