Access to reproductive health information and services is critical to the well-being of women, men, and young people around the world, and is closely linked to many aspects of people’s lives including educational attainment, workforce participation, healthy relationships, social and economic mobility, and more. Reproductive health information and services enable people and their families to meet their health needs, and contribute to progress toward shared development goals.

USAID works with governments and partners to address health needs globally, including sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights. The Office of Population and Reproductive Health supports the integration of reproductive health in the following related areas:

Child Marriage: USAID works to end child, early, and forced marriage (CEFM) and implements activities that address the voluntary family planning and reproductive health needs of married girls and young couples. The Office of Population and Reproductive Health supports data collection and analysis, social and behavior change programs, and other evidence-based practices. The reproductive health benefits of ending CEFM are achieved through programs that promote girls’ education and strengthen the enactment and enforcement of laws and policies that prevent early or forced marriage; enhance community outreach efforts to increase the value of girls and shift norms that perpetuate CEFM; and provide family planning and other support to married adolescents. Learn more about USAID’s response to child marriage.

Family Planning: USAID’s family planning programs support women’s and children’s health by reducing high-risk pregnancies and allowing sufficient time between pregnancies; enable women and couples opportunities to decide the size of their family; improve women’s circumstances to further their education, seek employment, and participate fully in society; reduce poverty by contributing to economic growth at the family, community, and national levels; mitigate the impact of population dynamics on natural resources and state stability; and reduce the transmission of HIV and AIDS through the prevention of new HIV infections and mother-to-child transmission via increased access to voluntary family planning information, counseling and commodities, including condoms. Learn more about USAID’s family planning program.

Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) is a public health issue, a violation of a woman’s physical integrity, and a striking example of girls’ and women's lack of agency to make choices about their own lives. All forms of FGM/C harm women’s health, posing immediate health risks, as well as extensive long-term complications affecting a woman’s physical, mental, and sexual health throughout her life. Decisions about health care—including voluntary family planning and reproductive health—are closely related to decisions about schooling, marriage, and household economics. The Office of Population and Reproductive health takes a multi-sectoral and holistic approach to ending FGM/C by supporting programs that work to address the sexual and reproductive health needs of women and girls, improve access to voluntary family planning methods, and positively influence the social norms that contribute to harmful practices including FGM/C and child marriage. Learn more about USAID’s response to FGM/C.

Fistula Prevention: Obstetric fistula is a preventable condition that affects 500,000 women around the world. The condition can be stigmatizing, prevent mobility, and impact reproductive health. USAID aims to prevent and treat fistula through the provision of high-quality reproductive health care information and services, including surgical treatment of obstetric fistula, access to voluntary family planning to enable women to delay pregnancy while recovering from fistula repair, and other repairative reproductive health care that can enable women to safely carry another pregnancy if desired. Learn more about USAID’s approach to fistula prevention and repair.

Gender-Based Violence: USAID integrates voluntary family planning and reproductive health services with programs that work to end gender-based violence (GBV) and promote gender-equitable attitudes and behaviors. These programs often involve group-based participatory activities that are contextualized to meet the unique needs of each community. For example, USAID implements evidence-based approaches to partner with faith leaders in religious communities to facilitate conversations about social and gender norms, and focus on prevention and response to intimate partner violence. Learn more about USAID’s response to gender-based violence.

Integration with HIV/AIDS: The Office of Population and Reproductive Health supports the development and delivery of multi-purpose prevention technologies (MPTs) that address sexual and reproductive health needs through the prevention of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. The Office of Population and Reproductive Health also supports the integration of voluntary family planning counseling and reproductive health care into a wide spectrum of USAID’s HIV programs, from prevention to care and treatment. Integrating voluntary family planning and reproductive health care into U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief’s (PEPFAR) long-standing programs provides women living with HIV with access to high-quality education and counseling on fertility; safer conception; family planning; contraceptive options; essential prenatal care; and trained health care providers.

USAID supports a woman’s right to use or not use family planning regardless of HIV status. Her decision should be free of any discrimination, stigma, coercion, duress, or deceit and should be informed by accurate, comprehensive information and care, including access to a variety of contraceptive methods. In addition, the provision of health care, including antiretroviral therapy, should never be conditioned on acceptance of a voluntary family planning method. Learn more about USAID’s approach to ending HIV/AIDS here.

Post-abortion Care: Postabortion care (PAC) reduces maternal mortality and morbidity and addresses unmet need for family planning, a root cause of induced abortion. Postabortion care provides an integrated package of maternal and child health (MCH) and family planning (FP) services for women having complications from a miscarriage, incomplete abortion, or an induced abortion. USAID's PAC model includes three critical elements: emergency treatment of complications; family planning counseling and services; and community empowerment through community awareness and mobilization. Providing access to a range of contraceptive methods, including long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) and permanent methods is one way that USAID seeks to end preventable maternal deaths.

Since the enactment of legislation in 1973, U.S. foreign assistance funds have been restricted for use for abortion-related activities. USAID takes these restrictions very seriously and works with Missions and partners to ensure compliance in their programs. Post-abortion care is permitted under the Helms Amendment. Learn more about USAID’s work to support post-abortion care.

Postpartum Family Planning: The Office of Population and Reproductive Health supports postpartum family planning (PPFP) interventions at all levels of health care and multiple points of service in maternal health and antenatal care, to expand access to scientifically-sound family planning methods for new mothers. PPFP is a crucial component of comprehensive maternal, child, and newborn health care. This intervention allows for women to access contraceptive methods after childbirth and during the first 12 months in the postpartum period, helping to reduce the risk of maternal and child mortality.

Youth and Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health: Today’s 2.4 billion young people aged 10-29 represent 23% of the world’s population. The Office of Population and Reproductive Health (PRH) advances a Positive Youth Development approach to increase access to the rights-based sexual and reproductive health information and services youth need to achieve their aspirations, build healthy relationships, and contribute to their communities. PRH meaningfully engages and partners with youth in program design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation; offers intentional age- and developmentally-appropriate programming; improves the enabling environment; and strengthens health systems to respond to youth needs and improve outcomes related to unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and gender equitable norms. PRH focuses on building youth assets, communication skills, and agency; improving equality/equity through gender transformative programming; and shifting social norms by collaborating with parents, teachers, health providers, faith/community leaders, policymakers, and others. Learn more about USAID’s policy and programming for youth and inclusive development principles.