The 2022 State of World Population (SWOP) Report released by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) states that nearly half of all pregnancies, totalling 121 million each year throughout the world, are unintended.
The information in the report was issued in a statement by a spokesperson for UNFPA Nigeria, Kori Habib on Tuesday.
The annual SWOP Report’s theme is ‘Seeing the Unseen: The case for action in the neglected crisis of unintended pregnancy’.
Key findings of the report indicated that gender inequality and stalled development drive high rates of unintended pregnancies. Other findings are that globally, an estimated 257 million women who want to avoid pregnancy are not using safe, modern methods of contraception, and where data is available, nearly a quarter of all women are not able to say no to sex.
A range of other key factors also contribute to unintended pregnancies, including the lack of sexual and reproductive healthcare and information and contraceptive options that don’t suit women’s bodies or circumstances.
Some other findings include “harmful norms and stigma surrounding women controlling their own fertility and bodies, sexual violence and reproductive coercion, judgmental attitude or shaming in health services, poverty and stalled economic development, and gender inequality.”
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UNFPA noted that these factors “reflect the pressure societies place on women and girls to become mothers” and that an unintended pregnancy “is not necessarily a personal failure and may be due to the lack of autonomy society allows or the value placed on women’s lives.”
“Sixty per cent of unintended pregnancies end in abortion and an estimated 45 per cent of all abortions are unsafe, causing five to 13 per cent of all maternal deaths, thereby having major impact on the world’s ability to reach the Sustainable Development Goals,” stated UNFPA executive director Natalia Kanem.