Key Points

• Substantial societal changes have improved Filipino women’s lives and influenced their family-size goals. Fertility has fallen considerably, and women want even fewer children than they typically have.

• Almost half of recent births were either not wanted at all or not wanted at the time. At the national level, this situation has not improved over the last decade; in some regions, unplanned childbearing has increased.

• Nonuse of contraception and increasing use of traditional methods contribute to the high level of unplanned pregnancy. Half of married women do not want a child soon, or want no more children, but are not using a modern contraceptive.

• An estimated 400,000 women from all regions and backgrounds have illegal abortions each year; approximately 100,000 are hospitalized for related complications. • Poor access to modern contraceptives, a reflection of a lack of social and political support, is a major obstacle to wider use. Increased government support and resources are needed at all levels to improve access to family planning services.