Support Guttmacher this Giving Tuesday
Today is Giving Tuesday, a national day of giving that coincides with the traditional start of the holiday shopping season. The Institute is one of thousands of organizations participating in this day of action, which asks individuals to extend their holiday generosity to their favorite nonprofits. Please help us continue producing evidence and analysis that makes a difference—
make a tax-deductible donation today.
U.S. Supreme Court takes up contraceptive coverage guarantee
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether the owners of for-profit companies can assert religious objections to deny their employees insurance coverage of contraceptive services and supplies in employer-sponsored health plans. The Court’s decision, if it were to grant for-profit corporations an exemption from covering contraception, could have significant negative effects on affected employees and their dependents—interfering with their ability to reap the well-documented health, social and economic benefits of contraceptive use...more
Guttmacher launches search for new President and CEO
The Guttmacher Institute’s Board of Directors announces the launch of the search for the Institute’s fifth President and CEO. Led by Russell Reynolds, a leading executive search firm, the search seeks a successor to Dr. Sharon Camp, who resigned in July following a decade of outstanding service. Learn more about the position…more
Guttmacher at the International Conference on Family Planning
The International Conference on Family Planning, which will be held in Addis Ababa November 12–15, will bring together donors, policymakers, advocates and researchers from around the world to discuss the wide-ranging benefits of family planning and highlight efforts to reduce unmet need for contraception in the developing world. If you will be at ICFP 2013, we invite you to visit Guttmacher’s exhibit booth, located in Tent 5 #33, and attend our panel discussions and events…more
New study provides first abortion estimates for Mexico by state and age
A new report finds that throughout Mexico, high levels of unintended pregnancy result in elevated abortion rates, with 54% of all unintended pregnancies ending in induced abortion. This translates to an estimated one million abortions taking place in the country each year. As abortion is highly restricted throughout Mexico—with the exception of the Federal District of Mexico City—most of these procedures are done clandestinely, putting women’s health at risk. For more information, see our news release in English or Spanish.
A year of magical thinking leads to…unintended pregnancy
In-depth interviews with 49 women obtaining abortions in the United States found that most of the study participants perceived themselves to be at low risk of becoming pregnant at the time that it happened. The most common reasons women gave for thinking they were at low risk of pregnancy included a perception of invulnerability, a belief that they were infertile, self-described inattention to the possibility of pregnancy and thinking that they were protected by their (often incorrect use of a) contraceptive method...more
Births resulting from unintended pregnancies cost federal and state governments $12.5 billion in 2008
Nationally, two out of every three births resulting from unintended pregnancies, approximately 1.1 million births, were paid for by public insurance programs in 2008. Public expenditures on these births—including costs of prenatal care, labor and delivery, postpartum care and one year of care for the infant—totaled $12.5 billion in 2008. Births from unintended pregnancies accounted for 53% of all publicly funded births that year…more
Guttmacher ranked #1 nonprofit in survey of experts in the field
The Guttmacher Institute has been ranked the nation’s top nonprofit working in the field of reproductive health, rights and justice for the second consecutive time, according to a survey of experts conducted by the charity-rating website Philanthropedia. Several reviewers cited the Institute’s unique ability to use scientific evidence to inform policy and program development, which we highlighted in this recent video featuring our Board chair and former President. Please watch the video and consider making a donation to support our work.
September 2013 issue of International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health now available online
The September 2013 issue of International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health is now available online. Click here to find out what is in this issue.
Cost of legal abortion and postabortion care services within Colombia’s national health system is unnecessarily high
A new study finds that the cost of providing legal abortion services and postabortion care at higher-level medical facilities is four to five times as much as the cost of similar services at primary-level private specialized facilities. In great part, the differential can be attributed to the use by primary-level specialized facilities of more appropriate methods that are safer and noninvasive. The study, “The Cost of Postabortion Care and Legal Abortion in Colombia,” finds the unnecessarily high cost of abortion and postabortion care services within the national health system is costing the Colombian health systems tens of millions of dollars each year…more
New video: Publicly supported family planning services are essential
Contraception plays a pivotal role in women’s lives. And for millions of U.S. women, it’s the nationwide network of publicly supported family planning centers that allows them and their families to reap the significant health, economic and social benefits of contraceptive use. However, the programs that support this highly successful effort have come under ideological and budgetary attacks. To put facts squarely back into the debate, our short video highlights the many benefits of publicly supported family planning services…more
This video is also available in Spanish
U.S. abortion funding restrictions harm women both in the United States and in developing countries
The Hyde and Helms amendments, which restrict the use of federal funds for abortion services under domestic programs and in foreign assistance, respectively, are harmful to women in myriad ways. Two new Guttmacher policy analyses discuss recent and potential future steps to soften some of the impact of these restrictions, but conclude that all restrictions on U.S. abortion funding and insurance coverage must eventually be repealed...more.
