Iran doubles down on abortion and contraception restrictions

By Miriam Berger
Dec 1, 2021

Iranians long had degrees of access to free contraception at public health facilities, part of family planning policies aimed at limiting population growth.

In recent years, policy shifts have whittled away such programs. The changes have culminated under a new law — meant to address an emergent demographic shift — which critics have decried as a major setback for women’s and reproductive rights.


It’s the 100th anniversary of the first conference on birth control. Here’s a look at contraception’s lesser-known legacy.

Hannah Good, The Lily
November 6, 2021

One hundred years ago, a group of prominent doctors, social workers, economists and advocates convened at what was then called the Hotel Plaza in New York City for a first of its kind conference. Their aim was to explore the benefits and legality of a technology that was simultaneously novel and impossibly ancient: birth control.

“Our definite aim is to repeal the laws so that the medical profession may give women at their request knowledge to prevent conception,” organizer Margaret Sanger said in her opening speech at the conference. “We believe that with the assistance of the intelligent members of the community we can bring this about in a very short time, but we need your help.”


Why did she die?

Updated 03 Nov, 2021
By Neha Khan & Sadia Wali

Sakina has two daughters and two sons aged 7, 5, 3 respectively and the youngest is three months old and nursing. Sakina suddenly learns she is pregnant, as she did not use any method of family planning.

Sakina’s family is financially weak; her husband is the sole earner as a daily wage laborer and their circumstances do not allow them to have another child. Everyone Sakina consults tells her to continue with this pregnancy and use family planning methods for the future.


India – Child Marriages, Unplanned Pregnancies And Unsafe Abortions Still High In Rajasthan, Warns Expert

Nearly 15 of every 1,000 adolescent girls in Rajasthan aged undergo induced abortions annually, 60% of these abortions are 'unsafe', reveals an NGO.

Longjam Dineshwori
November 3, 2021

Women with unwanted pregnancies often resort to unsafe abortion when they do not have access to safe abortion. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 50% of all abortions worldwide are unsafe, and almost all of these unsafe abortions take place in developing countries. Unsafe abortions are a critical reproductive-health issue in the Indian state of Rajasthan, said Divya Santhanam, Senior State Program Manager, Population Foundation of India.

Based on data from a recent study, the NGO noted that 35% of women aged 20-24 years in Rajasthan reported getting married before 18 years of age, which is quite high compared to the national average of 26%. Nearly 15 of every 1,000 girls in Rajasthan in the age group 15-19 years undergo induced abortions annually. Only 40 percent of these abortions occur with assistance from healthcare providers, indicating that the rest 60 percent of the abortions in the age group are 'unsafe' and without any trained assistance, the NGO highlighted in a press release.


Kenya – To reduce maternal deaths, birth control is key

By Spencer Anyango
October 9th 2021

About 800 women die from pregnancy or childbirth complications around the world everyday with nearly all the deaths occuring in developing countries, a recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report indicated.

In Kenya, the maternal mortality rate currently stands at 362 out of every 100,000 live births. 


B.C. hardly a leader in abortion access, say local advocates who oppose Texas ban

Sarah Grochowski
Oct 07, 2021 

Reproductive choice advocates in B.C. say Texas, which has imposed a near-total ban on abortion, is hardly alone in limiting access to abortions.

“There is a disparity of abortion access for women in British Columbia as well,” said Michelle Fortin, director of the Vancouver-based non-profit Options for Sexual Health. “Contraception isn’t yet free.”


Biden lifts abortion referral ban on family planning clinics

Posted Monday, October 4, 2021

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Monday reversed a ban on abortion referrals by family planning clinics, lifting a Trump-era restriction as political and legal battles over abortion grow sharper from Texas to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Department of Health and Human Services said its new regulation will restore the federal family planning program to the way it ran under the Obama administration, when clinics were able to refer women seeking abortions to a provider.


Ghana – Indigenous Women Empowerment Network advocates improved contraceptive services to prevent unsafe abortion

Nestor Kafui Adjomah 
29 September 2021

The Indigenous Women Empowerment Network (IWEN), a health-centered organisation has been advocating a wider range of improved contraceptives and high-quality counseling services to prevent unintended pregnancies that could result in unsafe abortions.

According to the Executive Secretary of IWEN, Celestina Andoh, most young women in Ghana face difficulties in accessing sexual and reproductive health services whilst many others are not using contraceptive despite wanting to avoid pregnancy.


Zimbabwe: Push to Review Abortion Legislation

The Herald (Harare)
By Edinah Masiyiwa

Two bodies of newly born babies were found in a bin in Harare, recently.

Because of the lack of accessible contraceptives during Covid-19, 5 000 girls were reported to have fallen pregnant in January alone, and sadly, the abandonment of unwanted babies is one of the outcomes.

Unsafe abortions are another. The reality is, this could just be a tip of the iceberg of what is happening to women and girls as a result of their inability to access contraceptives.


World Contraception Day 2021: History, theme and significance of global event to raise awareness about family planning

Since the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020, it has negatively impacted the well-being of women in multiple ways, including contraception, family planning and gender-based violence

FP Staff
September 26, 2021

The international community observes World Contraception Day on 26 September to recognise the right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children. The importance of it was asserted at the International Conference on Population and Development in 1994, and is reflected in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development under target 3.7. “By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes”.