According to the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, UNFPA, nearly half of all pregnancies globally, totaling 121 million each year are unintended.
This is according to UNFPA’s recently released 2022 State of World Population report. The 2022 report themed “Seeing the Unseen: The case for action in the neglected crisis of unintended pregnancy”, describes the statistics as a human rights crisis that has profound consequences on societies, women, girls and global health.
The report discloses that over 60 per cent of unintended pregnancies end in abortion and an estimated 45% of all abortions are unsafe, causing 5 – 13% of all maternal deaths, thereby having a major impact on the world’s ability to reach the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
For The Gambia, the 2022 UNFPA report says the unmet need for family planning is currently at 24% while the contraceptive prevalence rate for modern methods of contraceptives is estimated at 19% and that the total demand for family planning among women is about 43%.
“Between 2015 to 2019, unintended pregnancies in The Gambia stood at 54 per 1000 women and only 23% of women can make decisions on their sexual and reproductive health and rights. These figures reflect the pressure societies place on women and girls to become mothers. 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.”
The in-country launch of the report was done by UNFPA -Gambia on Friday 20th May at the Alliance Française de Banjul.