© 2012 Samuel Boland, Courtesy of PhotoshareThe World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 222 million women around the world want – but do not have – access to quality reproductive health and family planning education and services. With the world’s population at more than 7 billion and growing, and with the largest ever cohort of young people soon entering their reproductive years, this unmet need will likely increase.

Investing in voluntary family planning programs gives women the tools necessary to make critical decisions about the number, timing and spacing of their children and ultimately results in more resilient families with healthier mothers. Voluntary family planning can also lead to healthier communities when combined with broader efforts to meet development objectives for women and families in terms of maternal, child and newborn health. Meeting the demand for family planning decreases maternal and infant deaths, reduces abortion, and helps to stop the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

This section of the Family Planning Advocacy Toolkit provides fact sheets, data and infographics that outline the relationships between family planning and health outcomes, such as maternal and newborn health, HIV and child survival. Especially useful is the Guttmacher Institute Report, Adding It Up: The Costs and Benefits of Contraceptive Services.

If you would like to suggest an additional resource for the family planning and health section of the toolkit or share your perspective, please fill out our feedback form.