Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

The March 2015 issue of Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health is now available

PSRH logo 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 March 2015 issue.

Call for papers: The December 2016 issue of Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health will contain a special section devoted to abortion in the United States and other developed countries. We welcome submissions on topics such as the incidence of abortion, women’s experiences seeking and obtaining the procedure, service provision and policy-related issues. Deadline for submission is November 30, 2015.

Our author guidelines and instructions for submitting a manuscript may be found here.


Investing in sexual and reproductive health is key to reaching global development goals

Policymakers involved in negotiating the post-2015 development agenda should heed the overwhelming evidence that investing in sexual and reproductive health is a highly effective strategy to improve global health and spur development. Crucially, contraceptive services have to be a core component of such investments as they boost the overall impact on maternal and newborn health—and do so at a lower cost than standalone approaches...more

Related: Commentaries by Guttmacher president and CEO Ann Starrs on and in The Guardian

Related: Full Adding It Up 2014 report and other resources


Call for nominations: the 2015 Darroch Award

The Darroch Award, sponsored by the Guttmacher Institute, recognizes an emerging leader who is a researcher in the field of sexual and reproductive health, where scientific evidence is essential to guiding the policies and programs of the future.

The award honors Jacqueline E. Darroch, Ph.D., whose four decades of conducting and directing research exemplify rigorous and innovative work in this field and commitment to the practical application of research to policy and programs. The award aims to recognize and stimulate such work.

The deadline for nominations is Friday, May 15, 2015. Click here to download a nomination form. Click here for more information about the Darroch Award.


Better patient protections under Medicaid Managed Care would strengthen family planning services for millions of Americans

New federal rules currently under development for Medicaid health plans run by private-sector managed care organizations could significantly improve enrollees’ health coverage and care, including provision of family planning services. To achieve this goal, Medicaid’s protections for enrollees should be strengthened, monitored and enforced in several important areas: coverage and cost-sharing; confidentiality; choice of providers; and access to information and care...more

Related: Moving Forward: Family Planning in the Era of Health Reform


Unintended pregnancies cost federal and state governments $21 billion in 2010

Government expenditures on the births, abortions and miscarriages resulting from unintended pregnancies in the United States totaled $21 billion in 2010. In 19 states, public expenditures related to unintended pregnancies exceeded $400 million, with the largest expenditures in Texas, California, New York and Florida...more

Unintended pregnancies U.S. map of public costs


In Pakistan, nearly half of all pregnancies are unintended

During the past decade, unmet need for family planning has remained high in Pakistan and increases in contraceptive use have been low. A new study, “Induced Abortions and Unintended Pregnancies in Pakistan,” by Zeba Sathar of the Population Council and Susheela Singh of the Guttmacher Institute, found that in 2012, of the approximately nine million pregnancies that occurred in Pakistan, 4.2 million were unintended. Of these unintended pregnancies, 54% resulted in induced abortions and 34% in unplanned births. Click here for more information.

Additional resources:
Fact sheet in Urdu
Infographic in Urdu


Teen pregnancy rates decline in many countries; U.S. lags behind

In recent decades, despite a considerable decline in teen pregnancy rates in most of the 21 countries with complete statistics, the United States still has the highest teen pregnancy rate among these countries, while the lowest rate is found in Switzerland. The proportion of teen pregnancies that end in abortion varies widely across the 21 countries, even though legal abortion is available on broad grounds in all of them…more


Unplanned births linked to worse infant health outcomes

Compared with women having planned births, those who have unplanned births are less likely to recognize their pregnancy early, to receive early prenatal care or to breast-feed, and are more likely to have low-birth-weight babies. Enabling women to prevent an unintended pregnancy can improve the health of children...more


U.S. publicly funded family planning effort provides critical preventive care

Publicly funded family planning care is vital to ensuring the long-term health of women and their families. The public investment in family planning services not only helps women and couples avoid unintended pregnancy and abortion, but also helps them avoid cervical cancer, HIV and other STIs, infertility, and preterm and low-birth-weight births—all while saving substantial public dollars...more

Three new resources—a new policy analysis, a series of state fact sheets and a web tool—which draw on research published by the Guttmacher Institute, make clear the public health and fiscal benefits resulting from this investment...more


In just the last four years, states have enacted 231 abortion restrictions

In just the last 4 years, states have enacted 231 abortion restrictions During the 2014 state legislative session, 15 states enacted 26 new abortion restrictions. Including these new provisions, states have adopted 231 new abortion restrictions since the 2010 midterm elections swept abortion opponents into power in state capitals across the country. Despite the myriad actions to restrict abortion access, some states did take positive steps on abortion as well as other sexual and reproductive health and rights issues, including requiring insurance coverage for contraceptive methods, protecting confidentiality for individuals insured as dependents; and facilitating STI treatment for a patient’s partner...more


Sexual and reproductive health services fall far short of needs in developing regions

Adding It Up cover Our new report finds a staggering lack of basic sexual and reproductive health services in developing countries. Adding It Up: The Costs and Benefits of Investing in Sexual and Reproductive Health 2014, finds that currently 225 million women in developing countries want to avoid pregnancy, but are not using modern contraceptives. In addition, tens of millions of women do not receive the basic pregnancy and delivery care they need to protect their health and that of their newborns. The report documents the number of women who lack services, what it would cost to meet their needs, and the benefits of meeting these needs...more (español, français)

Click here for additional resources with information on the costs and benefits of investing in sexual and reproductive health, including fact sheets, executive summaries, infographics, videos and a slide show.


In Zimbabwe, adolescents lack access to essential health services

Significant numbers of adolescent women in Zimbabwe do not have the essential sexual and reproductive health information and services they need to prevent pregnancy and protect themselves from HIV. A new study released today in Harare by the Centre of Population Studies, University of Zimbabwe and the Guttmacher Institute, finds that approximately 57,000 Zimbabwean adolescents who are sexually active but want to avoid pregnancy are not using contraception and fewer than half of adolescents have comprehensive knowledge about HIV and AIDS...more

The Guttmacher Institute gratefully acknowledges the general support it receives from individuals and foundations—including major grants from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and The David and Lucile Packard Foundation—which undergirds all of its work.