Invest in Women: Increase Funding for International Family Planning

  • By: Pathfinder International
  • Target: Members of the House and Senate Sub-Committees on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs

Family planning programs save lives. Yet millions of women around the world lack access to critical reproductive health services like contraceptives, pregnancy and childbirth care, and HIV prevention programs.

Amidst the worldwide financial crisis, few investments bring as positive of a return as family planning. According to a study by UNFPA, every $1 invested in family planning could save up to $31 in government spending on education, food, health, housing, water and sewage services. These programs reduce unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortion, lower HIV infection rates, slow the depletion of natural resources, and foster more peaceful, stable societies.

Fortunately, the Obama administration has proposed a nearly nine percent increase for international family planning and reproductive health services. If appropriated by Congress, the overall funding level for FY2010 would be the largest funding level ever approved for these life-saving programs.

With your help, women can have the reproductive health choices they need to protect themselves and their families. Please send members of Congress a message today and support our call to match President Obama's funding request for international family planning.

Dear Members of the House and Senate Sub-Committees on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs,

I am writing to urge you to match President Obama's funding request for international family planning assistance to a total of $593 million in the FY2010 budget.

[Your personalized comments will be added to the letter here.]

Family planning programs are critical for women's health and equality. Every minute a woman dies during pregnancy or childbirth. More than one-third of these deaths could be prevented with family planning. Furthermore, women who can time their pregnancies have greater opportunities for education and employment, and can more actively contribute to their families' well-being.

Family planning programs are cost-effective and highly successful. According to a study by UNFPA, every $1 invested in family planning could save up to $31 in government spending on education, food, health, housing, water and sewage services.

Currently, more than 200 million women around the world desire to either delay or end childbearing, but do not have access to modern contraceptives. Now is the time to make a real investment in family planning, and in the lives of women and their families around the world. For every additional $100 million provided for family planning abroad, another 3.6 million women will be able to access contraception. Countless unplanned pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and maternal and child deaths will be prevented and the standard of living for women, as well as their families, communities, and countries will rise.

The current economic crisis is hurting people around the globe, but the effect is disproportionate. Women in developing countries are suffering the most. More than ever, it is critical that we invest in international family planning and reproductive health. Please increase funding to $593 million for international family planning assistance in the FY2010 budget.

Thank you.
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