Percent of facilities with non-medical restrictive eligibility criteria

Eligibility criteria of a non-medical nature, mandated by the service facility or organization, which limit access to reproductive health (RH) services for specific categories of individuals (e.g. youth, particularly unmarried females; commercial sex workers; individuals from a certain tribe or ethnic group; etc.)

This indicator is calculated as:

(# of facilities with non-medical restrictive eligibility criteria/ Total # of medical facilities) x100


Eligibility criteria for services offered by the program

Program documents outlining policies and regulations; interviews with staff

This indicator identifies the existence of barriers to services in the form of unnecessary formal program policies, regulations, and procedures; such restrictions, mandated at the policy/program level, exceed those justified on medical grounds. Typical restrictive criteria for different RH services include the following:

Family Planning:

  • Age, parity, marital status, and/or spousal consent;
  • Requirements for blood tests or pelvic examinations prior to the distribution of oral contraceptives;
  • Requirements for multiple visits to receive certain contraceptive methods (e.g., IUDs);
  • Requirements of direct physician involvement in the provision of services; and
  • A required waiting period of several days between counseling for voluntary surgical contraception and the actual procedure.

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs):
  • Age, marital status, spousal consent;
  • Partner notification; and
  • Waiting period for HIV test results.

Maternal Health:
  • Age, parity, marital status, spousal consent; and
  • Requirements for direct physician involvement in provision of services (when other appropriately trained clinical staff [e.g., midwives] could provide the same service).

Adolescent Reproductive Health Services:
  • Age, marital status; and
  • Parental notification or consent.

Abortion and Postabortion Care:
  • Parental or spousal consent prior to procedure or treatment;
  • Inappropriate judicial requirements (e.g., rape may be a legal indication for elective abortion, and women are not permitted to obtain the service without "proof" of the rape, which might be a court order);
  • Provision of uterine evacuation for incomplete abortion only in an operative theatre;
  • Provision of uterine evacuation for incomplete abortion only under general anesthesia;
  • Provision of uterine evacuation for incomplete abortion only by a physician;
  • Inappropriate clinical criteria for use of manual vacuum aspiration for treatment of incomplete abortion; and
  • Inappropriate criteria for contraceptive method provision following treatment of incomplete abortion.


Administrative barriers to access occur less frequently for STI/HIV services, which tend to be provided to those who seek treatment.

access, policy
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