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Obstetrics & Gynecology:
doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e31821a1411
Current Commentary

Addressing Global Health, Economic, and Environmental Problems Through Family Planning

Speidel, J. Joseph MD, MPH; Grossman, Richard A. MD, MPH

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Although obstetrician–gynecologists recognize the importance of managing fertility for the reproductive health of individuals, many are not aware of the vital effect they can have on some of the world's most pressing issues. Unintended pregnancy is a key contributor to the rapid population growth that in turn impairs social welfare, hinders economic progress, and exacerbates environmental degradation. An estimated 215 million women in developing countries wish to limit their fertility but do not have access to effective contraception. In the United States, half of all pregnancies are unplanned. Voluntary prevention of unplanned pregnancies is a cost-effective, humane way to limit population growth, slow environmental degradation, and yield other health and welfare benefits. Family planning should be a top priority for our specialty.

© 2011 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists


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