The HEAL for Immigrant Women and Families Act would remove harmful barriers to health coverage
Legislation reintroduced today in the U.S. House of Representatives would significantly advance immigrants’ eligibility for health insurance coverage and access to health care—including sexual, reproductive and maternal health services. Currently, a patchwork of policies put in place over the past two decades has put affordable health coverage and care out of reach for many immigrants in the United States...more
School-based health centers must do more to address teen pregnancy
School-based health centers (SBHCs) are critical access points to health care for adolescents, especially those who are at high risk of unintended pregnancy and STIs. That is why policymakers and child health advocates must work to overcome barriers that keep many SBHCs from meeting students’ sexual and reproductive health needs. Case studies show how a number of centers have done so successfully...more
In Senegal, first-ever national study shows thousands of women injured by unsafe abortion each year
In Senegal, where abortion is highly restricted, clandestine abortions are common. According to the country’s first-ever national study of abortion, by Gilda Sedgh, of the Guttmacher Institute, et al., some 51,500 induced abortions were performed in 2012 and more than half resulted in complications. However, 42% of women who experienced complications did not receive needed care...more (français).
Transparency about abortion coverage still lacking, but achievable
Individuals purchasing coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplaces may have difficulty finding consistent, clear information on whether a plan includes or excludes abortion coverage. However, transparency about abortion coverage is both necessary and achievable. Our new analysis offers recommendations on how to achieve this goal, while also highlighting the need to make abortion coverage available to all U.S. women...more
Stanley Henshaw receives lifetime achievement award
Former Guttmacher senior researcher Stanley Henshaw was recognized with a lifetime achievement award by the Society of Family Planning. Dr. Henshaw, a leading expert on abortion, teen pregnancy and family planning, retired in 2013 after 34 years with the Guttmacher Institute. You can learn more about his prestigious career here…more.
Just the numbers: The impact of U.S. international family planning assistance
Thousands of women in poor countries would die from pregnancy-related complications if funding for U.S. international family planning and reproductive health assistance were significantly cut. Our fact sheet details the many benefits of the current U.S. investment as well as the negative impact of every $10 million decrease in the program...more
Fertility desires and modern contraceptive use are changing among indigenous women in Ecuador
The indigenous people of the Ecuadorian Amazon, among the last cultures in the world to practice almost exclusively natural fertility, appear to be moving toward lower birthrates, according to a new study from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, published in International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. Between 2001 and 2012, the total fertility rate among indigenous women in the area decreased from 7.9 to 7.0 births per woman. The percentage of indigenous women who desired another child fell from 48% to 40%...more
State legislative attacks seek to curtail abortion care in both the early and later months of pregnancy
During the first three months of 2015, some 332 proposals seeking to restrict women’s access to abortion services were introduced in the states, and nine were enacted. The new provisions include multiple restrictions on the use of medication abortion in Arkansas and Idaho, and a ban on abortions at 20 weeks postfertilization in West Virginia. Taken together, these measures seek to curtail access in both the early and later months of pregnancy, leaving women with fewer options and a greatly reduced time frame to get the care they need...more
The March 2015 issue of Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 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 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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.