America Can Save Money At Home By Helping Family Planning Around the Globe

In America, we often hear about those unplanned teen pregnancies that can potentially ruin the lives of such young mothers. However, unlike the U.S., in many societies simply obtaining contraceptives is a struggle. Imagine not even having access to the most basic forms of birth control, such as condoms, diaphragms, or contraceptive pills. A lack of such resources has caused widespread poor health, decreased income, and death for a plethora of women around the world. Today, 222 million women in developing countries need access to modern contraceptives, a number higher than the entire population of Spain, Germany, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands combined. In 2012, such access worldwide would have prevented 79 maternal deaths, 26 unsafe abortions, 20.1 million infant deaths, and 56 million unplanned pregnancies. With this sweeping cry for help, wealthier nations can contribute by donating just a small sum of money each year to the cause of global planned parenthood. 

Just think about how the need to work every single day on such little food and with little or no prenatal care due to lack of sufficient income must affect the welfare of these millions of pregnant women, some of whom would have preferred to forgo pregnancy for this very reason. The ability of women to have the number of children they want when they choose would offer them happier, healthier lives, more job opportunities, and greater economic prosperity. Well-to-do nations like the United States have the ability to assist in improving the lives of such women around the globe. All we have to do is contribute a small sum to provide them with easier access to these contraceptive resources which are, by comparison, quite easily attainable to us here in America. 

 

So how is America contributing already? Currently, the United States donates $1 billion, or about $3 per American every year, to this cause. In addition to helping women on a global level, these donations can save money in other sectors such as health care, education, and water conservation at home in America by decreasing the call for international spending in these areas. Moreover, such donations amount to only a tiny sliver of the U.S. federal budget. Thus, we can save money while simultaneously improving women’s lives around the world. So this year, pitch in and donate those $3 or more to International Family Planning. 

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Sarah Katz

I hold a B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of California Berkeley. While at UC Berkeley, I founded the Iran-Israel Student Coalition, the first student-led Iran-Israel peace initiative. I am currently pursuing a dual Masters degree in International Management (MBA) and International Policy Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. In addition to PolicyMic, I contribute to the "Times of Israel" online news blog.

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