Global family planning expert Leslie Heyer is one of many advocates who warns that the funding cuts will have devastating consequences for women and their families, especially in the developing world. When women don’t have the ability to plan their pregnancies, she said, they and their unborn babies suffer higher physical and mental health risks, higher risk of abuse, and lower education levels for themselves and for their children.
Heyer is the founder of Cycle Technologies, a provider of family-planning tools to women worldwide. Some of Cycle’s methods – like CycleBeads and Dot – provide forms of contraception requiring nothing more than a mobile phone.
Heyer said these digital options can be accessible, cost-effective alternatives to traditional contraceptive methods, which are often reliant on fragile supply systems and subjected to restrictions under policymakers.