Remembering U.S. Women Too

December 06, 2013


Family Planning StampA recent opinion piece in the New York Times highlights the amazing work that is underway to increase access to family planning for 120 million women around the world. Donors, researchers, governments, and others have come together to increase access to life-saving contraceptive methods and to encourage the use of real-time data to identify supply chain issues and increase the use of best practices for delivering family planning methods.  Folks covering this effort note that it has a chance to save the lives of 3 million children and that the investment in family planning will result in "millions of children who are healthier, stay in school and together drive greater prosperity on a massive scale."

While the life circumstances of most women in the United States are better than those mentioned in these articles, it is worth noting that in the developing world, investing in family planning has been identified as a critical way to improve overall life outcomes for women and families. As we debate access to and coverage for contraception in our own country, let's remember that family planning has been recognized as critical and important for increasing educational attainment, improving the health of mothers and babies, reducing relationship conflict, reducing health disparities, and reducing public spending.

To clear up any misconceptions, while there are some methods of family planning that you can buy at the store around the corner, the easiest to use and most effective methods require a visit to the health clinic and quite a bit of money.  Recently it seems as though people are more interested in making it harder to get family planning than it needs to be. Wouldn't it be great to follow the lead of other countries and recognize the value and importance of family planning in the United States too?

Authored by: Katy Suellentrop

Katy is the Vice President of Programs at The National Campaign.  In her capacity as Vice President of Programs, Katy is responsible for overseeing a portfolio of projects that include providing training and technical assistance to organizations working to address teen and unplanned pregnancy at the state and community level; working with colleges (including 2 year colleges) to increase their capacity to address unplanned pregnancy with their students, particularly those age 18-21; working with child welfare agencies to implement strategies to address teen and unplanned pregnancy; engaging family and juvenile court judges in work to address teen and unplanned pregnancy prevention; and enabling early innovation in teen pregnancy prevention. Her favorite part of the job is helping people connect the dots and try something new to address teen and unplanned pregnancy in their communities.  She’s also a research geek and loves sharing new data. 

Katy received her BA from Northwestern University and her MPH from Emory University. Katy lives with her husband Mike and two sons, Liam and Connor, in Arlington.  She usually spends her free time outside with the boys. 

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