Why Family Planning and Reproductive Health are Critical to the Well-Being of Youth

An unprecedented number of young people are entering their reproductive years, most of whom live in the developing world. U.S. policy makers should assist in effort to ensure that youth worldwide are able to make informed decisions about their sexuality and receive the family planning and reproductive health care that they require. The U.S. should support these efforts by providing adequate funding for international family planning and reproductive health programs.

Young people’s access to family planning and reproductive health is a fundamental right. The international community recognizes that youth must have access to comprehensive, evidence-based, scientifically accurate, and youth friendly family planning and reproductive information, services, and supplies. The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action endorsed by 179 countries identifies young people’s reproductive rights as a priority. Youth were also a key consideration in the 2009 review of the ICPD.