UK: Global leaders call for increased efforts in family planning on Women’s Day
March 11th 2012
Leaders from the Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health addressed members of both houses of the British parliament on Thursday, the International Women’s Day, calling for more efforts in family planning to improve reproductive health of women.
‘Reproductive health is an essential investment if we are to achieve a world with healthy families and communities, stable societies and abundant natural resources,’ said Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and chairperson of the Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health. She noted that family planning is not only a fundamental right, providing women and girls with real choices in planning their futures, but also saves lives and builds the foundation for economic development.
A study showed that currently over 215 million women around the world wanted to delay or avoid their next pregnancy, but didn’t have access to reproductive health information or services to do so. Otherwise one quarter of all maternal deaths and one fifth of newborn deaths could be prevented, and up to 70 percent of all abortions could be averted. International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said, ‘Every woman should be able to choose whether and when she has children, yet for millions of women across the developing world this is not an option.’ He said that the British government is determined to take action to improve the lives of girls and women in the poorest countries. ‘Britain alongside the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will host a Family Planning Summit later this year to help women take charge of their lives for the better,’ he said.
Read the full article: Xinhua News Service (China)
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