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    068563

    Meeting the future. Where will the resources for the USSR's family planning programs come from?

    Laskin M

    INTEGRATION. 1991 Sep; (29):6-7.

    Providing resources for family planning programs in the USSR, where an extremely high rate of abortions threatens the lives of women, will require a multi-sectoral approach involving the government, international agencies, and the private sector. Every year, some 10-13 million of the USSR's 70 million women of fertile age undergo an abortion (only 7 million of the abortions every year are considered legal). A recent report indicates that only 15-18% of Soviet women have not had at least one abortion in their lifetimes. A result of the high rate of illegal abortions, morbidity and mortality affects many Soviet mothers. Additionally, infant mortality rates is as high as 58.5% in some areas of the USSR, a figure similar to that found in developing countries. Knowledge of modern contraception is high, but use remains low. This is due primarily to the lack of contraceptive availability. IUD's injectables, implants, and oral contraceptives are scarce. And even when oral contraceptives are available, few women opt for this method, due to the rampant misinformation and exaggeration concerning its side-effects. While the USSR does produce condoms, their quality is poor. Part of the solution to the lack of available contraception rests in the transition to a market economy. As the demand for these services increases, the market will begin meeting this demand. The government also has a important role to play, which includes the provision of information, medical and paramedical education, sex education, and service delivery. And international agencies will need to provide the necessary technical assistance.
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