EngenderHealth works to improve access to maternal and reproductive health care in more than 20 developing countries. At the end of September, EngenderHealth launched their new campaign, WTFP?!” (Where’s the Family Planning?!) to raise awareness among Americans of global access to contraception.

Although for many Americans, access to contraceptives is relatively easy, around the world, this is not the case and there remains a huge, unmet need. In fact, over 220 million women in developing countries want contraception and family planning but lack access. There are a variety of reasons regarding why women do not have access – poverty, lack of education, lack of health care facilities, culture and religion – however it is proven that when women have access to contraception they are more likely to survive childbirth, have healthier children, and go further in their education.

Yetebon community Ethiopia

Mother holding her 9th child in rural Ethiopia. 

To raise awareness for global access to contraception, EngenderHealth released a new video that takes an interesting look at contraceptives throughout history to convey the message that there are 220 million women in developing countries today who want access to contraception but can’t get it. The video has proved a success and has highlighted in   CosmopolitanBuzzFeedTIMEJezebel, and The Huffington Post.

About the video: Published on Sep 22, 2014

From the beginning of time, women have wanted to decide for themselves if and when to have children. As a result, they’ve endured some of history’s worst contraceptives. It’ll make you say, “Ewww.”

So, WTFP?! Where’s The Family Planning?! Visit http://wheresthefp.org for more information.

The WTFP?! Campaign is brought to you by EngenderHealth. Around the world, EngenderHealth has proven that family planning services can be safe, effective, and affordable—even in resource-poor settings. We are passionate about putting the power of family planning into women’s hands worldwide, because when women thrive, so do their families and communities. When women have access to health care and family planning, they tend to go further in their education, earn more, and have healthier children. For more information, visithttp://www.engenderhealth.org/.

So why is family planning so important?

Family planning saves lives and empowers women

When women have access to family planning, they are more likely to survive childbirth, have healthier children, and go further in their education.

More than 220 million women who want to delay or avoid pregnancy lack access to contraceptives and family planning information and services. Women encounter a variety of challenges in accessing contraception, including cultural restrictions, lack of appropriate supplies, financial barriers, misinformation, and inadequate health care systems.

If we were able to meet this need for contraceptives and family planning, we could prevent1:

  • 54 million unintended pregnancies
  • 79,000 maternal deaths
  • 1.1 million infant deaths

Family planning is a smart investment for women, their families, and their communities. Every dollar invested in family planning can save governments up to six dollars that can be spent on improving health, education, housing, and other public services.2

1 Guttmacher/UNFPA. Adding It Up: Costs and Benefits of Contraceptive Services, Estimates for 2012. June 2012.
2 Ibid.

Source of information above: EngenderHealth stats

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Want to learn more? 

·  Watch our first campaign video, History’s Worst Contraceptives: bit.ly/wtfpvid

·  Visit www.wheresthefp.org


 “Engendering Rights and Health for 70 Years”


  1. Yes, yes, so many Americans have no idea how complicated access to contraceptives can be in the developing world! Great campaign, Nicole!

    I’ve missed you while I was gone all summer. We finally got our wifi connected 4 days ago. Hope you are well, my friend.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

  2. Not to mention what contraception can do for the health of our PLANET! More than 7 billion people make an imbalanced impact. I suppose that in a “humanitarian” world view, the benefits to humans are the motivating factors, so mentioning better education & a better quality of life is understandable. My concept of Peace wants to be a bit broader. What is beneficial to the whole world? Is there a stigma against coming right out and saying, “Why don’t we choose to have fewer children for the health of our planet?” I had 4 children by the time I was 29. I didn’t really think about the choice much. I was happily married to a man who loved babies. My children, though, are thinking very seriously about whether or not they want to make more humans, and I’m glad.

    1. Yes of course having less children is critical given out immense populations that we can not feed. Millions go to bed hungry every night. I chose to have two children. So yes if more women had access to contraception then we would immensely help our plane and be able to feed and care for the people we have. 🙂

  3. Such important information and another excellent project you are sharing with us! Contraception is something I think we take forgranted in North America.

  4. Excellent post, NIcole! Great to learn about this organization.

    When I started my blog, I posted about the “Demographic Riddle” (from a National Geographic article…Do women bear fewer children because a country is prosperous, or does a country’s economy grow when women have fewer children – http://lolako.com/a-demographic-riddle/ ).

    And as I learned more about human development indicators in the Philippines, it became obvious that the lack of access to family planning was a major reason my home country is still not a “developed” nation. Finally, a reproductive health bill recently passed, after 14 years of politicians and the church blocking family planning initiatives. This should mark a big change for our country, whose population more than DOUBLED since I left for the US over 30 years ago, and where there is so much poverty.

    The things is, wealthy women in developing nations have access to contraception, but those who need it most — the poor — do not. it is poor women who needs to be reached so that they (and their children) can have a chance at a better future.

    Terrific infographics from WTFP?!

    1. Wow, thank you so much for sharing this information with me Lola. So many people don’t understand the importance and critical need of contraception. Thank you.

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