17 Reasons to Invest in Family Planning in Pakistan

Voluntary family planning (FP) provides women and their families with options to manage their intended family size and plan the desired timing and spacing of pregnancies. In doing so, family planning reduces the risk of health and illness to women and children. Family planning further contributes to reductions of a population’s fertility (Bongaarts, 1982).

Reductions in fertility promote economic growth and lessen the pressure of rapid population growth on social, environmental, and economic infrastructures to meet growing demand. A country’s fertility is impacted by contraceptive use, postpartum insusceptibility, induced abortion, and marriage patterns (Bongaarts, 1982). Out of these four dimensions, a focus on family planning can be a cost-effective investment for Pakistan towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This paper will draw connections between family planning and the promotion of Pakistan’s people, natural resources, peace, and economic prosperity.

During the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning, Pakistan committed to increasing its total contraceptive prevalence rate for married women to 55 percent and providing universal access to reproductive health by 2020. Pakistan further committed to ensuring that contraceptive services are included in the essential services package and to strengthening the quality and reach of the Lady Health Worker Program (female community health workers primarily servicing rural areas in Pakistan).