New report reveals inequalities in contraceptive choice in 10 European countries

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Calls for coherent policies on sexual and reproductive health and rights 

A new report analysing contraceptive access across Europe reveals serious differences between countries in how they approach access to contraceptive choice. 

'The Barometer of Women’s Access to Modern Contraceptive Choice in 10 EU Countries' was developed by the International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPF EN).

The Barometer Report  provides a snapshot of women’s access to modern contraceptive choice across ten EU member states (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden). It highlights large gaps in the national policies analysed and urges policy makers to ensure that a comprehensive SRHR policy framework is established.

Vicky Claeys, IPPF EN Regional Director, said: “This report shows the diversity in which national governments address the issue of contraceptive choice across Europe and highlights inadequacies in national policy frameworks, pressing the need for increased dialogue between stakeholders and policy makers around sexual and reproductive health and rights.

“Ensuring women are able to make an informed choice and have equitable access to modern contraceptive methods is crucial in order to help them to decide whether and when to have children, which is an internationally recognized human right.”

Stakeholders involved in the report called for urgent concrete policies to improve awareness amongst the general public, healthcare professional education and for measures to address social inequalities, including:

• Developing targeted, comprehensive SRHR policy frameworks, in close collaboration with key stakeholders and the scientific community

• Increasing general awareness of modern contraceptive choice through public awareness campaigns. 30% of the EU member states analysed in the report do not have a government funded SRHR awareness campaign

• Establishing mandatory sexuality education at schools, including information on modern contraceptive choice

• Ensuring the provision of individualised counselling and quality services on SRHR

• Establishing targeted measures to overcome inequalities in women’s access to all methods of contraception

• Working towards the prevention of discrimination and stigmatisation around SRHR

• Ensuring adequate policy integration and consistency by adopting targeted measures to improve access to contraceptive choice within broader employment, education and non-discrimination policies

 

About the report

The Barometer of Women’s Access to Modern Contraceptive Choice in 10 EU Countries was developed by the International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPF EN). The report is supported by a grant from Bayer HealthCare as a contribution improved delivery of healthcare and related health services. Ten countries were included in the report: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden.