Guest Column

UNFPA uses deceptive numbers to promote UN-style family planning

United Nations, UN, abortion

(C-Fam, Washington D.C.) … [T]he UN Population Fund (UNFPA) claims that greater investment in contraceptives brings social and economic benefits. A closer look at the data raises doubts…

UNFPA often equates “unmet need” to lack of access to contraceptives.  This is misleading, as only about 5% of women with a so-called “need” say they lack access. “Unmet need” also does not reflect actual demand. Indeed, one of its leading concerns among women who reject UN-style family planning are the health risks and side effects of such contraceptive methods. Other women cite religious opposition.

… UNFPA looks at family planning and maternal health together, arguing that their effects are “synergistic.” …

Providing the full range of maternal and child health care for pregnant women does cost more than giving them contraceptives. UNFPA argues that increasing contraceptive use will reduce maternal and child health care expenses. They also say it will reduce newborn and child deaths by preventing pregnancies.

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However, most maternal and child deaths occur in the developing world, and greater investments are needed to make birth safer. Redirecting funds toward contraceptives would not accomplish this.

To justify its claims… UNFPA counts the years the woman might live if she survives childbirth… [and] the projected lifetime of the child… But then, the report argues that infant deaths and stillbirths would be prevented with contraception. You cannot count the lifetime of a child whose conception was blocked in the first place.

UNFPA also considers the economic gains from women’s participation in the workforce. They argue this would be increased both by surviving childbirth and by avoiding getting pregnant. However, they do not consider the economic impact of children never being born, and never entering the workforce, due to increased contraceptive use…

UNFPA’s goal is not to satisfy a demand, but to create one that does not exist.

Continue reading entire article at C-Fam.

Editor’s Note: Rebecca Oas writes for C-Fam. This article first appeared in the Friday Fax, an internet report published weekly by C-Fam (Center for Family & Human Rights), a New York and Washington DC-based research institute ( This article appears with permission.

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