We’re surging toward a world population of 7 billion this year — and we still haven’t even made contraception available to everyone who wants it.

The new “Million for a Billion” campaign aims to bridge that gap. Here’s a video to set the scene:

Right now, 215 million women who want to avoid getting pregnant are not using modern birth control. The U.N. has a goal to remedy that problem by 2015 (one of its Millennium Development Goals), but it needs a chunk of change to do so: $3.6 billion a year, $1 billion of which should come from the U.S., according to the International Family Planning Coalition. That would be a jump up from the $648 million the U.S. contributed last year. (Sounds like a lot of money — until you consider that the total cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is well north of $3 trillion. That’s trillion with a T.)

 

Hence the launch of a campaign to get a million people asking Congress for $1 billion. You can sign a petition, join the campaign on Facebook, and, most importantly, demand action from your U.S. senators and rep.

Is a campaign like this unrealistic in the current political climate, when Republicans in Congress are engaged in a war on women and don’t even want to fund domestic family-planning programs, let alone international ones? Perhaps. Is that all the more reason to push this issue loudly and aggressively, making it clear to those in power that the American people overwhelmingly support family planning? Yes.

This is the latest in a series of GINK videos about population and reproduction (or a lack thereof) — usually appearing on Saturdays, but today you get a special Presidents’ Day edition.