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Contraceptives Can Unite Us


Dyer et al.’s (2016) analysis offers key insights into religious conservatives’ perceptions of family planning. It also provides the basis for a messaging platform which could help grow support for sexual and reproductive health programming in a highly politicized environment. However, Dyer et al. have put forth a potentially harmful premise in their exclusive focus on “healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies” (HTSP), while ignoring the benefits of making “contraceptives” central to messaging efforts to increase the support of religious conservatives. Not only does the term “contraceptives” elicit the most positive results among those tested, it appeals to reproductive health advocates by avoiding the pitfalls of a singular focus on HTSP, including ignoring the sexual and reproductive needs and rights of those who are unmarried, adolescents and youth, survivors of gender-based violence – and those who simply wish to limit births entirely.

Read PAI’s commentary on this article.

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