In the annual Population Fund report released yesterday, the UN called access to family planning services a universal human right. Although the UN has long supported expanding access to contraception, this is the first time they’ve framed it explicitly in human rights terms. The report states:
“Recent statistics show that 867 million women of childbearing age in developing countries have a need for modern contraceptives. Of that total, 645 million have access to them. But a staggering 222 million still do not. This is inexcusable. Family planning is a human right. It must therefore be available to all who want it. But clearly this right has not yet been extended to all, especially in the poorest countries.”
The UNPF report includes several charts that illustrate the vast unmet need for access to contraceptive services in developing countries:
In developing countries, 82% of unintended pregnancies result from a widespread lack of access to modern contraception.