Family Planning is Key to UN Sustainable Development Goals
How can we reduce maternal and child mortality by more than a quarter in the global south? The answer is simple: invest in family planning.
If women wait 36 months to conceive after birth, 26 percent of under-five deaths can be averted. If these same women only give birth between the ages of 18 and 35 and have no more than three children, child mortality can be reduced by 30 percent. The impact of family planning (FP) on maternal lives has proven even greater: in only one year, FP reduced maternal deaths by 44 percent globally.
Despite the health benefits associated with FP, 225 million women who wish to delay or prevent pregnancy globally still do not use contraceptives. Worldwide, 16 million women between the ages of 15 and 19 give birth each year, and those who marry before the age of 16 disproportionately suffer the consequences of motherhood. Some of these consequences are physical and include increases in preterm birth, low birth weight, and perinatal and neonatal mortality in births by young mothers. Other external ripple effects that adversely impact the well-being of young mothers include decreased educational and economic prospects.