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To prepare the cream, goat milk is put in a gourd and stored untouched for four nights. On the fifth day the cream is boiled and cooled.

The naked woman then puts four drops in her mouth. Swirling the container of cream around her body, she chants "Don't give me a child, shut my womb. The cream is then mixed with donkey feces and stored in the goat's shed untouched for four days. Many men of Turkana are adamantly against birth control and will not allow their wives or partners to use it. Children are seen as a source of wealth, and men want as many children as they can have. Some Turkana women are forced to go behind their husbands back to use birth control.

Public awareness and education were the keys to its early achievement of its goal. Last year a coalition of scientists, economists, policymakers, researchers, and business people published Project Drawdown, a compendium of ways to prevent carbon dioxide from escaping skywards. Drawing from a plethora of peer-reviewed research, the document ranks 80 practical, mitigating measures-along with 20 near-future concepts-that could push back the oncoming storm. Ranked in order of carbon emissions locked down by , a moderate expansion of solar farms was ranked 8, onshore wind turbines ranked 2, and nuclear power 20 , increasing the number of people on plant-rich diets 4 and using electric vehicles Suprisingly, the top spot went to managing refrigerants like HFCs, which are incredibly effective at trapping heat within our atmosphere.

Even more surprising, two lesser-known solutions also made this most practical of lists: Getting more girls into school, and giving them a quality education, has a series of profound, cascading effects: Better educational access and attainment not only equips women with the skills to deal with the antagonizing effects of climate change, but it gives them influence over how their communities militate against it.

Poverty, along with community traditions, tends to hold back girls from education while boys education are prioritized. Then there's family planning. The planet is overpopulated, and the demands of its citizens greatly exceed the natural resources provided by our environment. As a consequence, the world's population will rise rapidly, consume ever more resources, and power its ambitions using fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide will continue to accumulate in the atmosphere. The education of girls and family planning can be considered as a single issue involving the empowerment of women in communities across the world.

Drawdown calculated that, by taking steps toward universal education and investing in family planning in developing nations, the world could eliminate billion tons of emissions by That's roughly 10 years' worth of China's annual emissions as of , and it's all because the world's population won't rise quite so rapidly.

Project Drawdown isn't the only group that has recently tied population growth to climate change. A study published last summer also found that having just one fewer child is a far more effective way for individuals in the developed world to shrink their carbon footprint than, say, recycling or eating less meat. For women in wealthy countries, these decisions are often freely made, and fertility rates in those countries are already fairly low.

In low-income countries, such individual agency - not to mention contraception - is frequently absent, and fertility rates remain high. Just as policymakers, climate advocates, and science communicators should pay attention to Drawdown's findings, individuals should also do what they can to make sure such a solution comes to pass.

Non-government organizations, like Hand In Hand International, Girls Not Brides, and the Malala Fund aren't just uplifting women, but they're helping to save the planet too, and they deserve support. It's a grim assessment of civilization that, in , humans are still grappling with gender equality.

The world would clearly benefit if women were on par with men in every sector of society. It could result in The return on that investment is incalculable. Ouabain - a plant extract that African warriors and hunters traditionally used as a heart-stopping poison on their arrows, shows promise as a non-hormonal contracetive for men that hinders the sperms' ability to move or swim effectively.

While the birth control pill has been available to women in the United States for nearly six decades-and approved by the US Food and Drugs Administration FDA for contraceptive use since -- an oral contraceptive for men has not yet come to market. The pill has provided women with safe, effective and reversible options for birth control, while options for men have been stuck in a rut.

Men curently have only two forms birth control: Vasectomy is an invasive procedure to do that's also difficult and invasive to reverse. A male hormonal birth control pill option is in clinical human trials and likely closer to market, but it has potential side effects, such as weight gain, changes in libido, and lower levels of good cholesterol, which could negatively affect the heart health of users.

For nonhormonal contraception methods work, researchers from the University of Minnesota and the University of Kansas have homed in on ouabain: This protein is known to be critical in fertility -- at least in male mice. Ouabain by itself isn't an option as a contraceptive because of the risk of heart damage.

Once bound to those cells, it interferes with the sperms' ability to swim-essential to its role in fertilizing an egg. Ouabain may also offer men a birth control pill option with fewer systemic side effects than hormonal options.

This new compound showed no toxicity in rats. The next steps are to test the effectiveness as an actual contraceptive in animals, then human clinical trials within five years. Reversible, effective male birth control is within sight.

