Over the next decade, some astonishing new technologies will spread to fight global poverty. They’re called contraceptives.
This is a high-tech revolution that will affect more people in a more intimate way than almost any other technological stride. The next generation of family planning products will be cheaper, more effective and easier to use — they could be to today’s condoms and diaphragms what a smartphone is to the bricklike cellphones of 20 years ago.
Contraception dates back to ancient Egypt, where amorous couples relied on condoms made of linen. Yet after three millennia, although we can now intercept a missile in outer space, we’re often still outwitted by wandering sperm.
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