I just welcomed my second grandson, and the dichotomy between the health care we enjoy and the realities in the developing world is never more stark than when I visited the proud new parents and their precious little one in the hospital—everyone healthy and well.
The biggest killer of women between 15 and 19 in many developing countries is pregnancy and childbirth complications. Enabling women and couples to determine the number of pregnancies and their timing is critical.
Contraception is a pro-life cause.
I believe equipping women to use voluntary methods for preventing pregnancy not including abortion, that are harmonious with their values and beliefs, can make a dramatic improvement in that number and have lasting benefits for the women, the children, and their communities.
Empowering women to plan and space their pregnancies increases their survival and that of their children by 50%. It means they can nourish and raise their babies. It means they can heal after childbirth and contribute to their families and their communities.
Letting women space their own pregnancies means they can stay in school longer. Did you know up to one in four girls in Sub-Saharan Africa drops out of school because of an unintended pregnancy?
These are important issues—critical ones! Will you join me to discuss maternal and child health?
On September 24, I’ll be giving the keynote address at a conference in Nashville looking at these very issues. I’ll be joined by speakers from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lwala Community Alliance, Live Beyond, World Vision, Compassion International, Food for the Hungry, Hope Through Healing Hands, and Living Hope.
We need your voice!