Our ongoing research brings us one step closer to expanding the options for male birth control, providing the world's 7. Anti-abortion activists, emboldened by conservatives controlling the White House and Congress, and courts stacked with like-minded judges, are setting their sights on a new target: The elimination of federal funding for family planning services. For 45 years, the "pro-life" movement has gathered in Washington around the anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v.

Wade decision to protest the legalization of most abortions in the US. Recently the Trump administration announced that it was strengthening protections for medical providers whose religious beliefs prompt them to refuse to perform abortions or to offer other contraceptive services. Title X, a provision in the Public Health Service Act of - is federal grant legislation that secures federal funding for family planning services.

It is the only grant legislation approved annually, and is constantly under threat of defunding because of this status. Of the 38 million American women who use contraception, over half - 20 million - rely on publicly funded contraceptive care. But, with the exception of emergency contraception, birth control pills require a doctor's prescription, an associated visit and insurance costs. The theory supporting threats to Title X is that life begins at the moment egg and sperm meet, which increasing numbers of anti-abortion advocates and lawmakers embrace.

They equate highly effective, long-acting reversible contraception LARC like IUDs and contraceptive implants with abortion itself, believing these methods would dislodge a fertilized egg - a view which is not scientifically accurate. IUDs and implants primarily prevent fertilization, not implantation - there is no zygote, so there is nothing to abort. However, buoyed by the Supreme Court's ruling upholding Hobby Lobby's religious right to deny access to LARCs, and President Trump's seeming eagerness to please his base, anti-abortion advocates are seeking to promote their ideology in a number of ways, including going after Title X funding.

Title X in the beginning was championed by both sides of the House - its main sponsor was George H. Bush and was signed into law by President Nixon. However during Ronald Reagan's presidency, there was more anti-abortion ideology involved in the politics and policies of family planning. If federal funding is removed, these low-income households would suffer the most, physically and financially. An amendment to the recent tax bill fostered the idea that personhood begins at conception by proposing that unborn children could be beneficiaries of college savings plans.

The language was cut before the tax bill passed. Trump has appointed prominent anti-contraception advocates to his Department of Health and Human Services HHS in an attempt to keep a promise to his evangelical followers. Valerie Huber, an advocate of abstinence over contraception will continue the push to defund Title X.

A rider in the House Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies spending bill would block Planned Parenthood from any federal money in , and effectively "end the nation's family planning program. President Trump signed a law last spring allowing states to withhold federal money from organizations that offer abortion services.

Many of these organizations also provide important contraceptive services to the poorest in society, services which would also be threatened. Some physicians remember the time before Roe v. Title X funding is intact - for now. But "the Trump administration in its first year and Congress under its current leadership have very openly hostile views and agendas against reproductive health and rights.

The birthrate in China fell last year even though the country has changed its One Child policy to allow two children. Reasons given for the low birth rate were the trend toward later marriage, the desire for smaller families and concerns about the high cost of raising children.

China's policy was changed in in an attempt to increase the size of the younger working population that will eventually have to support their elders. But that appears to have been a one-time increase. Experts have recommended the country increase its retirement age to address an expected labor shortage and declining economic vitality. One woman, a housewife in Beijing, pointed out that the burden of looking after aging parents is one reason not to have a second child.

China enacted its one-child policy in , enforced with fines and in some cases state-mandated abortions. The expected future reduction in the working-age population is exacerbated by a skewed male-female birth ratio resulting from the traditional preference for male offspring.

It is my belief that family planning would be far more widely supported if China had not imposed its oppressive policy.

The author, who works for the NGO Marie Stopes, tells us that reproductive rights are not guaranteed anywhere. In urban areas people come to Marie Stopes clinics and in rural or remote settings Marie Stopes take their services to the people. In Papua New Guinea the author has spoken to women who were afraid for their lives because they knew someone who had died during childbirth. One woman had been told by a local health worker she would "probably die" if she became pregnant again.

The author has met men who worried deeply about conflict in their villages as the population grew and land became scarce. In Cambodia he has met young factory workers who can only afford to keep their children in school as long as they can keep working. In Myanmar he has met aspirational students who are the first in their families to go to university and are not at all ready to get married.

The need to control their own fertility, and the challenge to do so, binds this diverse group together. In Australia, senator Cory Bernardi recently introduced a motion intended to undermine abortion rights for Australian women. His series of proposals covered abortion funding, greater scrutiny of the activist group GetUp, and White Ribbon Australia's support for abortion, including late-term terminations. In the US, employee rights to contraception in their healthcare coverage have been rolled back and support to family planning programs in developing countries slashed.