Almost 13 million women of reproductive age were uninsured in 2012
Almost 13 million women aged 15–44 were uninsured in 2012, according to a Guttmacher analysis of new U.S. Census Bureau data. These bleak statistics not only underscore the urgent and ongoing need for safety-net programs such as the Title X national family planning program, they also demonstrate the significant potential gains to be made as the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of public and private insurance coverage gets underway on January 1, 2014…more
Banning Abortion Endangers Women’s Health infographic now in Spanish and French
Every year, 47,000 women die as a result of unsafe abortions and millions more are injured, some seriously and permanently. Virtually all of these deaths and injuries take place in countries with highly restrictive abortion laws, and they are almost entirely preventable. To help ensure the global debate on abortion is informed by facts, not misinformation, the Guttmacher Institute created an infographic highlighting key statistics on abortion worldwide. We are pleased to announce that this infographic is now available in Spanish and French. Please share them with colleagues and organizations you believe will find them useful.
Guttmacher Institute awarded NIH Population Center grant
The Guttmacher Institute has been selected to receive a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to support the Guttmacher Center for Population Research Innovation and Dissemination. The Center builds on Guttmacher’s contributions to population sciences in the United States and worldwide by strengthening the Institute’s efforts to disseminate data sets for public use, communicate scientific findings to wide audiences and collaborate with other centers and organizations to conduct research...more.
The September 2013 issue of Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health is now available
The September 2013 issue of Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health is now available online. Click here to find out what is in this issue.
Unintended pregnancy rates in the United States vary widely by state
In 2008, more than half of all pregnancies were unintended in 31 states; in the remainder of states, a minimum of 37% of pregnancies were unintended. In most states, unintended pregnancy rates fell within a range of 40 to 65 per 1,000 women aged 15-44. Rates were highest in the South and Southwest, and in states with large urban populations…more
2013 Darroch Award presented to Cynthia Harper of UCSF
Cynthia C. Harper, Ph.D., associate professor in residence in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco, is the 2013 recipient of the Darroch Award for Excellence in Sexual and Reproductive Health Research. The award, presented by the Guttmacher Institute, recognizes Dr. Harper’s cutting-edge research that has shaped evidence-based policy and clinical practice related to contraceptive use in the United States...more.
Pakistani health facilities ill-prepared to provide needed postabortion care
In 2012, almost 700,000 Pakistani women turned to health facilities for treatment for complications of abortion, both spontaneous and induced, illustrating the high level of need for postabortion care in Pakistan. A new study by the Population Council and the Guttmacher Institute found that in many cases, facilities did not have adequate equipment or proper staffing to provide high quality postabortion care and used risky and invasive procedures. Furthermore, about half of facilities did not provide postabortion care patients with contraceptive counseling and services. For more information, see the fact sheet or In Brief.
In Kenya, unsafe abortion is widespread and threatens women’s health and lives
An estimated 465,000 abortions took place in Kenya in 2012, nearly all clandestine and unsafe procedures, according to a new study conducted by the African Population and Health Research Center, the Guttmacher Institute, and Ipas in conjunction with the Kenyan Ministry of Health. Nearly 120,000 Kenyan women were treated at health facilities for complications arising from unsafe abortions; nearly three-quarters of them suffered moderate to severe injuries including sepsis, shock or organ failure. For more information, see the fact sheet, policy brief or full report.
Limits on abortion curb U.S. women’s access to services
In 2008, more than 4,000 U.S. women were denied abortion care because of provider limits on provision of services after a certain point in pregnancy and, in turn, had to carry unwanted pregnancies to term. One of the primary reasons for delay in seeking an abortion was time spent raising the funds to cover the costs of the procedure and travel to a provider. Once a woman is beyond the first trimester, raising the money to pay for an abortion can lead to further delays and create a cycle of increasing cost and delay…more
Services provided by family planning centers broadly benefit the health of women, men and children
Family planning centers offer their clients a wide range of health services, extending well beyond contraception, according to a Guttmacher review of scientific literature. Among their many benefits, these services improve maternal and child health by enabling women to time and space their pregnancies, reduce women’s cancer risk and prevent conditions ranging from STIs to diabetes and high blood pressure...more.
Study examines women’s emotional responses after obtaining or being denied an abortion
American women who are denied an abortion feel more regret and less relief one week later than women who undergo the procedure, according to a study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco. Specifically, while 41% of women who had an abortion near the provider’s gestational age limit reported feeling regret about it, 50% of women turned away because they requested an abortion beyond that limit did so. And while 90% of women who obtained a near-limit abortion reported feeling relief, only 49% of those turned away expressed this emotion…more.
