The Guttmacher Institute has released a new ‘Just the Numbers’ report on Canada’s investment in family planning and the significant impacts associated with investment in comprehensive contraceptive care.
The report sheds light on the incredible return on investment associated with support for contraceptive care, a chronically underfunded and neglected area of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). According to Guttmacher, for every $1 spent on contraception, there is a cost savings of $2.20 in maternal and newborn health care due to declines in unintended pregnancies.
The Government of Canada has taken significant steps towards prioritizing SRHR globally, committing $650M over a three-year period. The report finds that the $42.6M (CAD) spent on family planning in 2017/2018 contributed to: 1.4 million women and couples receiving contraceptive services and supplies; 387,000 unintended pregnancies averted, including: 187,000 unplanned births; 147,000 induced abortions (108,000 of which would have been provided in unsafe conditions); and 1,100 maternal deaths averted. This data is critical to demonstrating not only the urgent need for increased investment in SRHR, but also the return on investment that occurs when SRHR is supported.
As part of the Future Planning Initiative (FPI), Action Canada calls on Canada to increase its commitment to a minimum $500M investment per year over 10 years in the most neglected areas of SRHR, with a view to increasing Canada’s commitment to $700M, as recommended by global and domestic leaders on SRHR at the FPI high-level retreat in June 2018. This scaled-up investment in a comprehensive SRHR agenda, with a focus on neglected areas (including advocacy for SRHR, comprehensive contraceptive care, safe abortion care, SRHR in emergencies and adolescent SRHR, including comprehensive sexuality education) is crucial to establishing sustained Canadian leadership on SRHR and safeguarding the gains that have been made from rollbacks and attacks.
* The Future Planning Initiative (FPI), a coalition of six organizations (Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, the Canadian Council for International Co-operation, the Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health, Global Canada, Inter Pares, and Oxfam Canada) working to strengthen Canada’s global leadership on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).