Informed choice has long been a cornerstone of reproductive rights and a fundamental tenet of quality family planning (FP) services.

In practice, it means that individuals and couples decide freely the number and timing of their births, that they can decide whether or not to use contraception, and that they have access to a choice of contraceptive options to realize their reproductive intentions

It also means that they experience neither barriers nor coercion in putting their decision and intentions into practice. The right to informed choice in FP was asserted by the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action in 1994. Sixteen years later, the international community reaffirmed this right by committing at the United Nations 2010 World Summit to "ensuring that all women, men and young people have information about, access to and choice of the widest possible range of safe, effective, affordable and acceptable methods of family planning." 

Yet, despite these commitments, reality has not caught up with the rhetoric in many countries where women and couples have few real FP options. For example, depending on where they live, the growing number of women who want no more children may not have access to female sterilization, one of the safest and most effective contraceptive options. While female sterilization is the most widely used method worldwide, its availability varies both among and within countries. The RESPOND Project is convening a group of experts at the Rockefeller Foundation's Conference Center in Bellagio, Italy, Sept. 4-7, 2012 to address questions of how much method choice and availability are enough, through the lens of this particular method, to find answers that will move us closer to making contraceptive choice a reality for all.

Please click here for the Consultation Final Report (PDF, 975KB).