As a result of the advocacy actions I’ve done with other people and organizations, we were able to sensitize the Honduran government so that, in 2014, they started implementing the National Strategy for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention in Honduras (ENAPREAH in Spanish) in the Ministry of Health. This National Strategy includes the provision of contraceptive methods and sexuality education to reduce our country’s adolescent pregnancy rate. Since 2015, due to follow-up on advocacy actions with the First Lady of Honduras, she approved and is currently implementing the Multisectoral Plan for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention, which also includes contraceptive methods as an important option for reducing adolescent pregnancy.
When I was a teenager we did not have sexuality education or family planning services in my country, which is why other girls my age dropped out of school from unplanned pregnancies. Although I was able to graduate from University, many of them never achieved their goals. Now I work so that no other girls are misinformed about family planning and so they can have access to services anywhere in the country without any form of discrimination.
My biggest challenge has been to influence the government to remove the ban on Emergency Contraception in Honduras, since there is very little political will for this issue. However, through collective action, I’ve mobilized hundreds of youth at the national level to unite our voices and influence the government to meet the immediate and urgent demand for family planning.
Unmet demand for contraception and early sexual activity among adolescents have increased the number of unplanned pregnancies among adolescents. Also, many of them are victims of rape and cannot access emergency contraception under any circumstances, which for is the greatest challenge in family planning.
I want to influence and support efforts to reduce adolescent pregnancy and generate more advocacy actions that lead to public policies that help empower girls and adolescents so they can make informed decisions about family planning. This would ensure that my work is truly worthwhile.