Policy Brief Addressing Women’s Need for Contraception and Abortion – Share-Net Netherlands

Posted by Share-Net NL on March 24, 2016 at 11:49 am

The outcome of the Share-Net thematic meeting on contraception and abortion, May 2015. 

Despite the worldwide decrease in maternal deaths by 43% since 1990, most recent estimates suggest that, in 2015, annual maternal deaths still total 303,000 worldwide.[1] One-sixth of maternal mortality is due to the complications of unsafe abortion[1], with nearly 50,000 women dying each year.[2] Additionally, for every maternal death, about 20 women more suffer injury, infection, or disease related to pregnancy and childbirth.[3]

Contraception is key to decreasing the risk of maternal death and morbidity by reducing the number of unintended and high-risk pregnancies. Evidence demonstrates that – overtime – increased use of modern contraception has been the major factor associated with reduced abortion rates.[4]

Globally, contraceptive prevalence has substantially increased among women who are married or in union (for short married women): from 55% in 1990 to 63% in 2010. Concurrently, the unmet need for family planning – the percentage of women who want to stop or delay childbearing but are not using any method of contraception – among married women decreased from 15% in 1990 to 12% in 2010. Albeit these gains, still 146 million married women aged 15–49 years worldwide had an unmet need for family planning in 2010.[5] These statistics do not include unmarried women. In 2008, an estimated 3.2 million adolescent women in developing regions underwent unsafe abortions, which illustrates their need for contraceptives and safe abortion.[6]

This policy brief explains why and how researchers, practitioners and policy makers can address the gap in women’s access to contraception and safe abortion. It discusses: i) the benefits of contraception and safe abortion; ii) the current state of use of, and need for, contraception and safe abortion; and iii) recommendations derived from the Share-Net thematic meeting ‘Contraception and Abortion’.

[1] Unsafe abortion is a procedure for terminating an unwanted pregnancy either by persons lacking the necessary skills or in an environment lacking minimal medical standards or both http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/unsafe_abortion/hrpwork/en/

Publication file: application-pdf 2016-03-15_policy_brief_final.pdf

For the PowerPoint presentation about the Policy Brief on contraception and abortion by Odette Hekster please click here:
Presentation Policy Brief Contraception and Abortion

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