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Family Planning and Reproductive Health

Why the United States Should Care

Author: Koki Agarwal, Jhpiego, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University

Family Planning and Reproductive Health - family-planning-and-reproductive-health

Publisher Council on Foreign Relations Press

Release Date April 2011

16 pages


Millions of women in developing countries still have more children than they want, and with every pregnancy, a woman faces the risk of death. Continued high fertility is also linked to global concerns about poverty, food security, climate change, conflict, and war. Family planning and reproductive health programs are cost-effective interventions that can reduce high fertility rates and improve not only the health of the individual, but also the welfare of the whole family and ultimately, the larger society. In the era of declining attention to family planning, the United States must assume a greater leadership role in rebuilding political commitment for such services.

In this Working Paper, part of a series from CFR's Women and Foreign Policy program, Koki Agarwal identifies current trends in family planning, discusses unmet need, analyzes family planning's role in saving lives, and provides recommendations for why the United States should support investments in family planning worldwide.

More About This Publication

Koki Agarwal is an expert on reproductive health, family planning, safe motherhood, and public health policies and programs. Since October 2008, Dr. Agarwal has worked for Jhpiego as the director of the maternal and child health integrated program, a USAID-funded flagship program focused on reducing maternal and child mortality in over thirty-five countries. Agarwal has also served as a board member and secretary-elect for the White Ribbon Alliance, a global movement for raising awareness and advocating for safe motherhood. She is an MD and holds a doctorate and an MA in public health from the School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins. She has written several papers on policy and programmatic issues relating to maternal newborn health and family planning, and is a peer reviewer for the online Maternal and Child Health Journal.

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