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A smiling, happy Latin American woman

Women’s health in Latin America gets a much-needed boost

We can’t deny that technology is growing as an essential component of healthcare delivery and social engagement.  As the leading organization in sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights, Planned Parenthood Global is continuously innovating in the ways that we reach youth, deliver information, promote citizen engagement, and provide care for the most vulnerable communities in Latin America.

At Planned Parenthood Global, we have worked to improve sexual and reproductive health and rights in Latin America and Africa for more than 45 years, and have made it our mission to support, uplift, and collaborate with innovative, groundbreaking, and pioneering organizations.

Latin America is the only region in the world where pregnancy rates for girls under 15 are increasing. There is a strong link between socioeconomic status, education, and increased pregnancy risk.  We know that 65% of women of reproductive age (15-49) want to prevent a pregnancy, and about 66% of unplanned pregnancies in Latin America and the Caribbean are a result of unsatisfied demand in family planning services.

Latin America is the only region in the world where pregnancy rates for girls under 15 are increasing.

Despite these statistics, we must celebrate the headway we have made. Oral emergency contraception is now more accessible in Peru. Women can now access legal abortion services in Chile. Ecuador passed new guidelines making abortion legal and safer. Long-term acting contraceptives (IUDs and implants) are now available to young people in the region. Guatemala protected young girls from forced marriage by increasing the legal marriage age to 18.

A Latin American woman smiles at the camera with laundry behind her

Nonetheless, there is still a lot of work to be done! We recently launched the IDEA Initiative, bringing together new sectors (digital media, technology, and innovation) to brainstorm solutions to the barriers that women and young girls in Latin America still face when it comes to their sexual and reproductive health and rights. Women and girls represent over half of the total population in the region. We awarded prizes of $15,000 to 5 entrepreneurs from the region so they can turn their ideas into reality and prototype their products in the next 6 months, while receiving mentorship from experts in the field.

It felt natural to link up with Lia Diagnostics and bring innovative pregnancy testing that is more environmentally friendly, more discreet, more private, and much simpler to use, to women and young girls in Latin America so that they have access to the vital resources and information that they need to plan their future.

All photos courtesy of Mark Tuschman/Planned Parenthood Global

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