We need to fight to keep our current rights but should also fight to extend that franchise to others. Family planning is fundamental to both individual empowerment and national development and yet is somehow regularly overlooked by bureaucracies or targeted for elimination by conservative forces. There are million women in the developing world who don't want to have a child right now but don't have access to family planning.

As a result they are less able to control their futures. Their health, education, employment prospects and very standing in society will all be impacted by something Australians so often take for granted - the ability to choose. It is appropriate that we focus on women and girls because of the persistent and debilitating gaps in global access to education, health care, and economic opportunity between the genders.

However, there is also a gap in funding and research to engage men, which not only makes overall family planning objectives more elusive, but puts even greater stress and pressure on women to shoulder the burden of contraception on their own.

The majority of family planning options are designed for women, and options for men are limited to condoms, vasectomies, and the withdrawal method of contraception. However, World Vasectomy Day has shown that. With 1, vasectomists in plus countries participating, World Vasectomy Day is the largest male-focused family planning event ever, using creative media to dispel vasectomy myths, raise awareness, and promote broader positive masculinity.

The government has embraced this anniversary in tandem with their 40th anniversary celebrations of Mexico's Family Planning Program. Investing limited family planning resources in male options is not only good for family planning, but it is necessary for a healthy society. When men are involved in family planning and sexual health programs, men are more likely to participate in household work and childcare, financial resources are more readily allocated for female contraceptives, and domestic violence decreases.

Research has shown that bringing men into the family planning conversation actually increases overall contraceptive use while making broader and critical strides toward increasing gender equality. Instead of opening conversations by asking men whether they want to get a vasectomy, shoot for the big-picture: How important is it that the quality of life of your children be better than your own?

From there, conversations naturally cover the impact of large family sizes on ability to provide, and their desire to be part of the decision-making process. When vasectomies are seen as a tool to achieve desired family sizes and a way to care for the children they already have, men are extremely receptive. DKT has found that using dynamic, open, and fun social marketing techniques dramatically increases the uptake of the nonprofit condom brand, Prudence, in Mexico and other Latin American countries.

Emphasizing that good sex and being responsible lovers are not mutually exclusive might be considered scandalous by some - but it works. The makers of Prudence have eroticized their condom messaging, celebrated sexuality, and used humorous vernacular without any medical jargon. DKT also offers resources to men for questions about sexual health through major events such as concerts, school functions, and health care fairs, and through its social media, Red-DKT call center, and Whatsapp mobile chat service.

The strategy of asking men to get a vasectomy as part of a public ritual celebrated globally transforms the common fear that a vasectomy leads to a loss of manhood into an increased sense of heroic purpose, all the while demystifying the procedure itself. World Vasectomy Day uses videos and media products to dispel myths while cultivating community through shared stories of real patients before, during, and after their vasectomies.

Since adopting the World Vasectomy Day program, Mexico has seen an By involving men in family planning programs, raising awareness of vasectomies as a simple and effective method, and celebrating the men who take part, we can truly shake up the stagnant growth in contraceptive use and global gender equality. While being entertained, people's day-to-day experiences are changed by these stories.

We all learn by watching role models. PMC's shows change ideas, self-perception, and self-confidence for millions of people at a time. The Trump administration's recent rule change makes it harder for women to obtain birth control, and the impact will reverberate far beyond simply inconveniencing women.

All of us - our families, our communities, our economy - pay a price when there are barriers to contraceptive access and The Trump administration's recent rule change makes it harder for women to obtain birth control,. Nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, resulting in 1. Babies born as a result of unplanned pregnancy are significantly more likely to arrive preterm or at a low birth weight.

This can lead to developmental problems and other health complications that often create lifelong issues and lead to pricey medical bills. When there is an unplanned pregnancy, young women often put their education on hold or leave the workforce, lowering earning potential and increasing the likelihood of poverty for them and their children.

The places where many women get their healthcare make it very difficult to access the most effective methods of birth control, IUDs and implants. When women have same-day access to the full range of birth control methods, and can choose the one that works best for them without cost, we start to stem the tide of unplanned pregnancy. It is important that clinics offer free same-day access to all contraceptives.

Helping women achieve their own goals and empowering them to decide when and if they want to become pregnant improves economic and health outcomes for parents, children, and communities. But then they worked to to reduce barriers and improve access to birth control.

