We advocate the promotion of cultural acceptance of contraception across the developing world. This must vary in approach according to local customs, as use of and access to contraceptive methods vary by region. In Pakistan, evidence demonstrates that contraception may often be used, but that usage increases when local religious leaders have deemed the practice acceptable.
Nevertheless, we reject the religious basis for the provision of family planning services which has often limited the effectiveness of birth control provision, or limited the range of contraceptive options available. In particular, we advocate against the use of religious organisations to supply these services. This was a particular policy during the presidency of George W. Bush, whose administration gave preference to religious providers—ostensibly because of their existing aid infrastructure—resulting in ‘limit[ed] condom distribution in a wide variety of settings’.15 At present, however, with studies demonstrating fairly broad condom availability across much of the developing world, greater focus must go toward promoting their use. This is partly educational, as trust in partners is the primary explanation given by monogamous couples for neglecting to use condoms.16 We acknowledge the added benefit of condom usage in diminishing suffering, by providing increased protection against STIs.
We argue that legal, safe, affordable, accessible abortion must be promoted in the developing world. Susan A. Cohen notes that this issue has two important strands, both of vast importance. First, developing nations host most of the world’s clandestine and unsafe abortions, costing numerous lives. This issue primarily affects poor countries, as their citizens are unable to travel to a more liberal jurisdiction to procure an abortion. Secondly, Cohen emphasises the moral argument, as forced pregnancy (in the view of the UN Special Rapporteur for Health) may easily be equated with forced abortion or forced sterilisation.17 We promote the expansion of safe and lawful choices for women in the developing world.