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U.S. Investment In Family Planning Provides ‘Social, Economic, Political Benefits’

Noting the recently concluded third annual International Conference on Family Planning, Isobel Coleman, senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy and director of the Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Initiative at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), writes in the CFR “Development Channel” blog, “This week’s meeting in Ethiopia underscores the importance of investing in family planning.” She highlights a 2011 CFR report she co-authored with Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, titled Family Planning and U.S. Foreign Policy, that “emphasizes how investing in family planning supports a myriad of U.S. foreign policy and international development objectives.” She concludes, “Not only does it save millions of lives, it also helps create healthy, resilient families in some of the most vulnerable parts of the world: a positive outcome for U.S. security interests. As international development funding becomes increasingly strained, the United States and governments around the world should remember the social, economic, and political benefits they stand to gain from investing in family planning” (11/15).