7 Family Planning Trends to Watch for in 2015
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
This year promises to be an interesting one for international family planning. Here are seven issues and trends to watch for:
1. The abortion pill.
The abortion pill is at the top of the list. Distribution and sales of these drugs are increasing everywhere they are available, including Mozambique, which recently liberalized its abortion policy. Although the combination of mifepristone and misoprostol is considered the gold standard, misoprostol alone is extremely effective and may be meeting close to half of worldwide abortion demand in countries where abortion is restricted. Social marketing groups sold 3.3 million combination packs and 16 million misoprostol-only tablets in 2013 and these numbers will increase.
2. Medical abortion and emergency contraception.
The line between medical abortion and emergency contraception may blur further in 2015. Low doses of mifepristone have proven to be effective as emergency contraceptive drug, and may be an abortifacient at early gestation periods. More research may make it possible for women who want to avoid or end pregnancy to take a pill at almost any stage after sexual activity.
3. More women using contraceptives.
In July 2012 at a meeting in London, the family planning community agreed on a target of 120 million more women to be using contraceptives by the year 2020. A recent FP2020 report announced that 8.4 million women had been added to the contraceptive user list in 2013 but the pace will have to accelerate if the goal is to be met. The 8.4 million number may be too low; contraceptive users of socially marketed contraceptives alone have increased by an estimated 6 million between 2012 and 2014.
- Health Care