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"You Are A Man. Why Are You Interested in Family Planning?"

Written by Peter Belden for - News, commentary and community for reproductive health and justice.

It happens frequently when I meet someone new.  We each say what work we do, and then he or she says, “You are a man.  Why are you interested in family planning?” 

This is a problem.  Most people perceive family planning and reproductive rights as women’s issues.  I think that is largely the fault of those of us who work in the field of family planning and reproductive rights. We talk primarily about the benefits this field has for women’s health and autonomy.  While these benefits are great, I believe that when we focus only on them, we fail explain to many audiences why they might also be interested in family planning and reproductive rights. 

Many men do, of course, care about family planning. They value the ability to plan when to become fathers. They want to be protected against sexually transmitted diseases, and they support the health and wellbeing of women.

However, it is no secret that many people--voters, leaders and politicians--are not particularly interested in women’s health and autonomy. ... Read more