Climate disruptions impact choice

Women and girls are hardest hit by the climate crisis—and around the world, climate-related disruptions are threatening access to contraception. But our courageous team in Zambia is working to ensure women can get the contraception they want, giving them more control over their futures in uncertain times. 

In Zambia’s Eastern Province, flooding can be severe: collapsing houses, submerging fields, and leaving roads impassable. Climate change has made flash flooding worse, cutting off access to essential services. 

But this fall, when our outreach team set out, the heaviest rains were still months away, and they expected a clear road. Instead, they found deep water blocking the only route to the next village. 

Turning around wasn’t an option. They’d heard from the district nurse that 100 women were waiting to receive an IUD—and with heavy rains expected in the months ahead, they wouldn’t have another chance to provide services for some time. For those women, a visit from MSI meant years of protection from unintended pregnancy, giving them the chance at a more stable future.  

The team’s driver waded into the muddy water, testing its depth. Cautiously, the team decided that the water was shallow enough to drive through. The water came up to the doors as they inched the car through the flooded road—but the supplies were safe. The team was able to reach the village and provide services to every woman waiting. 

Climate-related disruptions like floods could keep healthcare providers from reaching women with contraception.
Driving through a flooded road to reach waiting women with contraception.

The impact of climate change 

MSI’s bold service providers overcome any challenge to reach women and girls in remote communities. We go where no one else goes, because we know that reproductive healthcare is life-changing. But climate-related disruptions are endangering access to contraception. 

MSI estimates that in the next decade, 14 million women will lose access to contraception due to climate-related disruptions. As the world responds to the climate crisis, we must ensure women can access the healthcare they need to control their futures. 

Click here to read our two-pager about reproductive choice and the climate crisis. 

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