Unintended Pregnancies: A Global Crisis Impacting Women’s Rights and Health
Unsafe Abortions and Maternal Mortality
Unintended pregnancies are a global concern, with over 121 million occurring annually. Shockingly, more than 60% of these pregnancies result in abortion, and approximately 45% of these abortions are unsafe, contributing to 5% to 13% of maternal deaths.
Challenges in Upholding Women’s Rights
The staggering number of unintended pregnancies highlights a failure to protect women’s fundamental human rights. For many affected women and girls, the decision of whether to become pregnant is not a real choice. It’s a crisis that calls for immediate attention.
Declining Rates Yet Growing Numbers
Although there has been a decrease in the rate of unintended pregnancies from 1990 to 2019, the total number of women facing unintended pregnancies has risen by about 13% during this 30-year period due to population growth.
Shocking statistics reveal that 257 million women globally, who wish to avoid pregnancy, do not have access to safe and modern contraception methods. In 47 countries, nearly 40% of sexually active women do not use any contraceptive methods.
Gender Inequality’s Role
The report underscores the importance of addressing gender inequality. In 64 countries, data reveals that a significant percentage of women cannot refuse sex, make decisions about their healthcare, or control contraception choices. Only 57% of women can make decisions about their sexual and reproductive rights.
Empowering Women and Gender Equality
Preventing unintended pregnancies is the non-negotiable first step towards achieving gender equality. When individuals can make informed choices about their health and bodies, they contribute to more equitable and just societies.