Unintended pregnancies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region

Farzaneh Z. Roudi, Population Reference Bureau (PRB)
Ahmed Abdel Monem, Pan Arab Project for Family Health

A significant number of women living in the MENA region experience unintended pregnancies—either mistimed or unwanted. Yemeni and Palestinian women report the highest rates of unintended pregnancy. On average, they give birth to 6.2 and 4.6 children in their lifetime, respectively. Yet, 58 percent of pregnant women surveyed in Yemen and 39 percent in Palestine said they did not want to have a child at that time. Using the most recent national surveys, this study compares the rates of unintended pregnancies among countries (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, and Yemen) to help raise the issue as a public health concern. New findings from examining socioeconomic characteristics of women who have experienced unintended pregnancies can help guide MENA officials to develop policies and programs that would serve women and couples better in meeting their needs for family planning services and achieving their desired family size.

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Presented in Session 86: Unintended pregnancies