Today, any woman in Delaware can get access to the method of birth control she wants for free. Reducing access to birth control hurts women, families, and the economy. Our work is dedicated to ensuring providers offer all women - no matter where they live, their income, or their insurance status - easy, affordable access to the full range of birth control options. Doing anything less harms us all. Population growth can be slowed, stopped and reversed, even though it has rocketed in this century and last.

A sustainable reduction in global population could happen within decades, according to the United Nations' most optimistic scenario. Its main population prediction is in the middle of that range - 9. But if there were just half-a-child less, on average, per family in the future than assumed, there woud be two billion fewer of us than expected by - and five billion fewer of us by the end of the century.

Countries have had dramatic success in reducing their birth rates. Over million women who want to avoid pregnancy are not using modern contraception. Reasons for this include lack of access, concerns about side-effects and social pressure not to use it. Most of these women live in poor countries, where population is set to rise by 3 billion by Overseas aid support for family planning is essential - making sure supplies are adequate. People choose not to use contraception because they are influenced by assumptions, practices and pressures within their nations or communities.

In some places, very large family sizes are considered desirable; sometimes the use of contraception is discouraged or forbidden.

However programs that change attitudes towards contraception and family size have been very successful. Religious barriers may also be bypassed. In Iran the country's religious leader declared the use of contraception was consistent with Islamic belief and a very successful family planning campaign was initiated.

Portugal and Italy have some of the lowest fertility rates in spite of the fact that they are predominantly Catholic. Escaping poverty is a vital way to bring birth rates down. Decreasing child mortality, improving education and providing people with economic opportunities all help to reduce fertility.

International aid, fair trade and global justice will help bring global population back to sustainable levels. Where women and girls have economic empowerment, education and freedom, they normally choose to have smaller families. Greater freedom usually leads to greater uptake of family planning and ending child marriage pushes back the age at which women have their first child, which often reduces family size.

African women with no education have, on average, 5. When family sizes are smaller, that also empowers women to gain education, take work and improve their economic opportunities. In the developed world, most of us have the power to choose the size of our families [Note: We also have a disproportionate impact on the global environment through our high level of consumption and greenhouse gas emissions - in the UK, for instance, each individual produces 70 times more carbon than someone from Niger.

Many of the rural people do not understand Swahili. This would be true in many African and Asian countries where the rural population speaks languages different from the national language. I wonder if Health surveys take that into account when they tabulate reasons women don't use contraception. It is not just a matter of 'choosing a smaller family'. It is likely a matter of having access to affordable and effective contraception. Bangladesh has grown from 75 million people in to almost million today, more than double in 46 years.

The United Nations estimated in that the population of Bangladesh would be about million in Bangladesh has a population an average population density of 1, persons per sq. The life expectancy at birth is 71 years, with women having slightly higher lifespan than men 72 years vs. Bangladesh is now experiencing a demographic transition with the continuous decline trend of the natural growth rate.

The population growth rate in Bangladesh was 1. Bangladesh is an intermediate position between low-growth countries, such as Thailand, Sri Lanka and Myanmar and medium growth. Medium growth countries in the region are India and Malaysia. Bangladesh's Family Planning Program has had a tremendous role in slowing population growth over the last 50 years. Bangladesh's progress in the family planning movement has been cited as one of the role models to follow.

Family Planning was introduced in Bangladesh then East Pakistan in the early s through the voluntary efforts of social and medical workers. The government of Bangladesh, recognizing the urgency of its goal to achieve moderate population growth, adopted family planning as a government sector program. Beginning in , the FP program received virtually unanimous, high-level political support.

In , the government declared the rapid growth of the population as the country's number one problem and adopted multi-sectoral FP program along with National Population Policy. From extremely high levels of 6. According to the Population Reference Bureau PRB in , even if Bangladesh reached replacement level fertility, population stabilization would take another 15 years, and the growth is being fuelled by the large young population of the country.

PRB predicted the replacement level fertility by which did not take happen. The s saw a steep decline in TFR. This was followed by a decade-long plateau which was the consequence of a 'tempo effect'. The adoption of FP by Bangladeshi couples has always been after the first birth. The age at marriage did not change and there was no delay in age at first birth, and as such, no tempo effect was operating on first births. Now, however, fertility levels are quite uneven - remarkably low in the west of the country below replacement, on average and worryingly high in the east up to 1.

