Issue 16: Poor Health, Poor Women: How Reproductive Health Affects Poverty

By
Margaret Greene

Does poor reproductive health prevent poor women from escaping poverty? Despite the plethora of survey data showing that poor households tend to be larger and that poor women tend to have higher rates of fertility, experts have debated whether these conditions cause poverty or are symptoms of poverty. In research conducted for the World Bank, Thomas Merrick and Margaret E. Greene found that poor reproductive health outcomes - early childbearing, maternal mortality/morbidity, and unintended/mistimed pregnancy - have negative effects on overall health, and, under certain circumstances, on education and household well-being.

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