What Does Support for Healthy Timing and Spacing of Pregnancies (HTSP) Include?
- Education for women in developing nations about healthy birth timing (pregnant women are at lower risk when mother is between 18-34 years old)
- Education for women in developing nations about healthy birth spacing (2-3 years between children)
- Voluntary use of modern contraception
- Fertility awareness-based methods (sometimes known as natural family planning e.g., using the Standard Days Method with cycle beads)
- NOT abortion:
- Hope Through Healing Hands does not fund abortion.
- The Helms Amendment bars the use of U.S. government funds to pay for abortion services worldwide.
Women Lack Access to HTSP Education and Services
- 225 million women worldwide want access to HTSP education and services but don’t have it.
- Less than 20% of women in Sub-Saharan Africa and barely a third of women in Asia use modern contraception.
Women Have Limited Access to Maternal Health Care
- Every year, complications from pregnancy and childbirth claim the lives of nearly 303,000 women and permanently disable many more, mostly in developing countries.
- 99% of these deaths are in developing countries, and 80% are preventable.
- For every maternal death, at least 30 other women suffer serious illness or permanent debilitating injury.
- Girls younger than 15 are five times more likely to die from complications during pregnancy or childbirth than women in their 20’s.
- Pregnancy is among the leading causes of death for girls aged 15 to 19.
- Women with five or more children are 1.5 to three times more likely to die from pregnancy complications.
- If 120 million women get access to HTSP resources, 200,000 fewer women and girls will die in childbirth by 2020.
Newborns Suffer if Mothers Don't Have Access to Family HTSP
- In developing countries, the risk of prematurity and low birth rate doubles when conception occurs within six months of a previous birth.
- Children born to women younger than 18 years have an excess mortality risk of about 40% and are more likely to be stunted and anemic than children born to women over 18 years of age.
HTSP Combats Infant Mortality
- With the recommended two years spacing between birth and pregnancy, children are more than twice as likely to survive infancy.
- With recommended birth spacing, mothers can breastfeed their children longer and devote more time and attention to their infants.
- If 120 million women get access to family planning resources, 3 million fewer babies will die in their first year of life by the year 2020.
HTSP Gives Girls and Women the Chance to Be Educated
- Right now, up to 25% of girls in developing countries drop out of school due to unintended pregnancy.
- Moms empowered to make decisions on the timing and spacing of their pregnancies are more able to pursue their education and better their families’ lives.
HTSP Reduces Abortion Rates
- There are 85 million unplanned pregnancies each year, and about half end in abortion.
- For women who seek abortion, 67,000 will die because of abortion-related injuries and millions more suffer complications and long-term injuries.
- Abortion-related injuries account for 13% of maternal deaths worldwide each year.
- HTSP education and services in developing nations could result in more than 100 million fewer unintended pregnancies and over 50 million fewer abortions per year by the year 2020.
HTSP is Cost Effective
- Studies show that every dollar spent on HTSP can save governments up to six dollars that can be spent on improving health, housing, water, and other public services.
Helpful Bible Verses
- Genesis 1:27-28
- Deuteronomy 15:7
- Psalm 41:2
- Proverbs 31:8-9
- Hosea 12:6
- Micah 6:8
- Matthew 22:37-40
- Galatians 6:2
- Hebrews 6:10
- 3 John 1:2
- A Call to Christian Common Ground on Family Planning and Maternal and Children’s Health, the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good
- Healthy Timing and Spacing of Pregnancy, World Vision