Sesión ALAP en PAA 2009

Participación de ALAP en el Encuentro Anual de PAA 2009

Chair: Edith Pantelides, Conicet at Centro de Estudios de Población-CENEP
Discussant: José Miguel Guzmán, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

1. Fertility and Contraception in Latin America: Historical Trends, Recent Patterns • Suzana M. Cavenaghi, Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE); José Eustáquio Diniz Alves, National School of Statistics at IBGE

2. Unintended Pregnancy in Latin America: Historical Trends, Recent Patterns • John B. Casterline, Ohio State University; Jennifer A. Mendoza, Brigham Young University

3. Evaluating the Millennium Development Goal Target on Universal Access to Reproductive Health: A View from Latin America and the Caribbean • Maren Andrea Jimenez, CELADE; Jorge Rodriguez Vignoli, CELADE

4. Recent Trends in Latin American Fertility • Luis Rosero-Bixby, Universidad de Costa Rica; Teresa Castro Martin, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC); Teresa Martin Garcia, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

Fertility and Contraception in Latin America: historical trends, recent patterns
Suzana Cavenaghi and José Eustaquio Diniz Alves
Several Latin American countries are close to or have reached below replacement fertility, if not for the countries’ average, at least for large socioeconomic or regional groups within the countries. Fertility rates have declined from over six children per woman to around two children in the last 40 years. The proximate determinants that had allowed this dynamic were essentially the high prevalence of contraception. Hence, we could easily conclude that people living in this continent have no problems in controlling their fertility, that is, they can keep it down and by using contraceptive methods. Nonetheless, the history and the trends on contraceptive use are not the same around the continent and a deeper look on data shows the enormous problems that still persist after all these years. The objective of this paper is to present a systematization of data on contraceptive use in the last 20 years in the low-fertility countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and to discuss on some of the cultural, social and economical means that lead these countries to have different method-mix. The overall patterns analyzed in these countries show that the range on used methods is rather very small, that the responsibility are still mostly over women’s shoulder, the inequalities according to education, race, and social strata are still very large, and the unwanted and mistimed fertility is very high, point to very inconsistent method use. Additionally, we point out to changes noticed in some recent surveys, showing an increase of contraceptive prevalence among younger people and a timid increase in the male participation on contraception. Finally, we make the case that there is one large similarity on reproductive behavior in Latin American and Caribbean countries regarding the timing of childbearing. Differently from what occurs in low-fertility countries in the developed world, in LA fertility occurs at large in very low ages and by stopping instead of postponing childbearing.

Unintended pregnancy in Latin America: historical trends, recent patterns

John B. Casterline and Jennifer Adams Mendoza


This paper offers an overview of levels and trends in unintended pregnancy in Latin American, based largely on national demographic surveys conducted in the past four decades. The primary focus is unwanted pregnancies (induced abortions, unwanted births), although some attention is given to mistimed births. The paper presents incidence measures (e.g. percentage of births unwanted) and fertility rates (e.g. total unwanted fertility rate). Estimates of the incidence of unwanted births are derived via the estimator recently proposed by Casterline and el-Zeini (2007), and hence the paper will present a revised picture of levels and trends in unwanted fertility, with the revised estimates generally exceeding existing published estimates. Estimates of the incidence of induced abortions are obtained from the work of other scholars (e.g. Guttmacher Institute). After providing a basic portrait of levels and trends (including comparison with other major regions of the world), the analytical portion of the paper will have three sections. First, we will examine differentials according to major population strata (urban-rural, educational attainment). Second, we will explore the associations of unintended pregnancy with (a) national population policy, and with (b) the evolution of health and family planning services. Third, we will consider the implications of current levels of unintended fertility for future trends in fertility, for example the amount of fertility decline that could be expected to follow from the reduction/elimination of unintended pregnancy.



Evaluating the Millennium Development Goal Target on Universal Access to Reproductive Health: a View from Latin America and the Caribbean

Maren Andrea Jiménez and Jorge Rodríguez Vignoli


The recent inclusion of the universal access to reproductive health as a target of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) reaffirms the importance of this topic in promoting sustainable development and poverty eradication worldwide. However, several characteristics of fertility, contraceptive use and access to reproductive health services in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) challenge the effectiveness of this MDG target in the region. Improvements in reproductive health have not been sufficient to erase the historical disparities between social and economic groups in terms of access to and use of contraceptives and reproductive heath services in the region, particularly according to socio-economic status, ethnicity, and area of residence. Furthermore, while the TFR has been decreasing in all countries of LAC, tendencies in adolescent fertility rates are mixed, suggesting that the factors that influence adolescent fertility differ from those that affect fertility at later ages. Finally, although women’s partners undoubtedly influence their fertility and reproductive health, men have largely been ignored in studies of fertility in the LAC region. These stylized facts of fertility and fertility control in LAC necessitate a careful evaluation of the new MDG target and indicators and their relevance to reproductive health in the region. As such, we present an overview of the MDG target on universal access to reproductive health and its four indicators—the contraceptive prevalence rate, the adolescent birth rate, the prevalence of prenatal care use, and the unmet need for family planning—and explore the challenges and limitations these indicators present to the monitoring of reproductive health. Next, we analyze data from Demographic and Health Surveys, International Reproductive Health Surveys and other national fertility surveys in order to calculate a wider range of disaggregated indicators on reproductive health in as many countries of the region as possible, including men’s data from these surveys. We conclude that any further gains in the access to reproductive health in Latin America and the Caribbean will not be achieved without addressing social and economic disparities, improving adolescents’ access to reproductive health education and services, and acknowledging the role men play in reproductive choices.

Recent trends in Latin American fertility
Luis Rosero-Bixby
Teresa Castro-Martín
Teresa Martín-García
By 2007, most of the Latin American population is close or below replacement fertility levels. The 2000 censuses show that: (1) the old trend of declining fertility of mothers continues and (2) that a new trend has emerged of declining proportions of young women who are mothers in most Latin America countries, suggesting that the social imperative of early motherhood, which has long prevailed in the region, is weakening. Surveys conducted in 14 Latin American countries in 2006 and 2008 show a strong link between childlessness and higher education across several cohorts. We discuss whether the recent increase in childlessness among young women reflects a shift towards later childbearing, a novel trend in the Latin American context, and also whether it may signal an emerging retreat from universal childbearing in the region.