In order to attain any of the reasonable population estimates projected for mid-century which range from to million a substantial increase in the contraceptive prevalence rate CPR will be required in the next five years by Bangladesh has considerable built-in population momentum because of high fertility in the past, and even with reduced fertility, many young women will pass through reproductive ages over the coming decades.

During the first decade of the 21st century, the number of women of reproductive age increased from around 32 million to 41 million as the children born in the higher fertility s and early s entered their childbearing years, according to UN estimates.

Investments in female primary and secondary education in Bangladesh manifest themselves in improved opportunities for formal sector employment for young women, and parents will tend to favor smaller families, investing more per child in education-quality versus quantity. This trend will also be influenced by the saturation of the rural labour force and the fragmentation of agricultural land holdings such that there will be decreasing employment opportunities for unskilled workers.

Having a huge mass in the youth age population is worrying. If they don't get the job on time or get the opportunity to have the skills for future earnings, some of the social menaces will continue, like dropping out from the schools, early marriages followed by early pregnancies.

This vicious cycle will become the hindrances of our national programs that contribute to continue fertility decline and population growth. A stagnating CPR is a cause for concern. While the government through its new plans to expand the contraceptive mix by specially promoting permanent methods, it should also think of fertility awareness based methods, such as long acting methods LAM , which mimic traditional methods and may be more acceptable to users of traditional methods.

To increase levels of unmet need, the government, with help from its non-governmental partners, should continue with its family planning messaging and counseling services and try and match the demand for family planning services and supplies. Bangladesh has a high adolescent fertility rate, one of the highest amongst the south-east Asia region nations. Early initiation of child bearing leads to rapid increases in population by not only lengthening the productive period in the woman's life, but also by shortening the inter-generational span.

As most of the adolescent child bearing occurs within the realm of marriage, it means that the law governing the age at marriage needs a much stricter reinforcement. It is heartening that the government plans to make special efforts to reach out to adolescents with family planning messages and individual and community level counseling services.

One of the main reasons that fertility rates stalled at around 3. A woman who has a high school education will have two fewer children than her non-educated peers. Long-term contraceptives or the pill can also make periods irregular or stop them all together which can mask the symptoms of pregnancy. This could be why women are having late-term abortions past 20 weeks because they were using long-term methods so didn't take notice of pregnancy symptoms.

As policymakers, donors, and advocates gather for the Family Planning Summit in London, new data released by Marie Stopes International reveals the 1.

If all of the 69 FP focus countries provided contraception to every woman who wants it by , as agreed under the UN's Global Goals for Sustainable Development SDGs , family planning would prevent:.

Marjorie Newman-Williams, vice-president and director of international operations at Marie Stopes International said:. Without access to contraception, women are likely to have more children than they want or can care for. Frequent births in quick succession imperils a woman's health, stresses her family's well-being and future prospects, and overwhelms countries' social and economic resources.

Over the last five years, the world has made impressive progress in expanding access to modern contraception. Despite population increases, for the first time in history, unmet need for contraception has fallen, with a record million women and girls across 69 of the world's poorest countries now using modern contraceptives. But huge numbers of women are still missing out, particularly the young, people in humanitarian crises and women in the most remote places on earth.

Laos, Nepal and Myanmar have the next-to lowest number of contraceptive users in Asia. Growth in the number of contraceptive users is projected to be specifically high for south Asia. Bhutan is similar, so it is amazing that its contraceptive prevalance is so high. I was also surprised that Myanmar had such a low ranking in view of its fertility rate of 2. Fertilty rates for these Asian countries in order of fertility rate are: Bill Ryerson, founding Director of the Population Media Center, has been gathering Demographic and Health Surveys on the reasons people in high-birthrate nations give for not using available Family Planning FP services.

Some of the DHS surveys include women who would like to become pregnant, so the surveys taken in some nations show "desire for pregnancy. The surveys estimated that million women in the surveyed regions had an "unmet need" for FP services.

They defined unmet need as not wanting to be pregnant in the next two years, but not using any modern method of contraception. In most countries the most common reasons for not using contraception given by married women in this category were: Referring to a article published by several demographers concerning the studies, Mr.

Ryerson quotes two excerpts stating reasons for non-use:. Cost was not a frequently cited obstacle to use among married women with an unmet need: A substantial proportion of these married women were sexually active within the three months preceding the survey, including about half of women with an unmet need in Latin American and Caribbean countries. A June paper by two of the authors of the paper essentially came to the same conclusions.

