Global Leaders Unite to Provide World’s Poorest Countries with Access to Contraceptives

Leslie Carol Botha:This would be a historic event – yet many reproductive right’s activists are concerned that global women will be subjected to synthetic hormone contraception that may permanently alter their fertility. Activists have said for year that the birth control pill is the largest uncontrolled experiment in medical history. Well, now the stakes have increased with the use of injections and implants on a global basis for population control.

London Summit on Family Planning

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
July 11, 2012

Global Leaders Unite to Provide 120 Million Women in the World’s Poorest Countries with Access to Contraceptives By 2020

Contraceptives are one of the best investments a country can make in its future. Each U.S. dollar spent on family planning can save governments up to 6 dollars on health, housing, water, and other public services.

And yet, more than 200 million women and girls in developing countries who want to delay, space or avoid becoming pregnant are not using effective methods of contraception, resulting in over 75 million unintended pregnancies every year. This puts women and girls at serious risk of death or disability during pregnancy and childbirth.

About the Summit

The UK Government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in partnership with UNFPA, national governments, donors, civil society, the private sector, the research and development community, and others from across the world will come together at the London Summit on Family Planning to support the right of women and girls to decide, freely and for themselves, whether, when and how many children they have. The Summit will call for unprecedented global political commitments and resources that will enable 120 million more women and girls to use contraceptives by 2020. Reaching this goal could result in over 200,000 fewer women and girls dying in pregnancy and childbirth and nearly 3 million fewer infants dying in their first year of life.

As well as providing family planning for an additional 120 million women in the world’s poorest countries, the global community will commit to sustaining coverage for the estimated 260 million women in these countries who are currently using contraceptives (as of June 2012). By 2020, we aim to deliver contraceptives, information, and services to a total of 380 million women and girls in developing countries so they can plan their families.

To achieve these goals, the London Summit on Family Planning calls for partners to work closely together across a range of areas, such as:

  • Increasing the demand and support for family planning
  • Improving supply chains, systems and service delivery models
  • Procuring the additional commodities countries need to reach their goals
  • Fostering innovative approaches to family planning challenges
  • Promoting accountability through improved monitoring and evaluation


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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.