Sex, Drugs, and Unplanned Pregnancies: How Changes in Contraceptive Provision Affect Reproductive Health Outcomes in Zambia

Jennifer Shen, Duke University

Expanding access to family planning is a major initiative in international development. Millennium Development Goal 5 aims to achieve universal access to reproductive health by 2015. Population policies target the reduction of unmet need for family planning through increasing contraceptive supply and widening educational campaigns. In Zambia, while total unmet need for spacing and limiting births remained at 27 percent between 2001 and 2007, contraceptive prevalence has consistently increased from 15 to 41 percent between 1992 and 2007, and family planning knowledge is high at 97 percent for women and 99 percent for men. This paper investigates whether improvements to contraceptive access lead to reductions in pregnancies in Zambia. Using shipment data from Reproductive Health Interchange (RHI), I plan to take advantage of the sudden increase in contraceptive shipment quantity and frequency to Zambia after 2008 to estimate effects on incidence of pregnancy among reproductive age women.

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 Presented in Session P9. Family Planning, Sexual Behavior, and Reproductive Health