There is still need for expanded FP services, especially if the informational and cultural barriers to use of FP methods can be overcome. Today the reasons for non-use are quite different from those given in The mission of the Population Media Center PMC is to use entertainment-education and mass media to promote social and cultural change. PMC sponsors dramatized communication campaigns that, without telling people what to do, provide attractive role modeling.

PMC's soap opera-type programs focus largely on women's rights, including education for girls, and communication between husbands and wives about the future of their families - promoting more awareness that smaller families lead to better health and greater prosperity.

It may be that the pastoral peoples in remote areas were not included in the survey. PMC serves people who have access to radio. The people in the Maasai Harmonial project area do not have access to radio. In addition, the pastoral Maasai culture is very different from the culture of the people who live in the areas where radio is available. The majority of the Maasai do not speak the national language of Swahili or English, so they would not benefit from a radio program produced in Swahili.

PMC has done wonderful things, but it must be recognized that a large part of population growth in Africa comes from hard-to-reach rural areas where a large variety of languages are spoken. Oregon and Washington may follow suit. The US average is similar: Global health experts call unintended pregnancy an epidemic because it's so common, and the toll on physical health, mental health, and child development so large.

Reducing unsought pregnancies results in: After implementation of the Colorado Family Planning Initiative, teen births and abortions dropped by nearly half. High-risk births, including preterm births, also diminished. Unsought pregnancy is four times as common and unsought birth seven times as common among poor women as among their more prosperous peers, so poor families benefited the most. In Colorado, much of the improvement came from switching away from error-prone family planning methods that require action every day or every time they have sex -- such as pills and condoms-- to long-acting IUDs and implants that make pregnancy prevention easy.

These methods are "get it and forget it. When a woman wants to get pregnant, her healthcare provider can remove the implant or IUD, usually in a five-minute procedure, and normal fertility returns almost immediately. Louis a study of 9, women called the Contraceptive Choice Project demonstrated that long-acting contraceptives dramatically reduce unplanned births and abortions.

It also showed that most women prefer these technologies when high cost and other barriers are removed. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have declared these methods far more effective and safer than any other method and far safer than the risks from pregnancy itself.

One of these methods, the hormonal IUD, has bonus health benefits, including protection against some cancers. Women were able to access services wherever they might encounter the healthcare system. All sorts of health care workers were trained in improved counseling and to insert and remove implants and IUDs. More flexible hours at these health centers improved access for working women. CFPI integrated family planning into primary care, labor and delivery, and post-abortion care.

CFPI funding made all methods available with no co-pay, a standard that later would be incorporated into Obamacare now on the chopping block, of course. Implants and IUDs are cheaper in the long run than other forms of birth control, especially if you include the costs associated with an unplanned pregnancy.

But until recently, the up-front price of long acting contraceptives has made these methods unavailable to many women. CFPI worked to normalize conversations about sexual health and promote healthy decisions and planning. Young Latinas, who have a higher-than-average teen pregnancy rate, talked with each other in culturally proficient after-school programs. Social service agencies offered sexuality workshops or provided onsite access to educators.

A website, BeforePlay, offered practical information about contraception and sexual health, as well as specific resources available across the state. Reimbursement policies were changed so that women could get an IUD or implant of their choice immediately postpartum in hospitals.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown recently affirmed that she and the Oregon Health Authority "place a high priority on improving women's health and reducing unintended pregnancies by implementing pregnancy intention screenings and providing effective contraceptives to women who do not wish to become pregnant. The Oregon Foundation for Reproductive Health has developed a technique -- now a national model -- that makes it easier for primary care, chronic care, and mental health providers to open up conversations about family planning.

It is called One Key Question, and the question is: Would you like to get pregnant in the next year? If a woman says yes, this leads to a conversation about preparing for a healthy pregnancy, called "preconception care".

If she says no, she has an opportunity to explore contraceptive options, including top-tier methods that might not be familiar. A new Oregon law allows retail pharmacists to prescribe oral contraceptives or patches. A second law, the first in the nation, requires insurers to cover a month supply of birth control at a single prescription fill. Oregon also has a mandate for comprehensive sexual health education in public schools and expansion of family planning coverage through Medicaid.

Despite promising trends, the US teen pregnancy rate is far higher than any of the other 34 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. National funding cuts could make things worse: But there will be opportunities to increase intentional parenthood through practice improvements and better public awareness.

Oregon's One Key Question could make the state a national leader in healthcare integration. This will mean incorporating routine pregnancy-intentions screening into primary care, labor and delivery, chronic care, mental health, and drug treatment programs.

