September 30, 2018. Access to a full range of contraceptive options is a basic right. Still, providing universal access to modern, effective and affordable contraception, in order to make sure people have choices over their reproductive lives, is not a public policy priority and remains a challenge in most European countries.
Limited Access: Europe’s Contraception Deficit. A White Paper, puts into context the findings of the 2018 Contraception Atlas, assesses access to contraception in different European countries, and makes specific recommendations to governments.
The Contraception Atlas is an original research project led by The European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (EPF), which looks into how European public authorities perform in different areas of contraception information and methods provision.
This document and The Contraception Atlas, are key resource for those working to increase access to all contraception methods and to make access more equitable, across our region.
September 26, 2018. It is World Contraception Day (WCD) again; a day to reflect on and raise awareness of all contraceptive methods and enable young people to make informed choices on their sexual and reproductive health.
ECEC works to make emergency contraception more equally available in Europe. Postcoital contraception provides a second chance to prevent pregnancy after sex. Fortunately, women in most European countries have different postcoital choices directly available to us. On WCD we want to remind our community of the importance of informing women and girls of the different choices we have in postcoital contraception, so that each of us can decide what method is better for us, anytime we have a contraceptive emergency. And on WCD we can’t forget that still today, in some European countries like Poland, access to emergency contraception is proactively restricted in order to control women´s bodies and decision making power.
We all have a lot of work to do. On WCD, and every single day.
June 6, 2018. The Ministry of Health of Andorra announced today that, upon review of the current provision policies for emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs), pharmacists have been informed that prescription requirements have been lifted. Andorra currently has both LNG and UPA ECP products in the market. The safety profile of ECPs, the critical importance of facilitating timely access to the method in order to ensure efficacy, and the provision policies in place in other countries, are some of the reasons supporting this political decision.
The cost of ECPs will be covered by the Social Security System when procured with a prescription. Those under 16 will require a prescription, or parental consent.
Andorra, a landlocked microstate in the Pyrenees, with a population of about 77.000 people, is still one of the few European countries where abortion is not allowed under any circumstance. For further details, see the official communication by the Ministry of Health.
June 1, 2018. Partnership for Public Health translates into local language in Bosnia i Herzegovina and pre-tests the EC wheel.
This work was conducted in collaboration with the Family Physician Association of the Federation of Bosnia i Herzegovina, and the Family Physician Association of Republika Srpska, and with support from UNFPA.The local version of the wheel was produced in June 2018, and it will be used in trainings of health care providers.
Partnership for Public Health is an non-governmental organisation aimed at strengthening the role of civil society in the field of public health. Get in touch with us if you are interested in this tool or in adapting it in your country.
April 11, 2018. The European Parliamentary Forum on Population & Development (EPF) launches the Contraception Atlas 2018. In this second edition, the Atlas tracks government policies on a) access to contraceptive methods, b) family planning counselling and c) provision of online information on contraception, in 46 European states.
Belgium, France and the United Kingdom rank best of the 46 countries surveyed, mainly due to their general reimbursement schemes which cover a range of contraceptive supplies; their policies to improve access to contraception for young people and vulnerable groups, such as low-income women; and their excellent government supported websites on reproductive health and rights.
The Atlas is an excellent resource to put our respective countries achievements and shortfalls in context, and to build arguments and reasons to demand more and better reproductive health policies and programs. Visit https://www.contraceptioninfo.eu to learn more.
Information is power. ECEC thanks EPF for this critical work.
March 20th, 2018. The International Medical Advisory Panel (IMAP) of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), just published its new Statement on emergency contraception (EC). This document offers guidance for health care providers to strengthen the provision of EC services according to the latest research, experiences and international recommendations. While the Statement is primarily intended to inform IPPF Member Associations, it also provides clarity on IPPF’s position with regard to EC, and can be a useful tool for other organizations, activists, researchers, and policy and decision makers working on EC.
IPPF is a global sexual and reproductive health services provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights. The Statement can be found here.
The Italian Medical Contraception Society (SMIC) is requesting to the Ministry of Health and the national Medicines Agency that EC pills are mandatorily stocked in all pharmacies, in order to make them more accessible and reduce time to start of treatment; and that EC is covered by the national health system, and thus provided free of charged in, at least, public and publicly contracted health facilities.
You can express your support to this petition here: http://chn.ge/2GS7M9V
To ECEC’s knowledge, in Italy and another 15 European Union counties, the full cost of EC is covered directly by the user (Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia). Only 7 countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom) have partial or full reimbursement or subsidy mechanisms to make EC pills available at a lower cost or free of charge. You can read more here.
December 5, 2017. The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, issued a set of recommendations addressed to States on how to better ensure women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in Europe. Read the full report here.
The recommendations underscore that women’s sexual & reproductive rights are human rights, and that States have the duty to respect, protect and fulfil them. The recommendations to States include:
- guaranteeing the affordability, availability and accessibility of modern contraception, including the removal of barriers that obstruct timely access to emergency contraception; and
- ensuring that all survivors of sexual violence, including women in conflict zones or detention centres, victims of trafficking, asylum seekers and refugees, can access comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services, including emergency contraception.
The report provides an overview of State’s human rights obligations in this field and examples of shortcomings that European states must address in particular as regards women’s rights to life, health, privacy, equality, non-discrimination, as well as their right to be free from torture and ill-treatment.
In early 2017, the Groupe interdisciplinaire d’expert·e·s en contraception d’urgence (IENK) and the University of Basel developed an audiovisual four module training aimed at strengthening EC counselling in Swiss pharmacies.
The four videos are available in French in this You Tube channel and also from IENK website, along with other useful resources in French, German and Italian.