We have a global poverty problem, but what may surprise some, the US has not escaped the problem. Our middle class has been squeezed, but unfortunately, gravity has caused too many of them to fall beneath or just above the poverty line.
There are many reasons for the decline, but it has been occurring over the last 45 years, so all politicians own this issue. Technology advances, globalization, stagnant wages, downsizing of union populations, costly healthcare, etc. are all contributing factors.
Yet, it should be noted that large family size and one parent families are highly correlated with increased poverty. These two factors should not be a revelation, but too many folks look past these causes to others. This a key reason for the importance of family planning to help families manage their family size and health.
Today, I saw a report that noted the US has more teen pregnancies than other western nations. A data point was cited (without a source) that 30% of teens in the 9th grade have sexual relationships increasing to 60% in the 12th grade. The report supported the practice of more holistic sex education in schools, an experiment being promoted in West Virginia, where 1 out of eight births are to teen mother.
The training speaks to more than abstinence and contraception. It speaks to how to say no and not give in to pressure. It discusses sexual assault and STDs. It speaks to relationships and the role sex plays when folks are ready.
Family planning and sex education are key tools in fighting poverty. There is a causal relationship between family planning and fewer abortions, which should give those against family planning some consolation, Rather than condemn or not fund these efforts, we should look at the data and support them.