News & Views

Council Commentary

Contraceptive Discontinuation: Understanding Unmet Need

More than 225 million women worldwide want to avoid pregnancy but are not using a modern method of contraception. 

Among these women with current unmet need, about 38 percent have used modern contraception in the past but discontinued it. More than one-half of those women stop within two years.

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Council Commentary

The Girls in Emergencies Collaborative

The poorest girls in the poorest communities around the world exist in a near constant state of emergency because of vulnerabilities brought on by their age, sex, and economic status. Humanitarian emergencies—such as those caused by extreme events related to climate change—intensify pressures on girls to act as caregivers and greatly increase their vulnerabilities.

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Council Commentary

Advancing Gender Equality, Expanding Access: The Fifth Research Meeting on Unwanted Pregnancy and Unsafe Abortion

In September 2015, the global community ushered in a new era as the United Nations General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This agenda presents a progressive vision that will be delivered through 17 new "Sustainable Development Goals." Embedded in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a commitment to ensuring the equal status of women. More specifically, goals three and five aim to achieve gender equality by empowering women and girls and guaranteeing "universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights."

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Council Commentary

Historic Consensus on Population and Development Opens a Welcome Window in Pakistan

Historic Consensus on Population and Development Opens a Welcome Window in Pakistan

In Islamabad, Pakistan on 5–6 November 2015, national and provincial political leaders, political parties, and religious leaders forged a truly historic consensus on the urgency of addressing population and development issues, and notably the need for urgent attention to birth spacing and girls' education. 

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Council Commentary

Population Council Mourns the Death of Family Planning Researcher Tapani Luukkainen

University of Helsinki researcher Tapani Luukkainen, who led the development of Mirena®, the highly effective levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (IUS) died on Monday, September 21. He was 86 years old.

Mirena was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2000 for contraception and later for the treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding.

As a member of the Council’s International Committee for Contraception Research, Dr. Luukkainen also pioneered research to identify innovative contraceptive methods for men and women and strengthened the capacity of clinical research centers in developed and developing countries. He was a giant in the field of contraceptive R&D, a patient yet demanding mentor to many young professionals, and an inspiration for those who hope to make a difference in women's lives through their vision and the quality of their work.

“The Population Council honors Dr. Luukkainen’s contributions to improving the health of women around the world,” said John Townsend, vice president and director of the Population Council’s Reproductive Health program. “We join with the reproductive health and family planning communities in celebrating his accomplishments and mourning his passing.”