Unconvincing social media message of the day

By Rebecca Oas, Ph.D. | May 8, 2015

(full image at bottom of post)

Spotted on Twitter: in anticipation of Mother’s Day, the United Nations Population Fund and the Guttmacher Institute would like to remind you that for just 47 cents more, you can have an adorable baby and avoid being jabbed with a syringe or having pointy objects inserted into your uterus.

It’s also good to know that these organizations view “reproductive health” as the avoidance of reproduction, whereas investments in pregnancy-related care and treatments to prevent HIV transmission from mother to child must apparently be classified under some other name. (Remember that the next time someone says “reproductive health” needs to be mentioned in a policy document instead of “maternal health.”)

The purpose of the message is to advertise the “Adding it Up” report co-authored by UNFPA and Guttmacher, which calls for $9.4 billion annually to meet the “unmet need” for family planning. Their estimates “assume that all women with unmet need would use modern contraceptives,” despite the fact that most women’s reasons for not using contraceptives do not involve lack of access, and many women described as having a “need” have no desire to contracept in the future.

But seriously – did anyone actually take a critical look at that thing before it was sent out on social media?  That’s somewhere on the spectrum between “out of touch” and “blatantly misanthropic.”