UN calls family planning an 'essential human right'
By Julian Pecquet - 11/14/12 06:12 PM EST
“Family planning is not a privilege, but a right. Yet, too many women — and men — are denied this human right,” UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin said in a statement announcing the report.
“Family planning has a positive multiplier effect on development. Not only does the ability for a couple to choose when and how many children to have help lift nations out of poverty, but it is also one of the most effective means of empowering women. Women who use contraception are generally healthier, better educated, more empowered in their households and communities and more economically productive. Women’s increased labour-force participation boosts nations’ economies.”
The debate over family planning played a key role in the U.S. presidential election, with the Catholic Church revolting over the healthcare law's mandate that employers provide birth control for free. And the U.N. fund has long come under Republican criticism, notably because it operates in China, which has a one-child policy.