National Partnership for Women & Families

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New Report Finds Contraceptive Use at Record Levels in Low-Income Nations

A new report from FP2020, a global partnership on family planning rights, finds that the use of modern contraceptives has reached record levels among women in low-income nations but remains short of FP2020's goals, Thomson Reuters Foundation reports.

According to Thompson Reuters Foundation, FP2020 in 2012 launched an effort to add 120 million new users of contraception across 69 countries by 2020. The organization reported this year that while 24.4 million more women and girls are using contraception, the group is 10 million short of its goal at this point.

Report Details

Overall, the report found that about 290.6 million women in low-income countries are using modern birth control methods. According to FP2020, the level of contraceptive uptake has averted 80 million unintended pregnancies, 28.6 million unsafe abortions and 111,000 maternal deaths this year.

FP2020 reported the most substantial gains in South Asia, where contraceptive use rose by 47% since 2012, and eastern and southern Africa, where contraceptive use rose by 22% since 2012.

For example, contraceptive use among married women in Kenya increased from 46% to 58% between 2009 and 2014, driven largely by community-based administration of contraceptive injectables. Similarly, Zambia's decision to double its family planning budget helped increase contraceptive use in the country from 33% in 2012 to 45% in 2014.

Meanwhile, the report found that India, Pakistan, the Philippines and seven other nations failed to demonstrate significant progress. Out of the 69 focus countries, those ten nations account for half of the women of reproductive age.

The report said, "Family planning saves lives and unlocks the potential of women, their families and communities. But while we have made progress, the latest data show that we're not yet meeting our goals. With five years to go, we have a window of opportunity to get back on track" (Wulfhorst, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 11/12).