WCD is a campaign started by Your Life dedicated to raising awareness about contraception and safe sex. Access to contraceptive services enables women worldwide to plan and manage their futures without worrying about unexpected pregnancies. Every pregnancy should be a planned one.
Women in developed countries have access to modern contraception. Having the choice to decide when to start a family gives women the autonomy to gain an education that leads to a career and economic independence.
Without access to modern contraception, women in developing countries start their families earlier than anticipated. They must rely on less effective, traditional methods of contraception (rhythm, withdrawal, or periodic abstinence) to best plan their futures. For these women, access to modern contraception will result in an increase of women’s and children’s education, an increase in women’s earnings, and a decrease in poverty. They too will have the opportunity to support themselves financially.
Let’s look at the numbers:
- 214 million women have an unmet need for modern contraception.
- There are 85 million unintended pregnancies every year (41% of pregnancies).
- Of those 41% of unintended pregnancies, over 1/10 of the births are to teenage girls.
What will change if women in developing countries have access to modern contraception? The Guttmacher Institute found that increased funding for modern contraception and family planning will result in the following declines from their current 2017 levels:
- 67 million fewer unintended pregnancies (a 75% decline)
- 23 million fewer unplanned births (a 76% decline)
- 36 million fewer induced abortions (a 74% decline)
- 2.2 million fewer newborn deaths (an 80% decline)
- 224,000 fewer maternal deaths (a 73% decline)
In developing regions, every dollar ($1) spent on modern contraceptive services saves $2.22 for maternal and neonatal healthcare. Increased funding for contraceptive needs will decrease the amount of funds needed for abortions, pregnancy/birthing needs and complications, and infant care. Widespread access to modern contraception is a cost-saving investment that will improve the lives of millions of women globally.
Giving women the opportunity to practice safe sex using modern contraception will not only change the course of their own lives, but the lives of entire communities. Women will be able to continue their education, start careers, and choose how, when, and if they will start a family. More women in the workforce will raise their earnings and reduce poverty. Contraceptive services give women autonomy and the power to shape society for the better.