Nearly unanimous support was expressed for U.S. support of voluntary family planning when it is understood to exclude abortion. Congress would benefit from research-based, factual information on a variety of international population issues.
Family planning programs have been highly successful over the past 30 years in providing women in development countries with desired access to contraceptive services and helping to reduce fertility rates.
Controlling for access to services, education is a powerful predictor of both fertility and contraceptive use, particularly among younger women, who have benefited from the large increase in education opportunities since independence.
A new RAND study conducted for the World Bank suggests that, for countries like Indonesia with a well-developed family-planning infrastructure, further investments are best directed toward improving women's educational and employment prospects.