"The right to decide whether to have children, how many to have, and when to have them is a core human right for women everywhere, and having the option of a full range of contraceptive methods ensures that this right can be upheld," Pamela Barnes, president and CEO of EngenderHealth, writes in the Huffington Post's "Global Motherhood" blog. "Yet, there are currently more than 220 million who want contraception but don't have access to it," she notes, adding, "This is one of the most important rights issues of this century. It has implications for the health, education, and economic security of individual families, communities, and nations as a whole."
"When women have the right to choose the number of children they want and can stay healthy, the results can be transformative -- they have increased opportunities to finish their education or start and maintain their own business, which means a better future for themselves and their families," Barnes writes. She concludes, "The time is now to redouble efforts to secure rights and high-quality care, including access to all methods of contraception, from the pill and voluntary female sterilization to everything in between. To do any less would be an injustice" (2/22).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.