8 countries you won’t believe have it backwards on birth control

You can get the pill over the counter in Pakistan, but not in these eight countries

Topics: GlobalPost, Birth Control, Reproductive Rights, , ,

8 countries you won't believe have it backwards on birth control (Credit: Calek via Shutterstock)
This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

Global PostThe top court in the Philippines upheld a controversial law Tuesday that requires health centers run by the government to hand out free condoms and birth control pills. It also requires sex education to be part of the school curriculum.

It’s a stunning decision in a country that’s largely Catholic.

While birth control pills are informally available without a prescription in the Philippines, they still cost enough that many cannot afford them.

Supporters of the ruling said it would transform the lives of millions of poor Filipinos trying to avoid pregnancy.

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Most women in the world have access to birth control without a prescription, according to a 2012 study by the Oral Contraceptives Over-the-Counter Working Group.

The Philippines now joins countries like Pakistan, Ukraine, China and Guatemala, which offer contraceptives without a prescription.

The United States remains one of 45 countries that still ban over-the-counter birth control.

Here’s a look at the eight most surprising nations that require a prescription, along with their birth rates and rates of abortion:

1. United States

Birth rate: 13.42 births per 1,000 people

Abortion rate: 20.8 abortions per 1,000 people

2. Canada

Birth rate: 10.29 births per 1,000 people

Abortion rate: 15.2 abortions per 1,000 people

3. Australia

Birth rate: 12.19 births per 1,000 people

Abortion rate: 19.7 abortions per 1,000 people

4. Norway

Birth rate: 12.09 births per 1,000 people

Abortion rate: 15.2 abortions per 1,000 people

5. France

Birth rate: 12.49 births per 1,000 people

Abortion rate: 16.9 abortions per 1,000 people

6. New Zealand

Birth rate: 13.40 births per 1,000 people

Abortion rate: 19.7 abortions per 1,000 people

7. Japan

Birth rate: 8.07 births per 1,000 people

Abortion rate: 12.3 abortions per 1,000 people

8. United Kingdom

Birth rate: 12.22 births per 1,000 people

Abortion rate: 17.0 abortions per 1,000 people

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