Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Evidence is lacking on the incidence and consequences of unsafe abortion in Chile

The most important finding of a new analysis on clandestine abortion in Chile is just how little hard evidence actually exists on the topic. The new report documents major gaps in knowledge on the incidence and consequences of induced abortion, the characteristics of women seeking abortion and their reasons for doing so...more (en español)


New fact sheet available on adolescent abortion in developing countries

Cost and confidentiality are the biggest barriers adolescents in developing countries face in obtaining safe abortion services, according to a new fact sheet. This resource, which also includes information about the incidence of unsafe abortion, access to safe abortion services, and access to postabortion care services for adolescents in developing countries, is available in English, French and Spanish...more (español, français)


Guttmacher honors Wendy Norman with the 2015 Darroch Award

The Guttmacher Institute is pleased to announce that Wendy V. Norman, M.D., assistant professor in the department of family practice at the University of British Columbia, is the 2015 recipient of the Darroch Award for Excellence in Sexual and Reproductive Health Research. Dr. Norman founded and is the director of Canada’s national Contraception Access Research Team—Groupe de recherche sur l’accessibilité à la contraception (CART-GRAC). Her research has resulted in national policy changes that significantly improve access to reproductive health care for Canadian women...more


On Roe anniversary, let’s remember the U.S. women for whom abortion is a right on paper only

As the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision approaches, all eyes are once again on the U.S. Supreme Court, which in March will hear a case that presents the most serious threat to abortion rights in decades. But what is often forgotten in this debate is that safe and legal abortion has long been out of reach for many U.S. women due to severe abortion coverage restrictions. Our new commentary at The Hill’s Congress Blog explores this issue further...more


State abortion restrictions since Roe v. Wade

In the 43 years since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down Roe v. Wade, states have enacted 1,074 abortion restrictions. Of these, 288 (27%) have been enacted just since 2010. As a result, the last five years account for more abortion restrictions than any other single five-year period since Roe...more


Health insurance reimbursements typically do not cover Title X providers’ full cost of care

Health insurance reimbursements received by safety-net family planning providers supported by the Title X program typically fall significantly short of what is needed to cover the actual cost of care provided, according to a new Guttmacher study. The findings underscore the need for higher reimbursement rates and show the enduring importance of Title X and other grant programs...more


Guttmacher-Lancet Commission launched

Fourteen recognized experts from an array of disciplines and geographic regions will serve as commissioners on the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. They will work with the Commission’s co-chairs, Ann Starrs, President and CEO of the Guttmacher Institute, and Dr. Alex Ezeh, Executive Director of the African Population Health Research Center, to articulate a forward-looking and evidence-based vision for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) priorities worldwide over the next 15 years, and to encourage the adoption of policies and programs that will turn that vision into reality...more

Also see our news release announcing the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission and other work related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a devex commentary by Guttmacher president and CEO Ann Starrs and an analysis in the Guttmacher Policy Review.


In 2015, states enacted 57 new abortion restrictions

During the 2015 state legislative session, lawmakers introduced 396 provisions in 46 states aimed at restricting access to abortion. By the end of the year, 17 states had enacted 57 new abortion restrictions. Including these new provisions, states have adopted 288 new abortion restrictions in the last five years—as many as in the previous 15 years combined...more


As “religious liberty” laws are abused to undermine other rights, safeguards are needed for reproductive health access

Federal and state laws intended to protect religious freedom are increasingly being used by social conservatives to impede access to reproductive health services like abortion and contraceptive care. A new analysis in the Guttmacher Policy Review makes the case that more clarity and protections are needed to balance competing interests and prevent potential abuse of these laws…more

As of the end of 2015, 21 states have enacted their own versions of the RFRA


The December 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 December 2015 issue.


As U.S. abortion restrictions mount, issue of self-induced abortion gains attention

The criminalization of self-induced abortion, as well as of pregnant and miscarrying women, does not advance women’s health or address the underlying societal and public health issues, argues a new analysis in the Guttmacher Policy Review. Rather than taking a punitive approach, policymakers should focus on expanding access to social and health services, including family planning services and safe abortion care…more


Despite national efforts, unmet need for modern contraception remains high in Benin

Many Beninese women who want to avoid pregnancy are not using a modern contraceptive method, according to a new study released today by the Guttmacher Institute and the Association Béninoise pour le Marketing Social et la Communication pour la Santé. The researchers found that, in 2012, one-third of married women and one-half of all sexually active unmarried women had an unmet need for contraception...more (français)


Making the pill available OTC should be part of a broader strategy to enhance contraceptive access

The evidence strongly supports making oral contraceptive pills available without a prescription, but any effort to do so should complement—rather than replace—policies to reduce barriers to contraceptive use, argues a new analysis in the Guttmacher Policy Review. In particular, moving the pill to over-the-counter (OTC) status should be done alongside important safeguards, such as ensuring insurance coverage for OTC contraceptives and not imposing medically unnecessary age restrictions...more


Despite being highly restricted, induced abortion is common in Nigeria

In Nigeria, induced abortion is permitted only when necessary to save a woman’s life, but still the procedure is common there. A new study by the Guttmacher Institute and the University of Ibadan finds that 1.25 million abortions were performed in the country in 2012, compared with the 610,000 abortions estimated to have occurred there in 1996. Most of these abortions were clandestine and many were unsafe. Unsafe abortion is a major contributor to Nigeria’s maternal mortality rate, which remains among the highest in the world…more


More U.S. women are using long-acting reversible contraceptive methods

U.S. women are increasingly turning to highly effective long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods, particularly IUDs. Women using IUDs and contraceptive implants accounted for about 9% of female contraceptive users in 2009, and this proportion rose to nearly 12% in 2012. Increases were seen across virtually all groups of women...more


More U.S. investment needed in Multipurpose Prevention Technologies

Women around the world, and especially in countries with high rates of HIV infection and pregnancy-related deaths, need better options to protect themselves against both pregnancy and STIs. However, some of the most promising new technologies to achieve that goal, known as multipurpose prevention technologies, are vastly underfunded, says a new analysis in the Guttmacher Policy Review...more

Also see our related commentary on The Hill’s Congress Blog.


Health Affairs Blog: Quantifying Planned Parenthood’s critical role

The Guttmacher Institute received a request from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) regarding the publicly supported contraceptive care provided by Planned Parenthood health centers. In response, Guttmacher experts conducted special tabulations of existing data, which we sent to CBO and just published as a summary on the Health Affairs Blog. Our analysis shows unequivocally that for women in many areas of the country, losing Planned Parenthood would mean losing their chosen provider—and the only safety-net provider around.

Related: Guttmacher memo to the Congressional Budget Office, including data for each state...more


Nearly 7 million women each year treated for complications from unsafe abortion in developing countries

In 2012, an estimated 6.9 million women in developing regions were treated for complications resulting from unsafe abortions, according to new research by the Guttmacher Institute. This study, published in the latest issue of BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, highlights two alarming realities: the large number of women who experience complications from unsafe abortions and the significant costs that women, their households and governments incur when treating these complications…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.