Developing countries could save more than 8.5 billion euros a year if family planning was made available to everyone, according to the United Nations Population Fund.
Its latest report, The State of World Population 2012, says that at least 200-million women want to use safe and effective family planning methods but can not, either because they are not available or because social attitudes prevent it.
The executive director of the fund, Dr Babatunde Osotimehin said: “It is a basic right, the right of every individual to be able to access family planning, particularly women and young girls. We also need to do more to be able to reach marginalised populations.”
The report says national economies work better when contraception is easily available.
But the benefits are not just financial. The fund says the price of ignoring family planning includes poverty, gender inequality and illness.