Sunday, July 22, 2012


I have been thinking a lot about the role that family planning plays in poverty reduction, particularly in Ward 8. A lot of the issues we see surrounding poverty, education, crime and unemployment can be tied to unplanned pregnancies, particularly among teenagers.  I don't think it is possible to have a conversation about reducing poverty rates without discussing the importance of family planning (i.e. birth control).

I will be sharing articles on the subject of family planning and poverty in the coming weeks. I encourage readers to share their stories and information on birth control and family planning resources in the comment section.

Go HERE to read the full article from the Las Vegas Review Journal:


In 1999 the CDC declared family planning one of the 10 greatest public health achievements of the twentieth century. It said, "Smaller families and longer birth intervals have contributed to the better health of infants, children, and women, and have improved the social and economic role of women." 
Yet, the US has the highest rate of unintended pregnancies in the developed world. About half of all pregnancies - 3 million - each year are unintended and about half of these end in abortion. We also have the unfortunate distinction of having the highest teen pregnancy rate among comparable countries. Approximately 82 percent of all teen pregnancies are unintended. 
Adolescents have higher rates of preterm birth, low birth weight infants, and infant deaths. Teen mothers are more likely to drop out of high school, remain single, live in poverty, and rely on public assistance. Their children are more likely to have behavioral problems, rely heavily on public health care, drop out of high school, and become teen parents themselves. The cycle keeps repeating with these negative societal costs and an $11 billion annual cost to US taxpayers. 
An estimated 10 percent of infant deaths could be prevented if all pregnancies were planned. Women who have unintended pregnancies are more likely to delay prenatal care and to expose their fetuses to poor nutrition and harmful substances. This puts their babies at a much greater risk for negative birth outcomes. Not only does contraception improve newborn health, using it to space births improves maternal health and lowers the risk of low birth weight and preterm birth.

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