According to Hillary Clinton, an American Political, “you cannot have maternal health without reproductive health. And reproductive health includes contraception and Family Planning and access to legal safe abortion” as stated when talking about Family Planning in today’s world. Family Planning is an important topic around the world today. I feel that is it a very important part of the women’s health system. Family Planning allows people to take part in sexual intercourse without the worry of having more children than they want, and this allows them to space their children out instead of having them one after another.
Family Planning doesn’t stop there it continues to help women with multiple health risk which includes contraceptive services, pregnancy testing and counseling, services including preconception health services, infertility services, STD services, broader reproductive health services, breast and pelvic examinations, breast and cervical cancer screening, and STI, HIV prevention, education, counseling, testing and referral (Family Planning). The problem the world is facing with Family Planning are the services are unpublicized so that people don’t know how to protect themselves, there is no access to medical facilities or medication, or like in the United States there is available services, but now there are restrictions on them.
Woman should be allowed to be in control of their bodies.
In the United States during the 1990s there were a lot of advances in Family Planning services. From 1990 to 1999 there was an increase of 4.4 billion births. Since then cervical cancer screenings have led to a 20-60% reduction in death rates in women.
Screening programs for STI have lowered the unawareness of disease, allowing more people to get the proper treatment. During the late 1990s 19 different states covered some if not all cost for reversible contraceptives. Today, there are now restrictions prohibiting specific forms of treatment for women (Palmer). Pharmaceutical companies are now allowed to deny the patient forms of contraception if it is against their beliefs. Not only does this increases the rate of babies born a year, but also increases the rate of unsupervised abortion death rates. Statistics show in the United States 98% out of 100% of people have at least used one type of contraception (Institute of Medicine). Sexual Education in schools also plays a role in how to practice safe forms of contraception. This allows teenagers to become more aware of STIs and pregnancy.
The use of Family Planning in Malawi is lower than anywhere in the world. One reason being there isn’t a lot of access to medical facilities or medications. Malawi has progressed some with the modern Family Planning, within the years 1992-2010 the usage of contraceptives has significantly increased (C-Change). This is because people are wanting to put a limit on how many children they have. Although in some cases, we see that some people prefer larger families because of the fear of losing a child to unexpected death or illness. They also believe larger families will bring in a higher income and increase their family power (C-Change). The people that aren’t using some form of contraception are more likely not to use contraception’s due to the fear of the side effects, lack information about Family Planning, or are too far from clinics to seek treatment. Factors contributing to Family Planning services include but are not limited to gender, age, race, culture, family and friends, norms, values, health services, lack of knowledge, health insurance, and economic status. Bad influence groups, lack of education, beliefs, unknowledgeable of status and much more are risk factors for diseases that could potentially happen without the use of contraception’s.
There are health services available in both areas, but their services aren’t always visible, do not meet the standards that medical facilities should, or are a very far distance from the area in which the people live. In Malawi people reported that there are flyers hanging around and charts were the most commonly seen types of advertisement. Other materials such as brochures, audiotapes, and videos were not handed out (C-Change). The trends of Family Planning in Malawi consist of the contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR), the method mix, and the need of contraceptives that have not been met, all in which are making progress. With changes such as these, it is likely to see a decrease in fertility (Mona). In the United States the trend status occurred between 2008 and 2014. A lot of changes happened within six methods. Most people relied on long-acting reversible contraceptive such as the device or implant. At the same time a decrease happened within the users of sterilization forms. Moderate increases were seen in the use of the withdrawal method and natural Family Planning (Kavanaugh).
The increase and decrease trend status rely on the economic status of the woman. In Malawi they fully rely on the government for healthcare. Women that live in poverty or are low income possibly have no insurance and if they qualify they can have access to government programs. People with no insurance can go to the local Health Department and get different forms of contraceptives, although, in Malawi people may not be able to have access to Health Departments and if they do there could be no medication for them to take. Health Departments often only have a few brands you can choose from, so if those do not work you are out of luck. This easily causes the rates of pregnancy to rise. In the United States people that qualify for the government programs can go to a physician and get access to contraceptives at little to no cost. People in the middle class may have private insurance from their work. This allows them to go to the doctor and pay a deductible and a fee for their prescription. Fees for contraceptives can be very expensive, birth control pills cost between $15 to $50 a month, depending on health-insurance coverage and type and brand of the pill. That means the Pill costs between $160 to $600 annually” (Palmer).
Often if their children need contraceptives the insurance will deny it due to it being listed as “Family Planning” and they will have to pay out of pocket or just not use any type of contraception, which once again raises fertility rates. In the high-class people mostly have great insurance that covers all the cost, therefore; they are more likely to use contraceptives. However, women with higher incomes are more likely to have an abortion when they experience an unexpected pregnancy (Institute of Medicine). Many pregnancy incidences occur when teenagers can’t get forms of birth control or people are having to decide whether to provide their families with food or get a contraceptive. In Malawi, in different populations low economic status, people may not have access to the facilities to get free contraceptives. Villages that are in poverty often don’t have many health care options. This means people would have to get transportation or walk to the nearest center which could be several miles away. Without forms of contraceptives such as condoms and awareness of the correct way to use them the prevalence figure of STI and HIV cases would increase drastically.
In conclusion Family Planning can be a great service, but like everything, it has pros and cons of the services offered. The Etiology of STI’s is linked to the failure to use contraceptives that stop the spreading of infections such as condoms (Contraception Causes). Oral contraceptives and the shots can also cause numerous issues such as weight gain, depression, bone thinning, prolonged bleeding, etc. (Planned Parenthood). The pros of these two forms of Family Planning are lighter periods, protects from cancer of the uterine, pelvic inflammatory disease, ovarian cysts, and anemia (Contraception Pros and Cons). Also, very effective if taken at the same time each day (Pill) or once every three months (Shot). Due to all these reasons, there is so much political debate over the matter. Either way you go it is going to be going against someone’s beliefs. What really matters is the health of women all over the world that face these challenges on a day to day basis. At the end of the day it should not matter what the society around you thinks, you should be concerned with your own awareness of sexually transmitted infections and fertility risks.