Giving Reproductive Health Choices to Families in Developing Countries

Article excerpt

The conspiracy-laden commentary of Stephen Moore ("Population control chimera," May 9) about the United Nations Population Fund (previously known as the United Nations Fund for Population Activities, or UNFPA) shows how far away from the truth a chimera can take you.

The real story is very simple: People in developing countries have the same right to reproductive health, including family planning and safe motherhood, as people in the United States. Here, people take it for granted that they can choose the size of their families and the spacing of their children and that childbirth will be as safe as modern health care can make it.

Most developing countries, on the other hand, still have a long way to go to reach these goals. UNFPA was set up to help them and that is why champions of human rights such as Sen. James M. Jeffords and Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney, Constance A. Morella and Cynthia A. McKinney support bills to renew U.S. funding for UNFPA.

There are still 350 million women who do not have access to family planning. There are still 75 million unwanted pregnancies every year. And every year nearly 600,000 women die as a result of pregnancy - nearly all of them in the poor countries of the world. …