USA for UNFPA Stands with Women in the United States and Around the World 

June 24, 2022
New York, NY

During this difficult time for women and girls in the United States and around the world, we believe our mission is of critical importance: to ensure every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, is the lead provider of modern and effective contraceptives and gathers critical data on reproductive health in over 150 countries around the world.

Though UNFPA does not operate within the United States, USA for UNFPA can anticipate the implications of U.S. policy decisions based on UNFPA’s extensive experience around the world.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has restricted access to abortion for women in the United States. Based on data included in UNFPA’s 2022 State of the World Population report, “Seeing the Unseen: The case for action in the neglected crisis of unintended pregnancy,” we believe this decision will have negative consequences for women, putting their lives at risk.

The report speaks to the complex relationships between abortion, maternal health, and unintended pregnancy, finding that:

Nearly half of all pregnancies, totaling 121 million each year throughout the world, are unintended;

Over 60 percent of unintended pregnancies will end in abortion;

A staggering 45 percent of all abortions around the world are unsafe;

Unsafe abortion is one of the leading causes of maternal deaths globally;

Restricted access to abortion is not linked to fewer unintended pregnancies ending in abortion but is instead correlated with more unsafe abortions.

The report calls on decision-makers and health systems to prioritize the prevention of unintended pregnancies by improving accessibility, acceptability, quality, and variety of contraception and greatly expanding quality sexual reproductive health care and information. It also urges policy makers, community leaders, and all individuals to empower women and girls to make affirmative decisions about sex, contraception and motherhood.

At USA for UNFPA, we believe every woman has the right to determine if and when she is ready for motherhood, and that when she makes that decision, she should have the support she needs to ensure a healthy delivery.

We wholeheartedly believe in empowering women through family planning so they are less likely to experience unintended pregnancies. And thanks to your support, family planning supplies provided by UNFPA in 2021 alone averted over 12.7 million unintended pregnancies and 5 million unsafe abortions. 

Furthermore, unintended pregnancies decrease as gender equality and women’s empowerment increase. Only when all women are fully able to make their own decisions regarding reproductive and sexual health will we see substantial progress in reducing unintended pregnancies and maternal deaths.

Dana Kirkegaard
Be there for women and girls, no matter what

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