- Comprehensive Sexual and Reproductive Health
- Family Planning
- Women, Girls, and HIV
- Maternal Health
- U.S. Foreign Policy & Funding
- Watch: Making U.S. Foreign Assistance Work for Women and Girls in Ethiopia
- Female Condoms and U.S. Foreign Policy
- Family Planning Policy Restrictions and HIV
- U.S. Global Health Initiative
- Global Gag Rule
- Helms Amendment
- Foreign Assistance Budget
- Foreign Assistance Reform
- Kemp-Kasten Amendment
- Abstinence & Fidelity
- Anti-Prostitution Pledge
- Advocacy and Foreign Assistance
- Why Women and Girls?
Family planning programs are a key component to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health. They provide essential and often life-saving services to women and their families. By enabling women to delay pregnancy, avoid childbearing, or space births, effective family planning programs are not only fundamental to women’s health, they also allow women and families to better manage household and natural resources, secure education for all family members, and address each family member’s healthcare needs. The best programs have also been found to increase equity between women and their partners and enhance communication and negotiation skills within couples.
Yet recent data shows that an estimated 215 million women globally have an unmet need for family planning: in other words, they do not wish to have a child at this time, yet are not using effective contraception. This lack of access to family planning methods is a major contributor to the preventable deaths of 500,000 women annually due to complications of pregnancy, childbirth, and unsafe abortion.
During the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), donor nations recognized the importance of family planning programs to broader development goals, and agreed to provide one-third of total funding needed in order to eliminate the unmet need for contraceptives. More than 15 years later, this commitment is still unrealized.
See CHANGE's Policy Brief International Reproductive Health and Family Planning: U.S. Funding Priorities and Funding Implications
Global Female Condom Day is September 16th! You can help advocate for greater access to female condoms by pledging to take action as part of a movement of women and allies around the world who are taking control of their sexual and reproductive health and rights. Click the link below to sign the pledge!Take Action
Tell your Senators that you support full funding for international family planning and a permanent repeal of the Global Gag Rule.Take Action
Congress is now considering a bill (H.R. 2829) that would effectively end our relationship with the United Nations. Act now and tell your Representative to oppose this harmful piece of legislation.Take Action
Join your voice with others and urge your member of Congress to co-sponsor the Global Democracy Promotion Act of 2011, a bill that would create a legislative barrier to block attempts by a future administration to re-instate the Global Gag Rule.Take Action
Ask your Representative to co-sponsor the Global Sexual and Reproductive Health Act (H.R. 1319), newly introduced legislation that promotes a truly comprehensive and integrated approach to U.S. international reproductive health programs.Take Action
The House is currently debating a spending bill (H.R. 1) that, as it stands, would drastically decrease funding for international family planning and reproductive health, global HIV/AIDS, and maternal and child health programs and services. We need you to speak out for women's health and rights today!Take Action
Send a postcard to Ambassador Goosby, the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, and urge him to make U.S. global AIDS programs and policies work harder and better for women and girls worldwide.Take Action
Source0 - Emergency contraception (EC) is not distributed by USAID.
Source$6.7 billion - Fulfilling the unmet need for modern family planning methods would cost, in total, $6.7 billion annually.
Source20 million - Worldwide, there are over 20 million unsafe abortions every year.
Source215 million - Worldwide, 215 million women who want to avoid a pregnancy are not using an effective method of contraception.
Source16 million - Each year there are approximately 16 million births to adolescent mothers.
Source35 - In real terms, U.S. support for family planning is at the same level now as it was 35 years ago.
Today marks the seventh annual World Contraception Day — a campaign organized by a coalition of non-governmental, scientific, and medical organizations, which aims to raise awareness about the benefits of universal access to family planning tools. For the most part, Washington supports this cause: the United States has played a leading role in international family planning efforts for more than five decades and has provided roughly half of total donor funding for family planning in foreign countries.
Zambia's permanent representative to the UN has urged the country's government to allocate more funding towards maternal and newborn health. According to the Times of Zambia, Mwaba Kasese-Bota said sexual and reproductive health services were "cardinal" to reducing maternal and infant mortality across Africa.
Last August, Sudan’s Federal Ministry of Health together with the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) launched Sudan's National Acceleration Plan for Maternal and Child Health. Sudan is the first of the 10 high-burden countries in the Region to launch an acceleration plan on maternal and child health, in line with the commitment expressed in the Dubai Declaration, adopted in January 2013.
In Chile, an 11-year-old girl named “Belen” is more than three months pregnant after being repeatedly raped by her mother’s partner. But she cannot get a legal abortion.
New strategy free from taboos and coercion, and moves away from a camp-based approach, says health official.
The female condom, known as the Fc2, will be among the many awareness issues that will be discussed at the 6th South African Aids Conference in Durban this week. Hundreds of people are expected to attend the conference at the Chief Albert Luthuli International Conference Centre (ICC) that beganon Tuesday.
Philippines President Benigno Aquino has signed into law a bill providing for free access to contraception and family planning.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, June 12 -- What does it mean to have the freedom to decide, when it comes to contraceptives? Last week, I was honored to have conversations with a few women in Uttar Pradesh, India, to understand more about the decisions many women face when it comes to why and how they plan their families in particular ways.
U.S. Global HIV Policy: Combination Prevention
This paper outlines why the U.S. must support a true combination prevention strategy, one that scales up proven biomedical tools, integrates sexual and reproductive health services into HIV prevention, and addresses social barriers to HIV prevention.Download this PDF
File Under: Policy Briefs
What Does Family Planning Have to do With HIV? Everything.
Voluntary family planning is an indispensible component of HIV prevention and treatment.Download this PDF
File Under: Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet: Global Democracy Promotion Act of 2011
The Global Democracy Promotion Act of 2011 provides that the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act cannot impose eligibility restrictions on international recipients of U.S. aid that would be illegal if imposed nationally. Would constitute a legislative repeal of the Mexico City Policy, also called the Global Gag Rule.Download this PDF
File Under: Fact Sheets
Female Condoms and U.S. Foreign Assistance: An Unfinished Imperative for Women’s Health
Female Condoms and U.S. Foreign Assistance: An Unfinished Imperative for Women's Health, summarizes U.S. support for female condoms, identifies barriers, and offers concrete recommendations for improving U.S. efforts to increase access and availability of female condoms.Download this PDF
File Under: Research Documents
Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Ethiopia
On July 5-9, 2010, three U.S. state legislators traveled to Ethiopia to better understand the role of U.S. foreign assistance aimed at improving the quality of reproductive health care. This report documents that trip and makes recommendations for improving effectiveness of U.S. foreign assistance to advance the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls in Ethiopia.Download this PDF
File Under: Research Documents
Trends in U.S. Support for Global Female Condom Procurement, Distribution, and Programming
Historically, the U.S. government has shown strong support for international female condom procurement and distribution. However, U.S. leadership for female condom commodities has not extended to programming. This poster was developed for the 2010 XVIII International AIDS Conference.Download this PDF
File Under: Research Documents
Family Planning Topics
Voluntary family planning is an indispensible component of HIV prevention and treatment.
The female condom is currently the only available HIV-prevention and family-planning method that women can initiate themselves. Yet, globally, female condoms continue to be underfunded and underused because of cost, stigma, and a lack of political will.