By U.S. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut.
Right now, leaders from around the world are gathered at the United Nations to discuss the best solutions to address some of the world’s biggest challenges – from poverty, to terrorism, to maternal and infant mortality. Setting the next 15-year agenda for global development is a daunting task, and leaders are rightfully debating which issues to prioritize. But there should be no debate over one in particular: universal access to family planning.
While we’ve seen a lot of progress over the course of the last 15 years, the statistics still feel shockingly anachronistic in the 21st century. Every two minutes, a girl or woman dies from pregnancy-related complications. Adolescent girls are particularly vulnerable to tragic complications. Sadly, pregnancy is still the leading cause of death for adolescent girls in low to middle-income countries across Asia and Africa.
As a father, husband, and senator, I find these statistics simply heartbreaking. And yet the biggest tragedy of all is that the United States and its international partners have a solution that could change this bleak picture, and we’re not acting on it.
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