The Women and Foreign Policy Program of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) hosted a panel discussion in Washington, DC on the topic of Family Planning and U.S. Foreign Policy: Ensuring U.S. Leadership.
Moderated by Isobel Coleman, Senior Fellow and Director, Women and Foreign Policy Program, CFR panelists include Mark Dybul, Distinguished Scholar and Co-Director of Global Health Law Program, O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, at Georgetown University and Koki Agarwal, Director at MCHIP.
In conjunction with the planned release of the Council on Foreign Relations Working Paper, "Family Planning and U.S. Foreign Policy," this event examined how U.S. investments in family planning affect global health, economic development, international security, environmental stability, and implications for U.S. foreign policy.
Millions of women in developing countries still have more children than they want, and with every pregnancy, a woman faces the risk of death. Continued high fertility is also linked to global concerns about poverty, food security, climate change, conflict, and war. Family planning and reproductive health programs are cost-effective interventions that can reduce high fertility rates and improve not only the health of the individual, but also the welfare of the whole family and ultimately, the larger society. In the era of declining attention to family planning, the United States must assume a greater leadership role in rebuilding political commitment for such services.
Dr. Agarwal authored a working paper as part of a series from CFR's Women and Foreign Policy program titled “Why the US Should Care.” Here she indentifies current trends in family planning, discusses unmet need, analyzes family planning’s role in saving lives, and provides recommendations for why the United States should support investments in family planning worldwide.
To read her paper and others in the series click here.