I feel lucky to live in a country where, thanks to the hard-fought efforts of generations of advocates, contraceptives and reproductive health counseling can be easy to obtain from a doctor's office or clinic. As I've learned on my trips overseas
with our foundation, this is not something to be taken for granted.
There are still 225 million women who want to time, space out, or avoid a pregnancy—but don't have access
to modern contraceptives. I've met women who tell me they have no doctor or health worker to offer them services, no clinic they can rely on for check-ups—no options at all. Without a way to plan or delay their pregnancies, women's quality of life, educational opportunities, earning power, and health all suffer.
But, four years ago, something unprecedented happened: A global partnership of governments, nonprofits, and private sector companies pledged to work together to enable 120 million more women to access contraceptives by 2020. This partnership, called Family Planning 2020
, is working to support 69 of the world's poorest countries—expanding family planning services and counseling, strengthening supply chains so women have access to their preferred contraceptive method, and gathering the data
to make sure no woman is falling through the cracks.