I come from the slums of Nairobi, where delaying motherhood is not always a choice. I was lucky to have this option, and choosing to hold off on becoming a mother was my way of stepping out of poverty and getting an education.
Demand that your lawmakers support funding for international family planning programs -- $1 billion is America's fair share. Talk to your friends and family about how all women -- not just the lucky residents of developed nations -- deserve to make choices about their own futures.
In our church, Healthy Families and a Healthy Planet are two sides of the same coin. Today, on World Population Day, I'm looking at both sides with inspiration and appreciation for the world we could all share the ability to carefully plan one's family were available to all.
In virtually every country in the world, there are disproportionate barriers for young people -- particularly young women -- when they seek contraception or access to information and commodities to practice safer sex. And this must stop.
Unlike what its name suggests, World Population Day is not just a day about numbers -- it's about people. It's a day designated to reaffirm everyone's right to plan the families they want, not what their circumstances dictate.
This year we actually have something to celebrate on World Population Day. Foundations, NGOs, and donor countries, led by the United Kingdom, will come together for an international summit on family planning.
The world population will cross the 7 billion mark on Oct. 31, 2011, but in a world suffering from climate change, water scarcity and the rising price of food and energy, population growth is a challenge, not an unequivocal triumph.