In honor of World Contraception Day (WCD), we wanted to call out some of the great work, and troubling news, that’s hitting the family planning world today. WCD’s mission is to improve awareness of contraceptive methods so that all people have the information they need to make sound decisions about their sexual and reproductive health. And tomorrow’s celebration also aims to help bring about “a world where every pregnancy is wanted.” Check out some of the online activities available here.
Now for the troubling news, or more realistically, why we still need a World Contraception Day. A new UN study reported last week that “global population is growing faster than expected and projects the number of people globally will rise to just under 11 billion people by 2100.” Much of that population growth is fueled by lack of access to modern contraception. Which is silly, because pills, condoms and injectables are cheap, easy to distribute, and should be available to everyone who wants to avoid pregnancy.
United Nations Population Division Director John Wilmoth, an author of the study cited above, says it best: “the level of contraceptive use has continued to increase but slowly — more slowly than expected — and fertility therefore has been falling less rapidly than expected, and the population therefore continues to grow more rapidly than we expected.” Rapidly growing populations are hard on women, kids, families and communities. And in a world where more than 41% of the 208 million pregnancies that occur each year are unplanned, and an estimated 33 million unintended pregnancies are a result of contraceptive failure or incorrect use, it’s time for government, corporations and advocates to pull together.
We have many issues to face at this time; “Climate Week” was so inspiring, and women’s reproductive health and rights is a critical part of climate resilience. We’ll be celebrating World Contraception Day tomorrow, and we hope you will too!