Kristof: Family Planning, a Missing Link in Poverty Reduction

    Birth control methods on display at the NEMO Science Center in the Netherlands. According to New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, family planning plays a key role in poverty reduction. Photo by: Ryan Somma / CC BY-SA Ryan SommaCC BY-SA

    It’s time to make family planning a priority in the broader fight against poverty, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof argues.

    “[I]t’s impossible to fight poverty effectively when birthrates are sky high,” he writes in his NYT column.

    Kristof adds: “Family planning has long been a missing ― and underfunded ― link in the effort to overcome global poverty. Half a century after the pill, it’s time to make it a priority and treat it as a basic human right for men and women alike around the world.”

    Despite deficient funding for contraception research, new contraceptive technologies are expected to reach the market in the coming years, Kristof notes.

    “Contraception research just hasn’t received the resources it deserves, so we have state-of-the-art digital cameras and decades-old family planning methods,” according to Kristof. “Yet impressive new contraceptive technologies are in trials and should address this problem. These new products are expected to hit the market in the coming years, in the United States as well as in the developing world.”

    Kristof adds that the next generation of family planning products will “be cheaper, more effective and easier to use.”

    About the author

    • Ma. Rizza Leonzon

      As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.