Unplanned pregnancies in the world

121 Million Pregnancies Globally Are Unplanned – Experts

121 Million Pregnancies Globally Are Unplanned – Experts

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Health experts have said that about 121 million pregnancies globally are unplanned.

The UN Population Fund disclosed this in a statement released on Tuesday. The document entitled ‘2022 State of the World Population Report’ said 121 million pregnancies each year were unplanned throughout the year.

Hajiya Kori Habib, the media associate of UNFPA Nigeria revealed this while lamenting on the human crisis.

She said that the annual SWOP report 2022 has profound consequences for societies, women and girls and global health.

Habib said this Report was titled ‘Seeing the Unseen: The case for action in the neglected crisis of unintended pregnancy.’

According to the media associate, the findings indicated two factors for the high rate of unintended pregnancies. They are:

  • Gender inequality.
  • Stalled development.

The other findings of the SWOP report are:

  • An estimated 257 million women who want to avoid pregnancy are not using safe contraception.
  • Some women are not using modern contraception.
  • Where data is available many women are unable to say no to sex.

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Other major factors that cause unintended pregnancies are:

  • Lack of sexual reproductive healthcare.
  • Wrong contraceptive options for women.
  • Harmful norms and stigma surrounding women controlling their own fertility and body.
  • Sexual violence.
  • Reproductive coercion.
  • Judgemental attitude.
  • Shaming health services.
  • Poverty.

She explained:

“All of these factors reflect the pressure societies place on women and girls to become mothers. Unintended pregnancy is not necessarily a personal failure and may be due to the lack of autonomy society allows or the value placed on women’s lives.”

She also quoted the Executive Director of UNFPA, Dr Natalian Kanem as saying:

“60 per cent of unintended pregnancies end in abortion and an estimated 45 per cent of all abortions are unsafe, causing 5 – 13 per cent of all maternal deaths, thereby having a major impact on the world’s ability to reach the Sustainable Development Goals.

“The war in Ukraine and other conflicts and crises around the world are expected to drive an increase in unintended pregnancies, as access to contraception is disrupted and sexual violence increases.

“This report is a wake-up call. The staggering number of unintended pregnancies represents a global failure to uphold women and girls’ basic human rights.

“For the women affected, the most life-altering reproductive choice, whether or not to become pregnant, is no choice at all. By putting the power to make this most fundamental decision squarely in the hands of women and girls, societies can ensure that motherhood is an aspiration and not an inevitability.”

What is the SWOP Report?

This is UNFPA’s annual flagship publication since 1978. It highlights emerging issues in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights, bringing them into the mainstream. It also explores the challenges and opportunities they present for international development.

As the UN sexual and reproductive health agency, UNFPA helps people obtain:

  • Contraception and life-saving reproductive health services.
  • Information and empowers women and girls to make informed decisions about their bodies and lives.

Source: PUNCH HealthWise

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