FP2020 calls for universal access to family planning services

The Imbuto Foundation is a Rwandan organization dedicated to advancing health, education, and youth empowerment. Kamayirese Odette, a nurse, trains two community volunteers: Regis Niyongombwa, age 24, and Dieudone Ufiticyizere, age 23. Regis and Dieudone say the local health center has taught them to speak more openly about sexual and reproductive health topics.

More women have access to family planning information and services than ever before. Yet millions of women in developing countries who want to prevent pregnancy are still not using modern contraceptives.

According to Family Planning 2020 (FPP2020), a global community set up during the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning, 314 million women and girls were using modern contraceptive methods in its 69 focus countries in July last year, including Indonesia, with 53 million new users in the last seven years and 9 million in the past year alone.

“As a result of modern contraceptive use between July 2018 and July 2019, 119 million unintended pregnancies were prevented; 21 million unsafe abortions and 134,000 maternal deaths were averted,” said FP2020 executive director Beth Schlachter.

While progress has been significant, the FP2020 initiative – which is guided by the principle that all women, no matter where they live, should have access to lifesaving contraceptives – is approaching its deadline, and its initial goal of reaching an additional 120 million women and girls has yet to be realized.

As of July 2019, there were 53 million additional users of modern contraception in the 69 FP2020 focus countries as compared to 2012, the time it was set up.

“The change we wish to have in the world is a future where all women and adolescent girls everywhere have the freedom and ability to make their own informed decisions about using modern contraception and whether or when to have children, lead healthy lives, and participate as equals in society and its development,” Schlachter said.

She was making a plenary presentation at the 10th Asia Pacific Conference on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (APCRASRH10) – part of a virtual conference series organized by the steering committee of APCRSHR10, UNFPA and Citizen News Service (CNS).