Denial of contraceptive care. A deep-rooted problem in Europe and Central Asia

IPPF European Network is breaking down barriers to contraceptive freedom, helping to ensure that all people can lead safe and dignified reproductive lives.

Across Europe and Central Asia, women are being denied control over their sexual and reproductive lives as a result of hostile chauvinist policies, gender inequality and social oppression.

Many governments are not doing enough to ensure that women and girls have true access to contraceptive care, and it is the poorest and most marginalised who bear the brunt of this neglect. Too often, contraception is the privilege of the few, and women from low-income backgrounds are five times more likely to be forced into pregnancy through denial of care.

In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the level of modern contraceptive use (meaning all non-emergency, reversible methods) is alarmingly low. And overall in Europe, 43% of pregnancies are unintended (EPF, 2018), a result of denial of contraceptive care and of governments refusing to ensure sex and relationships education for all young people.

Young people are also being let down by health care systems in which they face institutionalised stigma and discrimination when seeking contraception. 

IPPF EN is working across Europe and Central Asia to break through these barriers. We are fighting to redefine contraceptive care as a policy priority and to offer stigma-free care to all, especially to those who are most in need.