One of the most impactful things you can do is contact your Member of Congress and tell them why you care. Encourage them to urge the administration to restore funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and support international reproductive health and family planning programs around the world.
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Email, Tweet, or schedule an in-person meeting with your Member of Congress:
- Please support full funding for international #FamilyPlanning!
- Thank you for supporting robust funding for international #FamilyPlanning!
- What gets funded gets done. Support international #FamilyPlanningfunding!
- 225 million girls and women around the world lack contraceptives. US funding for #FamilyPlanning can change that!
- 800 women die every day from pregnancy complications. US funding for #FamilyPlanning can save women’s lives.
- Women & girls have the right to choose whether, when & how many kids to have. US funding for int'l #FamilyPlanning can realize this right!
- When moms thrive, families, communities & our world do too. US funding for #FamilyPlanningcan help our world thrive!
- Investing in integrated #contraception & #MCNH services would decrease maternal deaths by 67% per year (@Guttmacher, @UNFPA)
- No woman should die giving life. #ReproductiveHealth and #FamilyPlanning are smart investments. Support international #FamilyPlanning!
- "When women have access to contraceptives, everyone benefits.” Support full funding for international #FamilyPlanning!
- #FamilyPlanning is a cost-effective intervention that would reduce maternal mortality by 1/3 & infant mortality by 20%
Dear Representative/Senator [Name]:
I am writing to encourage you to support full funding for international family planning and reproductive health, including resources for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), as part of the U.S. foreign aid budget. Recent efforts by the administration and members of Congress to reduce or eliminate this vital funding will have devastating consequences in the lives of millions of women and their families who rely on U.S. assistance to access basic health care. 225 million girls and women around the world don’t want to be pregnant, but face barriers or lack of access to effective contraceptives. This inability to delay pregnancy for girls, one-third of whom are married in the developing world, and to plan pregnancy for women, leads to higher rates of maternal mortality, higher rates of infant mortality, more school drop outs, and lower incomes.
Every year, close to 300,000 women die in developing countries because of pregnancy-related causes. Pregnancy and childbirth complications still remain a leading cause of death for girls in the developing world, whose bodies are not ready to give birth. Providing the 225 million girls and women with information about and access to the family planning services they currently lack could significantly reduce maternal and infant deaths.
Beyond the health benefits, young women who can delay and plan child birth are more likely to receive an education, raise their standard of living, and climb out of poverty.
Investments in international family planning are also cost-effective. Every dollar spent on family planning can save governments up to $6 in averted health care and other costs. Further, as Melinda Gates recently noted: no country in the last 50 years has emerged from poverty without expanding access to contraceptives.
Additionally, empowering women to have the number of children they desire can improve environmental sustainability by allowing women to better manage natural resources such as firewood, water, and homegrown food for their families. Meeting the demand for family planning could slow and even reverse CO2 emissions by 2050.
Finally, there are more refugees today than at any time since the end of World War II, and over half are women and children. U.S. funds, particularly those that were going to UNFPA before the administration’s decision to eliminate funding, were essential to meeting the reproductive health needs of millions of displaced girls and women globally. From safe birthing services, to gender-based violence counseling, to accessing contraceptives, much of UNFPA’s humanitarian work in Syria, South Sudan, Central African Republic, and beyond is now in jeopardy due to the withdraw of U.S. support.
Women and girls around the world have a right to choose whether, when, and how many children to have. I encourage you reject shortsighted cuts and continue America’s strategic investment in international family planning and reproductive health to ensure girls and women everywhere can access their rights and live healthy, productive lives.