Public officials in the state of Washington have paid close attention to the models in St. Louis, Colorado, and Delaware.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee's office has voiced support for upgrading contraceptive care statewide. When Planned Parenthood showed that low reimbursement for IUD insertions had become an obstacle for clinics serving poor women, the state changed reimbursement rates. School-based clinics in Seattle now offer the full-range of birth control options to high school students, and Neighborcare Health, which runs several of these clinics, employs educators who help teens and their parents explore options.

In , King County Public Health secured a small grant to train and provide technical assistance to school-based health centers so they could offer IUDs and implants on-site, with follow-up support from Public Health.

Three of these health centers hired half-time sexual health educators, who taught in biology and health classes, and provided contraceptive counseling to teens and their parents. One Washington State imperative addresses the epidemic of opioid addiction.

Neonatal care units are overflowing with newborns suffering from Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, a form of withdrawal. With long-acting methods offering years of protection and with each person in charge of his or her own fertility, children will come into the world by the mutual consent of two people who want to create a child together.

But even if Planned Parenthood is spared, Trump's proposed rollback in Medicaid and contraceptive coverage will inevitably increase unintended pregnancies and the demand for abortion services. The AHCA, on the other hand, by making contraception more expensive and less accessible, would roll back some or all of those gains.

In addition Congress may also eliminate funding for comprehensive sex education in schools. The House of Representatives has been trying to do just that for the past four years, and this year it may be able to override Senate opposition. Humanitarian programs, including international family planning, could face draconian cuts. USAID's family planning program helps parents better feed, educate and care for their children.

US-supported family planning programs are slowing rapid population growth in some of the least stable countries in the world, including Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Sudan and Yemen.

Cutting international programs to pay for increased defense spending will undermine US security and likely increase the demands on the Defense Department.

Defense Secretary James Mattis once declared: Two years after Texas slashed its support for family planning by two-thirds in , Medicaid expenditures soared because of the increase in unplanned pregnancies. While the state was forced to do an about-face and re-fund family planning, it persisted in its attacks on Planned Parenthood, forcing dozens of clinics to close, leaving many women in Texas without access to family planning services.

Unless Congress stands down on cutting contraceptive services, it will find itself in the perverse position of driving up teen pregnancy rates and Medicaid costs. In most states, hormonal contraception requires a prescription. Getting that prescription takes time and money for doctor visits that some women just don't have. Oral contraceptive pills are well-studied, and The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Family Physicians agree that they are safe for over-the-counter use.

The idea even has bipartisan support in Congress, except on issues like whether insurance companies should have to pay the bills. The next step was to find a pharmaceutical company willing to go through the long and costly process of seeking FDA approval. That too has now been done. HRA Pharma in Paris is partnering with advocates and experts from Ibis Reproductive Health to start the process, which may take several years to complete.

There are two major types of oral contraceptives, progestin-only and pills that contain both progestin and estrogen. Ibis and HRA plan to seek FDA approval for a progestin-only pill similar to others already approved for emergency contraception. Progestin-only pills present the fewest barriers for the broadest population, Ibis president Kelly Blanchard said.

Both types of pills are equally effective, but combined pills with estrogen can cause potential problems for women who smoke or have high blood pressure. Blanchard said that after the first OTC pill is approved, it shouldn't be difficult to get other forms of birth control approved, too.

That would allow women more than one over-the-counter option, since not every pill or every birth control method is right for every woman. Not making women pay extra on top of their insurance premiums makes birth control much more accessible. But repeal of the ACA may eliminate that benefit.

Republicans proposed legislation in to speed up the FDA's over-the-counter approval process for contraception - but Democrats and women's health advocates called that bill a ploy to undermine the ACA while only appearing to support birth control and women's health. That bill would also have imposed an and-over age restriction, which Blanchard says is completely unnecessary.

As for whether Trump's appointees could cause political problems for approving over-the-counter contraception, Blanchard said she hopes that the FDA "will follow their process and judge it on its merits. And we think the merits are strong. For at least a decade the national trend has been to put off having kids and have fewer of them.

But in California, the lingering recession of the late s and high real estate prices have created obstacles for young couples looking to have kids. While California's population grew to According to the state Department of Finance, between July 1, , and June 30, Californians had just The lowest birth rates occurred in California's small northern counties, where jobs for young families are scarce.

