The world doesn't want to consider abortion as a method of family planning, but women worldwide do to the tune of about 40 million a year. Half of these are illegal and unsafe, resulting in millions of injuries and deaths, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
Universal access to contraception would certainly reduce population pressures, but thanks to gender inequality and religion, women often don't have safe access to abortion and contraception. Times readers should review reporter Kenneth R. Weiss' population series published in July and read the chapter on the Philippines, where the Roman Catholic Church is fighting access to contraception tooth and nail.
The U.N. Population Fund's State of World Population 2012 report, entitled "By Choice, Not By Chance," is about family planning. Indeed, as your authors suggest, family planning is to some extent back on the world's agenda, and The Times is playing a constructive role.