- 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
Women are now the majority of people living with HIV worldwide. The HIV pandemic has changed--our responses have to change with it, or we'll never create an AIDS-free generation.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
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.
In recent years, the global community has intensified its focus on women’s health and rights. This reflects a universal recognition that women and girls are fundamental to the health and well-being of societies worldwide — and that we still have significant challenges to overcome before reaching essential development goals.
More than 26 percent of married women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) want to avoid pregnancy but aren’t using a modern method of family planning. Furthermore, meeting this demand for family planning is not an easy task in the DRC, where deep-seated traditional and religious views exist around family size, gender roles and the use of contraception.
A federal judge on Friday ordered that the most common morning-after pill be made available over the counter for all ages, instead of requiring a prescription for girls 16 and younger. But his acidly worded decision raises a broader question about whether a cabinet secretary can decide on a drug’s availability for reasons other than its safety and effectiveness.
It has been 20 years since the first female condom came on the market but only over 13 years since Malawi launched it, as the only female-initiated preventive measure against unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Female condoms are largely scarce and inaccessible in Malawi even when studies show that there is some high level of awareness and acceptability in the country.
After a publicly contentious 14-year battle, legislators quietly signed the Philippines’ first reproductive health law in late December. It was expected to take effect by the end of March, but on 21 March the Supreme Court halted its implementation, issuing a 120-day status quo ante to review court challenges.
While health experts applaud Nepal’s declining maternal mortality ratio (MMR) in recent years, they say this gain is unsustainable if the country does not address its lack of qualified health staff, especially midwives, to keep women in childbirth alive
The percentage of married women or women in couples who use at least one contraceptive method has grown over the past two decades, from 55 percent in 1990 to 63 percent in 2010. But new projections suggest that the demand for modern contraception remains high: By 2015, 233 million women worldwide will have an unmet need for contraception, according to a United Nations study published Monday.
March 8 is International Women's Day, and as advocates from around the world gather at UN headquarters for the annual Commission on the Status of Women meeting, I am reminded that around the world the fight for equality continues. From Philadelphia to Nigeria, in each of the countries where I have lived and worked, women and especially young people continue to lack sufficient access to essential health care that would enable them to prevent unintended pregnancy, unsafe abortion, and HIV/AIDS.
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 dual protection tool that prevents both HIV/STIs and unintended pregnancy, and is designed for women to initiate.
The female condom is better than ever!