The role of family planning in poverty reduction.
Family planning plays a pivotal role in population growth, poverty reduction, and human development. Evidence from the United Nations and other governmental and nongovernmental organizations supports this conclusion. Failure to sustain family planning programs, both domestically and abroad, will lead to increased population growth and poorer health worldwide, especially among the poor. However, robust family planning services have a range of benefits, including maternal and infant survival, nutrition, educational attainment, the status of girls and women at home and in society, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention, and environmental conservation efforts. Family planning is a prerequisite for achievement of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals and for realizing the human right of reproductive choice. Despite this well-documented need, the U.S. contribution to global family planning has declined in recent years. (author's)