Health, social and economic impacts

Estimated lifetime impacts from our 2011 services globally

Saving lives and reducing suffering

Family planning allows women to make choices about their own fertility. It also saves lives and reduces suffering by preventing high risk pregnancies and reducing a woman’s likelihood of resorting to unsafe abortions.
Family planning prevents an estimated 150,000 maternal deaths each year.1 And if current unmet need were met, family planning services could save a further 90,000 lives. In addition, safe abortion services allow women to avoid resorting to unsafe abortion, while postabortion care (PAC) reduces the risk of suffering or death due to unsafe abortions.
Voluntary family planning is also essential to help women achieve gender equity, engage politically and contribute to economic growth, which makes it an important social end in itself.
1Singh S, Darroch J, Ashford L, Vlassoff M. Adding it Up: The Costs and Benefits of Investing in Family Planning and Maternal and Newborn Health. Guttmacher Institute and UNFPA, 2010.