INFORMED CHOICE AND ADOLESCENT CHILDBEARING

 

Informed choice in the family planning context has been defined as “the fundamental right and ability of individuals to choose and access the contraceptive methods that meet their needs and preferences without either barriers or coercion.”[78]  Current survey data, however, provide limited meansto fully measure this concept.

 

This section summarizes the available data measuring the degree to which family planning clients are fully informed, which represents one dimension of informed choice, the engagement of women in family planning decisions and outcomes among adolescents. Data for a subset of FP2020 countries that undertook a DHS recently are considered.

 

 

ADOLESCENT CHILDBEARING 

 

WHO estimates that 16 million adolescent girls give birth each year and that 95% of these births occur in developing countries. Pregnancy among girls is not an uncommon experience, and complications from pregnancy and childbirth are a leading cause of death for girls aged 15 to 19. WHO estimates that over three million unsafe abortions occur annually among adolescent girls.

 

FP2020 Core Indicator 14, the adolescent birth rate, provides a measure of the rate at which adolescent females are bearing children. The adolescent birth rate is defined as the number of births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 19. Adolescent birth rates in FP2020 countries range from a low of less than one birth per 1,000 women in DPR Korea to a high of 206 births per 1,000 young women in Niger. The highest rates are in francophone Africa, a reflection of early marriage and low levels of contraceptive use among all women in that region.

 

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80. The RESPOND Project. 2013. A fine balance: Contraceptive choice in the 21st century—an action agenda. Report of the September 2012 Bellagio conference. New York: EngenderHealth/The RESPOND Project.

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