More than 40 years after the contraceptive revolution began with the approval of the contraceptive pill, the United States lags far behind its social and economic counterparts when it comes to effectively reducing the burdens of unintended pregnancy and of sexually transmitted infections and related fertility problems. Despite the surge of contraceptive products approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in recent years, more can and should be done to help close the gap between Americans' reproductive health needs and the information, technology and services currently available to them.
Reproductive Health Technologies Project (RHTP) monitors contraceptive technologies throughout the development pipeline – from research and development, through regulatory mechanisms, to the market, and beyond. For each specific technology, RHTP brings together a diverse group of stakeholders to define the advocacy agenda and develop and action plan. For example, sometimes we work to boost awareness and use of viable, but underutilized methods. When new scientific findings emerge that change the way the public may think about a method, RHTP takes a close look at the research, the clinical practice, and the policy to ensure that women and providers have accurate, up-to-date information.
Since its inception, RHTP has worked to ensure women have information about and access to safe, effective, and appropriate contraceptive technologies, from expanding access to emergency contraception through the Back Up Your Birth Control Campaign, to assessing the quality of information on the internet about the IUD, and reexamining the value of cervical barrier methods.