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Supporting Family Planning Abroad: A Sound Investment for the US and A Way to Save Lives

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Written by Maureen Greenwood-Basken for RHRealityCheck.org. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

Currently, more than 215 million women around the world want access to quality reproductive health care but don’t have it. On Monday, July 11th, we recognized World Population Day, and I was reminded that this unmet need is only likely to increase when the world’s population crosses the 7 billion mark in the fall. Global investment in international reproductive health and voluntary family planning is one of the best ways to save maternal and infant lives, and build sustainable communities.

According to the Council on Foreign Relations’ recent report, Family Planningand U.S. Foreign Policy,” meeting the unmet need for family planning would result in a 32 percent decrease in maternal deaths, reduce abortion in developing countries by 70 percent, and reduce infant mortality by 10 percent. However, the reproductive health needs of many women in developing countries remain unmet. Sometimes, this occurs even when subsidized contraceptives are sitting unused and expiring in warehouses miles away.

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