Why Family Planning Is Uncontroversial

Women everywhere deserve the right to make choices about their own bodies. If a woman here in the United States wants to space her children two years apart, a woman in Ghana or India or anywhere in the world for that matter inherently deserves that right as well.

In developing nations women typically have babies back to back to back. This leads to elevated maternal and child mortality rates. As a mom of two daughters who are nearly three years apart I know how hard it is to ramp your body and mind up to birth babies. It is not easy!

Some women in developing countries find themselves in the dire predicament of birthing a baby and immediately expecting again. This situation can be deadly especially in countries where the maternal mortality rate is quite high due to lack of access to health workers and  hospitals and the sheer cost of having one’s baby in a hospital setting.

Yesterday Dr. Gary Darmstadt, Director of Family Health at the Gates Foundation and Wendy Prosser, research analyst with the Family Health division at the Gates Foundation, laid out why family planning saves lives. And last week Dr. Catharine McKaig of MCHIP’s integrated family planning program discussed how women in west Africa demand access to contraception.

If women – no matter where they live — want family planning access they should have it. That is what Melinda Gates intends to provide.

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