Letter to the editor in response to “Pregnant (Again) and Poor”

| April 07, 2009

To the Editor:

NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF - “Pregnant (Again) and Poor” April 4, 2009- reminds us that family planning has a critical role to play in reducing poverty and elevating the status of women. Nahomie’s case, as a mother of ten in Haiti, is however, a troubling example of why it is crucial to go beyond contraceptives and focus on comprehensive sexual and reproductive health programs.

President Obama has restored funding to the United Nations Population Fund, providing developing countries with more resources for contraceptives. Now the President and Congress must heed the call to double the US contribution to international family planning programs.  $1 billion a year is a modest down payment to reduce not only the high unmet need for contraceptives, but also the declining reproductive health of poor women everywhere.  Education for girls may be, as Kristof notes, the “best contraceptive,” but it won’t work without the real thing.  

Carmen Barroso
Regional Director
International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region

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