Why Family Planning

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Globally, at least 225 million women who want to avoid or delay pregnancy are not using an effective method of contraception. In other words, they have an unmet need for family planning.

Meeting all of the current unmet need for modern contraceptive methods among women in developing countries would prevent an additional 54 million unintended pregnancies, including 21 million unplanned births, 26 million abortions (of which 16 million would be unsafe) and 7 million miscarriages; this would also prevent 79,000 maternal deaths and 1.1 million infant deaths.

Access to family planning is important because it upholds the basic right of women and couples to decide if and when they wish to have children. This right has been acknowledged by governments in international agreements such as the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action and more recently featuring in targets 3.7 and 5.6 of Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development.

Failure to meet the need for family planning affects many areas of human development, including gender equality and poverty reduction, but has the most direct impact on women’s and children’s health. Yet, over the past decades, financial aid for family planning has declined as a proportion of total aid for health in virtually every recipient country.

The 2012 London Family Planning Summit was a call to action and many governments made new pledges in support of family planning while others increased funding for family planning within their Official Development Assistance (ODA) budgets. If the world is to meet the goal, set at the Summit, of enabling 120 million additional women to access family planning by 2020, European leadership and European funding are of critical importance.

What we do

Countdown 2030 Europe advocates for increased funding and higher quality of aid for family planning, as well as inclusion of sexual and reproductive health and family planning in national, EU and global policy agendas.

Our partners are working to make sure that European governments’ funding commitments are matched by budgets, and that pledges, such as those made at the FP2020 summit in 2012 and 2018, are implemented.

Joining the Dots - How Investment in Family Planning Safeguards Women's Human Rights. Video by   Irish Family Planning Association .


  • Brayant Gonzales Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP), Philippines

    “Since the Philippines is the only Catholic country in Asia (the nearest other such country is East Timor), the Church really asserts its doctrines there,...

  • Sarita Barpanda Interact Worldwide, India

    “India’s flagship national health programme – the National Rural Health Programme – primarily focuses on family planning, reproductive health and maternal health. But family planning...

  • Nana Amma Oforiwaa Sam Planned Parenthood Association, Ghana

    “In 2007, the Government declared a state of emergency for maternal health, which made it possible for expectant mothers who have registered under the National...

  • Holo Hochanda BroadReach Healthcare, Zambia

    “If we strategically support the government through policy formulation, which will help to scale up reproductive health services and commodities. I think over time we...