Contraception: Between self-determined family planning and forced contraception
Among the 1.9 billion people of reproductive age (15-49 years) who can become pregnant, around 1.1 billion worldwide are considered, according to the UN report “World Contraceptive Use by Method 2020”, to have a need for family planning. This means being able to decide for themselves whether to have children, how many to have and at what intervals. Contraceptives play a central role in this. The problem is that contraceptive methods are not accessible to everyone. Around 190 million people of reproductive age who can become pregnant have an unmet need for contraception. This number has increased even further due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Access to contraception varies around the world and is influenced by economic, social, and cultural factors.
At the same time, in many countries of the world and in the context of so-called development aid programmes, long-term contraceptive methods and sterilisation procedures are still used without informed consent, hence massively restricting self-determined decisions on parenthood. Contraception is thus a powerful tool of selfdetermination and population control.