The Gates Foundation recently released a video describing why it is so incredibly important for all women world-wide to have free access to contraceptives and family planning services. Though the video is specifically talking about the developing world, these health issues are similar here in the United States.
Sixty percent of young adults in the US are ignorant about basic contraception, due largely to abstinence only sex education programs. Education and free access to contraceptives are essential to help reduce risky sexual behaviors, as well as unwanted pregnancies. The outcome of an unwanted pregnancy in the US is the same as it is world-wide. Women with unwanted pregnancies tend to have worse health, lower self-esteem, be less achievement and future oriented, have less education, and have limited access to higher paying jobs.
Here is more information about this animated health education video from the Gates Foundation Youtube Channel:
“Giving a woman the simple opportunity to decide for herself when to become a mother is an easy and effective way of letting her determine her own future. And it’s much more than that. Information about and access to contraceptives would save the lives of one hundred thousand mothers and prevent six hundred thousand children from dying every year. Deciding when to become a mother allows girls to stay in school and women to work. Family planning programs boost education and the economy, giving developing countries the resources to help themselves. It’s a health initiative that makes financial sense.Every one dollar that we invest in family planning could save six dollars that would have been spent on housing, healthcare, and public services. There more than two hundred million women who don’t want to get pregnant but lack access to contraceptives. As a result, seventy-five million women will have an unplanned pregnancy. They want change for themselves and for their children but they can’t do it all by themselves.Women in Kenya, Malawi, and India want this power. They’ve told me over and over, woman to woman, just like every mother they want the very best for their children. And that means they need to be able to plan for them. Every woman should be empowered and have the right to determine when she wants to have a child, the right to own her future, and provide for her children’s futures, the right to participate freely and equally in society.”