When women can choose whether and when to have children, they are better able to keep themselves and their families healthy and prosperous. Access to family planning can help women stay out of poverty and stay in school, while it also decreases maternal and infant mortality rates.
But often, that choice is dictated by policy, culture or circumstances. In the developing world, more than 220 million women who would like to be able to use birth control lack access to contraceptives and family planning information and services. In 2012, there were approximately 85 million unintended pregnancies worldwide – representing 40 percent of all pregnancies.
With this video series, we look at the challenges and benefits of helping women access the family planning they need. From an island on Lake Victoria that owes its survival to smaller families to a glimpse inside one of India’s mass sterilization camps, these stories show how communities can thrive when women get to decide on the size of their families and what can happen when that decision is out of their hands.