Family planning

Family planning means the voluntary process of identifying goals and developing a plan for the number and spacing of children and the means by which those goals may be achieved. These means include a broad range of acceptable and effective family planning methods and services, which may range from choosing not to have sex to the use of other family planning methods and services to limit or enhance the likelihood of conception (including contraceptive methods and natural family planning or other fertility awareness-based methods) and the management of infertility, including information about or referrals for adoption. Family planning services include preconception counseling, education, and general reproductive and fertility health care, in order to improve maternal and infant outcomes, and the health of women, men, and adolescents who seek family planning services, and the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of infections and diseases which may threaten childbearing capability or the health of the individual, sexual partners, and potential future children. Family planning methods and services are never to be coercive and must always be strictly voluntary. Family planning does not include postconception care (including obstetric or prenatal care) or abortion as a method of family planning. Family planning, as supported under this subpart, should reduce the incidence of abortion.


42 CFR § 59.2

Scoping language

As used in this subpart:

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