But coastal spots, including the booming bay area and the central coast had affordability problems. Though the state figures don't specify ethnicity, U. Even among the Hispanic population, among the nation's fastest growing, birthrates have been falling since The rate of population growth has declined along with the birthrates. People continue coming, but since the late s migration to California has been relatively low.

Between July of and July of , the state gained , people through migration from another country. But it lost , people due to migration between states. In all, about 70, more people arrived than left. Schwarm said that even if the state's fastest growth is in the past, California has plenty to lure the best and brightest. This video features key experts in the family planning field, including Melinda Gates, Ellen Starbird, Anju Malhotra, Latif Dramani, and Jason Bremner, making the case for investing in family planning in urban areas and explaining how this can impact the environment and economy of countries, as well as add to women's empowerment.

The Zika virus outbreak in Brazil had some world class female athletes considered staying home from the Summer Olympics to avoid the disease that can cause profound birth defects in children of infected women. But what of the millions of Brazilian women of childbearing age, especially those in the poor and overcrowded neighborhoods, who were adviced by health experts: Unfortunately for women in Brazil and many other developing nations, birth control can be hard to obtain.

And research shows that millions of people around the world want more access to family planning. Unplanned pregnancies can create severe economic hardships that perpetuate poverty, and they result in millions of abortions every year, many of them performed under unsafe conditions by untrained people.

Having one baby after another often causes complications and even death. Inadequate pre-natal care and unsafe births and abortions are among the biggest killers of women globally.

For women to exercise the right to decide when to get pregnant, they need access to contraception and information about family planning. About million women worldwide who are either married or in a partnered relationships want to delay or stop having children, but aren't using contraception. A bigger obstacle is the lack of knowledge, particularly in developing nations, about family planning. Many women fear the potential side effects of contraceptives. They may not understand the risks that come with pregnancy and how to minimize them.

They be worried about reactions from husbands or families, or religious leaders. Education and counseling go a long way toward overcoming these obstacles. For many women, the first opportunity to learn about family planning comes during a visit to a clinic to have a baby, an abortion or treatment for a miscarriage.

It's essential to seize that opportunity and present information on how to delay or prevent another pregnancy to any woman who wants it.

Women who become pregnant less than five months after giving birth are 2. Of the million women worldwide who become pregnant each year, nearly 80 million do not intend to. About half of those unintended pregnancies end in abortion. Many of those abortions are performed under unsafe conditions, contributing to the deaths of nearly 67, women each year. Modern contraceptives could reduce unplanned births in developing countries by 22 million and maternal deaths by 90, each year, sccording to the Guttmacher Institute.

Family planning also reduces gender inequality, enables girls and women to stay in school and find better employment. Better educated girls and women are better equipped to understand and make their own life choices and less dependent on their families and husbands. Children from planned families often benefit from greater parental attention, nutrition and other resources, helping them grow and develop into more productive adults with a better chance of breaking the cycle of poverty.

Their communities, in turn, have reduced need for social services, allowing them to spend scarce resources on more productive development programs. Melinda Gates' mission has been to provide poor women in developing countries with access to contraception. Since , she has helped lead an international campaign to get birth control to million more women by A recent report tells that goal is proving tougher than expected.

Allowing a woman to have a contraceptive tool with which she can space births unlocks the cycle of poverty for her. While Melinda Gates was talking to women about vaccines for their children, the women would ask about contraception. Statistics showed that contraception prevented tens of millions of unsafe abortions by preventing unwanted pregnancies.

Melinda Gates is a Roman Catholic, and her Church doesn't believe in these forms of modern contraceptives. But she saw, while touring the slums,townships, and rural areas that women and children were suffering needless deaths because they literally didn't have contraception like what we use in the United States.

The moral imperative is that we give these women what we believe in and actually use. She found that there is resistance among the leaders of countries who are overwhelmingly men and often don't want to give up control of a woman's fertility.

Even in the United States, some men want to take control of women's health. We can't do the top-down planning that happened in the world in the s, where we told women what to do. It was about population control, it was about coercion. Long-acting contraception such as IUDs and implants which are changing the face of family planning in the United States, particularly for poor women, didn't seem to be making it into developing countries because the funding had stagnated.

So the partners, the philanthropists, have been investing in long-acting tools. There is now an injectable that's a tiny, little blister pack with a tiny, little needle, sort of like you'd give yourself a diabetes drug. We're working on a formulation that could go in a health community care worker's kit. When she goes out into these villages, she can give it to women.

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