Birth Control & Mexico
Due to a government sponsored family planning program, Mexfam (The Mexican Family Planning Association), the national population growth rate has decreased from 3.5% and 7.2 children/mother in the 1960's to 1.4% and 2.4 children/mother in 1999.
Approximately 70% of Mexican women use some form of birth control.
In spite of these promising numbers contraceptive use in rural areas is still far lower than that of urban areas. Approximately 25% of Mexican women live in rural areas and of that 25% only 44% of those use birth control and their fertility rate, 4.7%, is almost twice that of urban women.
Research has shown that the biggest indicator of contraceptive use in rural Mexico is education. Women with no formal education are half as likely to use birth control as the educated women.
Mexico has implemented a sexual education program for the public school system, but many of the girls living on farms in more isolated areas never get that chance. Most birth control methods are offered free of cost at local drug stores, but with no knowledge of the correct use and inconvenient accessibility, many women slip through the cracks.
Planned Parenthood international and FEMAP (The Mexican Federation of Private Health and Community Development Associations) are two of the agencies striving to increase education about birth control use in Mexico, especially the rural areas and to hopefully decrease the rate of unintended pregnancies and thus the amount of economic stress on rural families.