Publicly funded family planning services prevent unwanted pregnancies, generate financial savings
In 2010, publicly funded family planning services in the U.S. helped women prevent 2.2 million unintended pregnancies, which would have resulted in 1.1 million unplanned births and 760,000 abortions. In the absence of these services, national levels of unintended pregnancy, unplanned birth and abortion would be two-thirds higher. By providing women the contraception they need to avoid pregnancies they don’t want, these services yielded savings of $10.5 billion, or $5.68 for every $1 spent…more
Also see our study on why publicly supported clinics play a critical role in ensuring access to care…more
One-third of women seeking abortions travel more than 25 miles to access services
In 2008, American women traveled on average 30 miles to access abortion services. Women living in states with mandatory counseling and waiting periods, women in rural areas and those seeking second-trimester abortion services were more likely to travel greater distances than their counterparts…more
Following 10 years of stellar leadership, Sharon Camp steps down as president and CEO of the Guttmacher Institute
Dr. Sharon Camp, President and CEO of the Guttmacher Institute, is stepping down, effective July 15. The Board of Directors has accepted Sharon’s decision with regret, but also with gratitude and appreciation for her decade of outstanding service to the organization. Learn more about Sharon’s profound impact on the Institute during her decade-long tenure…more
TRAP laws: Texas is the latest to enact rules aimed at shutting down abortion providers
This year will see the second-highest number of state-level abortion restrictions ever. Prominent among restrictions so far in 2013 are so-called targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) requirements, a regulatory thicket designed not to benefit patients but to make it impossible for many providers to come into compliance. However, the reasons offered in support of specific TRAP requirements—which are usually marketed under the guise of protecting women’s health—do not stand up to close scrutiny…more
Also see our analysis on how opponents of abortion rights are employing a state-level strategy to not only make it burdensome for women to obtain an abortion, but also block clinics from providing abortions in the first place…more
State-level assault on abortion rights continues in first half of 2013
In the first six months of 2013, states enacted 106 provisions related to reproductive health and rights, including abortion, family planning funding and sex education. These included 43 restrictions on access to abortion, the second-highest number ever at the mid-year mark and as many as during all of 2012...more
New rules detail compromise for contraceptive coverage guarantee
The Obama administration on June 28 finalized new rules clarifying how women covered by most private health plans will have contraceptive coverage without cost-sharing as guaranteed under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), while addressing objections by some religious employers. The new rules are consistent with what the administration had previously outlined, providing an exemption for a narrow group of religious employers closely tied to houses of worship and an accommodation for a broader group of self-declared religious nonprofit organizations...more
Also see our review of the scientific literature finding that the the ability to delay and space childbearing is crucial to women’s societal and economic advancement...more
New wave of laws seeks to shut down abortion providers
Laws that single out abortion providers by imposing irrelevant and onerous regulations are not good-faith efforts to make an already-safe procedure safer, but instead aim to make abortion care less accessible, according to a new Guttmacher analysis. The authors trace how opponents of abortion rights are employing a state-level strategy to not only make it burdensome for women to obtain an abortion, but also block clinics from providing abortions in the first place…more
Unintended births common among U.S. fathers
Geoff Manasse/Getty ImagesA new study finds that roughly 40% of U.S. births are unintended as reported by the fathers, with two-thirds of these mistimed and one-third unwanted. The study also finds large disparities in rates of unintended birth according to men’s demographic characteristics. Three out of four births reported by single men were unintended compared to only one of four births reported by married men, and unintended births were especially prevalent among black men...more
Reducing short spacing between pregnancies can improve maternal and newborn health
Short birth spacing, measured as 18 months or less, has been linked to harmful outcomes for mothers and newborns. The federal Healthy People 2020 initiative aims to reduce by 10% the number of pregnancies that occur within 18 months of a previous birth, measured as one-third of pregnancies in a recent study. The authors of this study show that efforts to achieve this goal should address pregnancy intention status, and estimate that reducing unintended pregnancies could reduce shortly spaced births from 35% to 23%...more
Infographic: Contraception is highly effective
By preventing unintended pregnancies, contraception provides significant health, social and economic benefits. But as our new infographic documents, consistent and correct contraceptive use is critical: The two-thirds of U.S. women at risk of unintended pregnancy who use contraception consistently and correctly throughout the course of any given year account for only 5% of all unintended pregnancies…more
New report finds uneven progress in expanding pregnancy and delivery care in the developing world
Each year, an estimated 287,000 women worldwide die from pregnancy-related causes, and approximately three million newborns do not survive past the first 28 days of life. The majority of these deaths occur in developing countries at or around the time of delivery, and result from treatable conditions that could be prevented with adequate care. However, more than a third of women in the developing world do not give birth in a health facility that has properly trained staff and adequate equipment...more
Many women find it difficult to pay for abortion
Most women who have abortions have either public or private health insurance, but most still pay out-of-pocket for abortion services. The most common reason is that they believe their plan doesn’t cover the procedure. Many women report that it is difficult for them to pay for their abortion and more than half of abortion patients surveyed reported that they relied on someone else to help pay some or all of the costs…more
Immigration reform must extend access to health insurance coverage
As Congress debates immigration reform, policymakers should heed the strong public health and fiscal arguments for eliminating legal obstacles to affordable public and private health insurance coverage for immigrants. Among many other benefits, such policy changes would improve immigrant women’s ability to obtain the full scope of contraceptive services and supplies, comprehensive maternity care, and a range of other preventive health services…more