Access to Quality Family Planning in the Developing World and the United States
Access to quality family planning and reproductive health services gives women not only control over their childbearing but is also key to improving their economic opportunities. Photo courtesy of Mike Wang/PATH.
Ensuring access to family planning and reproductive health in the developing world and in the United States entail different challenges, but for the Global Development and Population Program the same underlying principles drive both. Access to voluntary family planning and good reproductive health benefit both individuals and their community, wherever they are in the world.
More than 100 million women remain without access to family planning worldwide, and many times that number do not receive other essential reproductive health services. This is particularly true in sub-Saharan Africa, where almost a quarter of women lack family planning services and information. To address this, the Program makes grants broadly to improve quality of care, increase the breadth of services and outreach, and improve laws and policies in countries across the region.
Grants for family planning and reproductive health date to the start of the Hewlett Foundation, when the focus was the San Francisco Bay Area. Today, the commitment to the region remains, and has grown to embrace disadvantaged and diverse communities in both the Bay Area and California's Central Valley. The burden of poor reproductive health falls particularly hard on teens, those with low incomes, and women of color, a special focus of our grantmaking. Beyond the region, the Foundation makes grants to advance policies and programs that enhance family planning and reproductive health across the United States.