Overpopulation is a growing concern for both developed and developing countries alike. The rate at which the global population is increasing is alarming. While it took thousands of years to reach the world’s first billion people in 1804, it only took 123 years to add another billion and only 12 for the most recent billion. It is imperative to curb population growth now to prevent the spread of global poverty due to overpopulation. This solution should be as efficient as it is effective. Contraception reduces poverty, and it also ensures a more resourceful future that better meets the needs of the world’s population.
Here are three facts about the relationship between contraception and poverty reduction:
- If women who currently lack the means to sexual health information, as well as proper contraception, were allowed access to these reproductive tools, an estimated 35 million abortions and 76,000 maternal deaths would be prevented each year. Given that abortions far exceed the price of standard birth control, these women could instead spend this money to provide for their families and improve their quality of life. Saving women from a premature death from unwanted pregnancy due to a lack of reproductive education and resources is not only beneficial in regard to humanitarian measures, but it also strengthens the economic security of the household.
- More people being integrated into the work force, followed by a decrease in the number of dependents, provides a boost to economies worldwide. Populations dense with working-age individuals often live in more developed countries given the surplus of people contributing to the respective economy. Contraception reduces poverty in this sector because adults who either choose not to have children or delay the rate at which they have children have more time and resources to earn better-living potentials when compared to those who must use their income to provide for their families.
- While education and international aid offer clear benefits in the fight against poverty, the growth of an excessive population counters these measures. Given the current population’s exponential growth, the economies and civil services of developing countries already lack the capacity or resources to provide for the influx of people to come. The ways in which global poverty is combatted today may no longer be effective in the future if contraception is not accessible.
Family planning means more than just preventing unwanted pregnancies. According to the former executive director of the UN Population Fund, the late Babtunde Osotimehin, “It is a most significant investment to promote human capital development, combat poverty and harness a demographic dividend, thus contributing to equitable and sustainable economic development.” Funding family programming can ensure that contraception reduces poverty, and it will remain effective for generations to come. Additionally, it will help the planet utilize its limited resources more effectively.
– Kaitlin Hocker