Half of all prengnacies are unintended.
Family planning–which includes information about contraceptives and fertility and access to contraception–is lifesaving and world-changing. When women and girls have the power to decide if and when to get pregnant, they can pursue their education and careers and create safer, healiter families, communities, and the world.
But, right now, 218 million women around the world who want to avoid pregnancy are unable to access modern and effective contraceptives. They face barriers like a lack of information or support services, social stigma, resistance from partners or family members, and supply shortages. Worldwide, these barriers contribute to over 121 million unintended pregnancies each year.
Unintended pregnancies upend lives. Women may be forced to abandon their education or careers, to stay in abusive relationships, and to undertake financial burdens that perpetuate the cycle of poverty. Moreover, some unintended pregnancies will result in death. Every year 260,000 women die from pregnancy and childbirth complications and many more face life-altering injuries, infections, and disabilities.
Why Family Planning Matters
Family planning is a human right. It gives women the power and agency to decide if, when, and with whom to have children.
Family planning is central to gender equality and poverty reduction. It enables women to complete their education, pursue their career goals, and strengthen their economic security and well-being.
Family planning saves lives. It is key to reducing maternal deaths and injuries and preventing unsafe abortions.
One-third of preventable maternal deaths could be eliminated by providing access to family planning.
Our Work Empowering Women to Plan their Pregnancies
Providing women and girls with the full range of family planning options, including short-term, long-term, and barrier options. This empowers women to choose the birth control that is best for their bodies, family plans, and futures.
Reaching women and girls with comprehensive sexuality education, so they are knowledgeable about their rights and bodies.
Strengthening supply chains, so women and girls always have access to family planning when they need it, including during emergencies.
Our Impact in 2021
JOIN US TO EMPOWER WOMEN TO PLAN THEIR PREGNANCIES
We believe in a world where every person has control over their own body and reproductive choices. Your partnership is fundamental to achieving this goal, which, in empowering women to build their own futures, will create a better world for us all.
Arek (center) lives with a physical disability in South Sudan. Growing up, she was told that using contraceptives would worsen her symptoms, so she opted not to use them. During her pregnancy with her seventh child, Arek received care from a UNFPA midwife, including counseling on family planning. Arek learned that contraceptives would not impact her disability and that she could delay pregnancy until she was ready.
“I did want to have a child, but later, when I would have been able to provide for my baby. I never thought I’d become a mother at 15,” explained Iuliana, a teenage girl in Moldova. She hadn’t grown up with many opportunities and fell into an abusive relationship with an older man. Iuliana visited a UNFPA clinic for prenatal care, but left with so much more. She received sexuality education, which empowered her with information and resources to make decisions for her body and future.
Treating Sexually Transmitted Infections
Lilia, a transgender sex worker in North Macedonia, relies on UNFPA for sensitive, respectful sexual and reproductive health care. As a sex worker, she faces elevated risks for violence and sexually transmitted infections like HIV, but, no matter someone’s occupation, status, or identity, they have a right to care. We reach healthcare providers around the world with sensitivity training and we provide every person with support after experiencing violence and screening, treatment, and counseling for sexually transmitted infections.