Today is World Contraception Day. I am celebrating by visiting a cassava farm in Tanzania. It might seem like a strange way to observe the day, except for this fact: the women who do the majority of the labor on small family farms are often the very same women who are asking for contraceptives.
From your parents or your in-laws, the insinuations about having babies are not something that you really want to deal with as a newlywed, but you could try to understand the reasons that parents feel so inclined to speak up on the subject.
"In life, there are rubber balls and glass balls and you are always juggling. Your family is glass, so you can't drop them. Many of your work projects are rubber balls -- the assignment will still be there tomorrow and you need to plan in advance."
As people of faith, we must resist those who would deny individuals the ability to make their own personal decisions about their families and reproductive lives; indeed we must resist the political attempts to make such decisions and such services controversial when they are not.
We agree that "we've got Americans who are struggling." Our question is why so many elected officials have only one answer for them: cutting their safety net while telling them to "go get a job." My generation is looking for better answers than that.
The announcement that 36 universities across Iran have banned 77 fields of study to women is just the latest example of the Iranian government's particular disdain for the progress that women have made in education.
Access to family planning, including effective contraception, has been shown to reduce abortions. This isn't complicated. Increasing family planning services reduces the number of unintended pregnancies.
The first thing women should know about the Romney-Ryan budget is that it has been called the single largest transfer of wealth from middle- and low-income earners to millionaires and billionaires in our country's history.
To establish male control in family life, both conservative Republicans and the Catholic Church propose taking a metaphor literally, that A Fertilized Egg Is A Person. Taking the metaphor literally allows for the claim that preventing abortions constitutes saving lives.
We must ensure that women -- especially young women -- are aware of their rights and empowered to demand family planning services and that they are able to do this regardless of where they live, or how much money they have.
High levels of unmet need for contraception around the world have a very negative impact on women's and children's health and survival as well as on the prosperity of communities and nations. The benefits of meeting this need are clear.
The United Nations Population Fund states that reproductive health problems remain the leading cause of illness and death for women of childbearing age worldwide. To put it in stark figures: 800 women die in childbirth every day.
For most of us, a new baby coming into the family is ample reason for joy and celebration. But imagine a world where a new pregnancy means having to choose which beloved child to feed, clothe, or provide medicine to.
Every two minutes, a woman dies from complications related to pregnancy. Even more tragic: many of these deaths could be prevented with a simple and cost-effective solution -- voluntary family planning.