Since the question's been raised, and because contraception takes up significantly more of my time and energy than most peoples', we'll talk.
Because it should be said- I am fully aware that my ability to study, travel, write and advocate is contingent upon fact that I, as an educated western woman have complete and total control of my fertility and how my sexuality is expressed. I'm willing to acknowledge my bias and admit that if I lived in another place or time I might be a different person and feel differently, but I'm incredibly grateful to be a woman in the United States in the twenty-first century.
With that disclaimer-
Why do I believe contraception is so incredibly important?
1) 68,000 women per year die from complications of unsafe abortions.
2) 536,000 women per year -approximately 1 per minute-die of pregnancy complications and childbirth (90% of these are in Africa and Asia).
3) Globally, 50% of pregnancies are unplanned and 25% are unwanted.
(All statistics from UNFPA)
And then there's nutrition.... For one thing, as a fetus's bones are developing, it will leach calcium from its mothers bones and teeth if necessary. The ability to space pregnancies far enough apart that a woman's body has time to replenish calcium stores is important to both the pregnant woman and the fetus. Even in the U.S. we have remarkably high rates of spina bifida, because women of childbearing age don't consume adequate levels of folic acid- can you imagine how much worse this would be without the ability to control when pregnancies occur?
Contraception saves thousands of lives and prevents disease and disability around the world. Thus, it's critical. End of story.
Additionally, another huge effect of hormonal contraception is the impact of powerful estrogenic/antiestrogenic compounds on fish and amphibians, and what's being theorized about their impact on humans. It's going to be vital to find a way to control fertility without using powerful hormones. Yet another reason condoms are one of the world's greatest inventions.