In America and the rest of the developed world, 98% of sexually active women use some sort of birth control, and whether or not it is talked about, family planning is the rule not the exception. In sub-saharan Africa and parts of Asia, this is not the case. Women in these parts of the world know about and want birth control, but cannot access contraception. Many walk miles to clinics only to find that the supply has been snapped up. They have no choice but to walk miles home and try again later.
Un-spaced multiple pregnancies mean more women die in childbirth and more children die before they have a chance to live. Lack of access to family planning casts a long shadow in a part of the world where more babies still die from diarrhea than from any other cause. It has been proven, all over the world, that when you give women power over their own bodies, you empower their husbands and children too and everyone's standard of living rises.
In this TED talk, Melinda Gates shares some good reasons why we in the West need to get off our religious and political high horses and stop confusing the issue of birth control with abortion, population control, or other political issues having to do with Church and State.
It makes for an interesting week-end reflection. You might want to give it some thought