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Family Planning and the “God Gulf”

“No woman should have to endure a pregnancy she’s not ready for—especially when you consider that the places where birth control is hardest to get are the places where pregnancy is also riskiest.”
—Dr. Isaiah Ndong, Vice President of Programs, EngenderHealth

Early in Chapter 8, authors Kristof and WuDunn explain that "one of the great scandals of the early twenty-first century is that 122 million women around the world want contraception and can't get it." In fact, other estimates put that figure at 201 million women—which would mean every woman in the United States, and then some. If this were to change, and all women could get and use contraception when they wanted to, 70,000 lives would be saved each year. In places where contraceptives are hardest to get, maternal death rates are highest, and every pregnancy poses a risk of death.

Our View from the Ground

Photo of Dr. Isaiah Ndong Read the account of Dr. Isaiah Ndong, EngenderHealth's Vice President for Programs, on why access to family planning is crucial and on what motivates his work in this field.
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201 million

The number of women who want to use contraception but have no way to get it.
Source: Guttmacher Institute (PDF, 104KB)