Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Faith community steps up its commitment to family planning

Twelve faith leaders read a statement of support for family planning from a larger group of faith leaders attending the International Conference on Family Planning in Indonesia in January 2016.
This was originally published on Global Health TV on Feb. 23, 2016.

NUSA DUA, BALI, Indonesia — To some, it may have been an incongruous image — twelve faith leaders, representing all the major religions of the world, standing on the stage at the closing ceremony of the International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) here. After all, everyone knows that most religious leaders are against family planning, right?

That was never true, and now it’s becoming even less true. The twelve leaders represented 85 religious leaders and representatives of faith-based organizations (FBOs) who came to Bali from 26 different countries to discuss best practices and scaling up services to help families achieve what they like to call “the healthy timing and spacing of births” during a two-day Faith Pre-Conference.

It might surprise some to know that this support is not just for natural family planning, but extends to all forms of modern contraception with the single exception of sterilization, which is not approved by all types of Islam. All other modern methods are acceptable to all the religions represented at ICFP — Buddhist, Christian, Confucian, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim.