World Contraception Day


Today, September 26th, is World Contraception Day (WCD). Now in its ninth year, WCD envisions a world where every pregnancy is wanted and women are empowered with the resources and knowledge to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health. Part of the larger Family Planning 2020 mission, WCD takes a multi-faceted approach to women’s health, encouraging increased sexual education, improved access to health care services, and eliminating challenges to cultural taboos based on myth or misconception.

As women’s health care providers, this mission aligns with our everyday efforts.  We counsel and educate our patients, helping their personal and professional goals align with their sexual and reproductive choices. Empowering women with choice and control over their contraceptive choices and family planning leads to happy and healthy individuals and families.

However, in too many instances women worldwide (and at home in the U.S.) continue to lack sufficient access to the care, education, and choices they need. Every year contraception prevents a staggering 188 million unplanned pregnancies globally, but yet, 10% of the women at greatest risk of unintended pregnancy are currently not using ANY contraception.  As women’s health care providers, we have a responsibility to increase the number of our patients making active and deliberate choices about their sexual and reproductive choices.

As I mentioned above, WCD is a part of the larger Family Planning 2020 campaign. This campaign prioritizes the rights of women and girls to decide freely and independently whether, when, and how many children they want to have. ACOG supports this effort through our Office of Global Women’s Health (OGWH).  Although education and access for patients is one part of the solution, we must also ensure that providers have the most up to date and comprehensive knowledge and tools to support their patients’ choices.

Through nine different programs, we are working in 21 countries throughout Asia, Africa, and Central and South America. Our efforts are varied from training local health care providers in operative obstetrics to implementing quality improvement initiatives, but all ultimately aim to lower rates of maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity. In many instances, access and education about contraceptive choices are a critical component to lowering these outcomes, and are featured as core components of our programs.

There are numerous ways to be involved with ACOG’s international efforts. For more information, please visit, or email  Likewise, if you’re interested in learning more about FP2020 or WCD, head to

This entry was posted in Women's Health and tagged , , by Tom Gellhaus, MD. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tom Gellhaus, MD

Tom Gellhaus, MD is ACOG President through 2017. He is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, Iowa. Dr. Gellhaus graduated from Yankton High School in Yankton, South Dakota, received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Chemistry from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and his Doctor of Medicine Degree from the University of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Following residency, he entered private practice in Davenport, Iowa and after 20 years in private practice, he returned to academic medicine at the University of Iowa. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Gellhaus has served in many ACOG positions at the local, regional, national and international levels. Dr. Gellhaus’ interests are in the areas of health care advocacy and policy. He has also been very involved and active in global healthcare. He has completed the McCain Fellowship, a month long in-depth experience in advocacy, at ACOG in Washington, D.C. in 1999. In 2001, he was a Primary Care Policy Fellow with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He has remained active in Advocacy and Policy as a member of ACOG’s Government Affairs Committee and the Ob/Gyn PAC. Dr. Gellhaus has also been very active in leading groups on short-term medical and surgical mission projects for the last 20 years. He has done numerous presentations about these short-term medical and surgical mission projects throughout the United States.

3 thoughts on “World Contraception Day

  1. Just saw this today. Sorry I missed the celebration. The development of safe and highly effective contraception was one of the great public health accomplishments of the 20th century. The increased utilization of long acting highly effective contraception will make a difference in the 21st century. Not only is contraception safe and effective, it has a large positive economic impact for individuals, their families, and society. Please continue the efforts to provide quality sex education and access for all to contraception.

  2. Thank you TOM. In Nigeria, my establishment is in the forefront of education, awareness creation and encouraging women to accept contraception as part of their reproductive right. With worsening recession in Nigeria, every woman need this education and awareness and a positive attitude to acceptability.
    I would also welcome any assistance from ACOG in this regards.
    Thank you.
    Dr Okangba Blessing C.(MD.FWACS)

  3. Planned Parenthood has never offered breast cancer screenings, That is a lie that has been told repeatedly until everyone thinks it is the truth even when PP has admitted that they don’t. Let’s at least start printing the TRUTH!

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