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Prioritizing The Family Planning Needs Of Young Women

The world reached a population milestone in October, but “[i]n the many discussions that have sprung up around the seven billion benchmark — all of them important and illuminating — I don’t hear enough about our world’s most vulnerable: our youth,” Jill Sheffield, founder and president of Women Deliver, writes in this Huffington Post opinion piece. “Nearly half of the world’s seven billion inhabitants is under the age of 25,” she notes, adding “when it comes to sexual and reproductive health, young women and girls around the world face tremendous challenges — which demand tremendous solutions.”

But “one tremendous solution is simple: ensure that young women have access to contraception,” Sheffield writes, noting that 215 million women worldwide do not have adequate access to family planning services. “As global efforts to address this unmet need ramp up, we have to prioritize the rights of young women,” she continues, noting, “A step towards this goal will be taken at the Second International Conference on Family Planning, which will draw thousands to Dakar, Senegal, next week” (11/21).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.