Encouraging Healthy, Wanted Pregnancy
Key Element of Youth Reproductive Health Policy
Preventing unwanted pregnancy and ensuring care for healthy pregnancy are at the core of any country's YRH program. On average, one-third of women in developing countries give birth before age 20; a large proportion of these pregnancies are unplanned. Each year, between 2 and 4 million adolescents undergo clandestine or unsterile abortion. Moreover, teen mothers are twice as likely as older women to die of pregnancy-related causes, and their own children are at higher risk of illness and death.
YRH programs share a number of important goals related to pregnancy, including:
For a more in-depth discussion of the policy environment for each of these topics, see the fact sheets.
- Delaying sexual debut
- Access to education and information
- Access to contraception
- Emergency contraception
- Preventing complications from abortion
- Maternity care and safe delivery
- Mitigating the effects of early sex
Resources and Links
Advancing Young Adult Reproductive Health: Actions for the Next Decade. This report from the FOCUS on Young Adults project reviews effective programming for youth sexual and reproductive health.
United Nations Population Fund. The section of the UNFPA web site devoted to adolescent sexual and reproductive health programs.
In this Generation: Sexual and Reproductive Health Policies for a Youthful World. This report from Population Action International includes several country case studies.