1.4  Family planning and its benefits

1.4.1  What is family planning?

Family planning is the decision-making process by couples, together or individually, on the number of children that they would like to have in their lifetime, and the age interval between children. This means that both halves of a couple have equal rights to decide on their future fertility. In planning their future children, partners need to have the right information on when and how to get and use methods of their choice without any form of coercion. Such planning therefore helps mothers and their children enjoy the benefits of birth spacing and having planned pregnancies.

Family planning is one of the leading strategies to improve family life and welfare, control unwanted population growth, and aid the development of the nation. This is the reason why Ethiopia has been developing its family planning programme since the 1960s (see Section 1.5).

1.3  Population and the environment

1.4.2  Benefits of family planning