Published January, 2011

Family Planning and U.S. Foreign Policy, Isobel Coleman and Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Council on Foreign Relations (2011)

The Council on Foreign Relations April 2011 report Family Planning and U.S. Foreign Policy examines the role of social support programs, specifically reproductive health care programs, within the United States' broad foreign policy agenda. The report includes policy recommendations focused on expanding the role of reproductive health care as a component of foreign policy and explicitly prioritizes increasing access to programs for women who are HIV-positive or who live in countries with a high HIV prevalence rate. The report recommends the integration of programs providing HIV/AIDS treatment and reproductive health care to ease service utilization for vulnerable populations, and urges the creation or expansion of laws to ensure that women have access to adequate health care.

The report is divided into three main parts, each of which focus on a particular impact of reproductive health care. The first part, "Family Planning: Healthy Women, Healthy Families," discusses access to family planning and unmet international need for modern contraceptives, maternal and infant mortality, unsafe abortion, and other women's health issues that relate to political and economic development. The second part, "Considering Demography," discusses current population growth trends and the impact of those trends on international security. The third part, "Environmental Stability," examines population trends and environmental sustainability issues such as food security and urbanization.

Family Planning and U.S. Foreign Policy is a useful resource for those who want to understand how reproductive/sexual health care is incorporated into U.S. foreign policy and the challenges that this branch of international outreach must be prepared to address.