Today is World Population Day—a day when the international health and development communities focus on the urgency and importance of population issues. This year’s theme is “Family Planning: Empowering People, Developing Nations.”
In its latest analysis of the data, the Guttmacher Institute estimates that meeting the current unmet need for family planning and providing full care for all pregnant women and newborns in the developing world would decrease unintended pregnancies by a whopping 75%. Newborn deaths would decline by 80%; maternal deaths by 25%.
These statistics are staggering—and speak to the urgency of funding family planning programs globally. Currently, 214 million women and girls of reproductive age across the developing world want to avoid pregnancy but aren’t using modern contraceptives. When women and girls are empowered to control their own fertility, they are also freed to pursue an education, become economically self-sufficient, and provide stability for the children they already have. Entire communities benefit when women make their own choices about whether and when to have children.
Expanding global access to family planning has been central to Population Connection’s mission since our founding as ZPG in 1968. You can learn more about the connections between population and health and human rights by exploring the links below.