Government initiative in Ghana improves provision of safe abortion care
A government initiative in Ghana is helping improve comprehensive abortion care in the country, according to a new Guttmacher study published in Health Policy and Planning. The study found that healthcare providers who participated in the program were more likely to provide safe abortion and postabortion care than those who had not done so...more
In Bangladesh, unsafe abortion is common despite availability of safer pregnancy termination procedure
© Stephan Bachenheimer/World Bank (Video still)
Menstrual regulation, a procedure that uses manual vacuum aspiration to safely establish nonpregnancy after a missed period, has been part of Bangladesh’s national family planning program since 1979. It is legally allowed up to 10 weeks after a woman’s last period, and thus some women use it to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. Each year, however, hundreds of thousands of women in Bangladesh have abortion procedures that may endanger their health, according to a new study by Mizanur Rahman of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, et al published in International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health…more
The September 2014 special issue of Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health focused on long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) methods is now available
Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health provides the latest peer-reviewed, policy-relevant research and analysis on sexual and reproductive health and rights in the United States and other developed countries. Click here to find out what's in our special September 2014 issue, which focuses on long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) methods.
Privately insured women increasingly able to obtain contraceptives with no out-of-pocket costs
The Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage guarantee has had a substantial and rapid impact on eliminating out-of-pocket costs, thereby improving access to a range of methods. A new Guttmacher study shows that the proportion of privately insured U.S. women who paid zero dollars out of pocket for oral contraceptive pills increased from 15% in the fall of 2012 to 67% in the spring of 2014. Similar increases were seen for the vaginal ring, the injectable and the IUD...more
New study finds that 40% of pregnancies worldwide are unintended
Of the 213 million pregnancies that occurred worldwide in 2012, 40%—about 85 million—were unintended, about the same proportion as in 2008, when 42% of all pregnancies globally were unintended. According to the new study, the proportion of pregnancies that are unintended varied considerably by region...more
Birth control pills should be available over the counter, but not as a substitute for contraceptive coverage
Making birth control pills available over the counter, if done right, would meaningfully improve access for some groups of women. However, such a change is no substitute for public and private insurance coverage of contraceptives—let alone justification for rolling back coverage of all contraceptive methods and related services for the millions of women who currently have it. A new Guttmacher policy analysis posted on Health Affairs Blog details why the pill should be available OTC, but not as a trade for contraceptive coverage...more
Fully informed patient choice and consent must be central to expanding access to highly effective contraceptive methods
A new analysis in The Guttmacher Policy Review argues that efforts to expand access to highly effective long-acting, reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods in the United States must be grounded in the fundamental principle that all women and couples should be able to make fully informed childbearing decisions freely and for themselves. To do so, it is critical that we ensure unfettered access without unduly steering method choice. Achieving this delicate balance is especially important given the historical context of coercive practices related to contraception that most often targeted disadvantaged groups...more
For the full issue of the Guttmacher Policy Review, click here.
20 million U.S. women were in need of publicly funded family planning services in 2012
Between 2000 and 2012, the number of U.S. women in need of publicly funded family planning services increased by 22%, or 3.5 million, to a total of 20 million women. This increased need was driven primarily by a rise in the number of poor and low-income adult women (<250% of poverty) in need of contraceptive services and supplies.
In 2012, publicly funded family planning services provided by safety-net health centers helped avert 1.5 million unintended pregnancies that would have resulted in more than 741,000 unplanned births and 510,000 abortions…more
Most women in Cameroon who want to avoid pregnancy do not use modern contraception
© 2005 Rachel Hoy, Courtesy of Photoshare Low levels of modern contraceptive use are taking a toll on women in Cameroon, their families and the country’s health care system. A new study, “Benefits of Meeting the Contraceptive Needs of Cameroonian Women,” released today in Yaoundé by the Institut de Formation et de Recherche Démographiques and the Guttmacher Institute found that in 2013, approximately 63% of sexually active Cameroonian women—2.3 million women—wanted to avoid pregnancy, but only 37% of these women were using a modern contraceptive method…more (En français)
International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health goes online only
Beginning in 2015, International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health will change from a print and online journal to exclusively an online journal. With this transition, articles will be made available online as soon as they are finalized, even if other articles scheduled for the same issue are still in progress.
New study documents reasons married women in developing nations who wish to avoid pregnancy do not use contraceptives
According to a new Guttmacher study, increasing women’s access to modern contraceptive methods alone will not satisfy their unmet need for contraception. The most common reasons married women give for not using a contraceptive method—despite wanting to avoid a pregnancy—have less to do with whether they can obtain contraceptives and more to do with concerns about possible health risks and side effects or their belief that they don’t have sex frequently enough to warrant using a method…more. And please see our series of infographics illustrating the findings globally and by region.
Call for papers on understudied populations
Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health will dedicate a special section of its December 2015 issue to exploring the sexual and reproductive health needs of understudied populations—individuals with disabilities, incarcerated persons, homeless men and women, military personnel and transgender people, to name but a few. The journal will consider original research and review articles (with a maximum length of 6,000 words), as well as commentaries (up to 3,500 words). The deadline for submission is January 31, 2015. Click here to learn more.
New report underscores critical importance of family planning programs and providers
The highly successful U.S. family planning effort helps almost nine million disadvantaged women each year to plan their families and protect their health, while also substantially reducing rates of unintended pregnancy and saving taxpayers more than $10 billion. Our report synthesizes the most up-to-date data and analyses to illustrate the current and future importance of family planning programs and the safety-net providers at the heart of this effort...more
Also, our online tool allows users to create customized tables with data on the contraceptive needs and services within a given county or groups of counties in a state, including data on women in need of publicly funded contraceptive services and number of clients served by Title X-supported clinics…more