Meeting Women's Contraceptive Needs in the Philippines
The ability to practice contraception is essential to protecting Filipino women's health and rights. Yet low levels of use have led to high levels of unintended pregnancy in the Philippines, for which women and society pay dearly— in lives, family well-being and public funds.
• Without contraceptive use in the Philippines, there would be 1.3 million more unplanned births, 0.9 million more induced abortions and 3,500 more maternal deaths each year. • More than half of all pregnancies in the Philippines are unintended, with the highest proportions in the Cordillera Administrative Region, Central and Eastern Visayas, and Caraga.
• Three in 10 Filipino women at risk for unintended pregnancy do not practice contraception. These women account for nearly seven in 10 unintended pregnancies.
• Poor women are especially likely to need assistance in preventing unintended pregnancy. The 35% of women aged 15–49 who are poor account for 53% of unmet need for contraception.
• Investing in increased access to the full range of modern contraceptive methods and services to support effective use would reap savings on medical care for pregnant women and newborns. Reducing unintended pregnancy would help women have the number of children they desire and would save money that could be directed toward improving and expanding other needed services.
• All levels of the Philippine government, the private sector and the international community should increase their investment in modern contraception—for poor Filipino women in particular—to save women’s lives and support healthy families.
*Modern methods used in the Philippines include female and male sterilization, IUD, contraceptive injection, oral contraceptive pills, condoms and modern natural family planning (NFP) methods. Modern NFP includes the mucus or Billings Ovulation, Standard Days, symptothermal, basal body temperature and lactational amenorrhea methods.
†Traditional methods include mainly withdrawal and periodic abstinence methods other than modern NFP.