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Why Family Planning Is a Smart Investment

Summary:
Achieving universal access to contraception would save and improve millions of lives, and put societies on a faster track to shared prosperity. With so much at stake, the world should be devoting far more attention and resources to this goal. PRAGUE – Political crises, scandals, and dysfunction continue to dominate the global news agenda. Unsurprisingly, therefore, many people missed the United Kingdom’s announcement last month that it will spend £600 million (9 million) to provide 20 million more women and girls in the developing world with access to family planning. The High Price of Trump’s Great Betrayal Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

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Achieving universal access to contraception would save and improve millions of lives, and put societies on a faster track to shared prosperity. With so much at stake, the world should be devoting far more attention and resources to this goal.

PRAGUE – Political crises, scandals, and dysfunction continue to dominate the global news agenda. Unsurprisingly, therefore, many people missed the United Kingdom’s announcement last month that it will spend £600 million ($779 million) to provide 20 million more women and girls in the developing world with access to family planning.

But the UK government’s decision – based on research by the Copenhagen Consensus Center that shows family planning is one of the smartest possible development investments – is a vitally important one. Currently, hundreds of millions of women are unable to choose the number, timing, and spacing of their children – sometimes with fatal consequences, because unwanted pregnancies can claim the lives of young mothers and infants. Moreover, because universal access to contraception boosts growth, there are powerful...

Bjørn Lomborg
Bjørn Lomborg, a visiting professor at the Copenhagen Business School, is Director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, which seeks to study environmental problems and solutions using the best available analytical methods. He was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in 2004.

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