A new study says little is being done to meet the growing demand for modern contraception methods in poor countries. The Guttmacher Institute says there’s an increasing desire for smaller families.
Guttmacher says between 2003 and 2012 the number of women wanting to avoid pregnancy – and in need of modern contraception – rose from 716 million to 867 million. The sharpest increase was seen, it says, in the 69 poorest countries where modern method use was already very low.
Senior fellow Jacqueline Darroch co-authored the study with Susheela Singh and published their findings in a special edition of The Lancet medical journal. Ms. Darroch said that the figures are based on household surveys.
“The Guttmacher Institute for a long time has focused on issues of reproductive health and especially the high rates of unplanned child bearing and unplanned pregnancies across the world – the United States, as well as other countries. And part of the answer to both why we have such high rates of unintended pregnancy – and part of the solution – has to do with contraceptive use.”
She said between 2003 and 2012, overall modern contraceptive use in the developing world increased from 71 to 74 percent among women wanting to avoid pregnancy.
“Methods ranging from condoms to pills, implants, injections, IUD’s, sterilization,” Ms. Darroch said.
However, rates can vary across sub-regions. For example, Eastern Africa rose from 31 to 46 percent; Southern Africa from 75 to 83 percent; Southeast Asia increased from 64 to 72 percent; and South America from 73 to 79 percent.