After declaring reproductive, maternal and newborn health as “the most off-track of all the Millennium Development Goals,” Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell has announced the launch of a public consultation process to guide the government’s development efforts.
Abortion Rights will be submitting evidence to the consultation exercise – entitled “Choice for women – wanted pregnancies, safe births,” along with other key stakeholders including charities, health and development professionals, and the public, and we are encouraging our supporters to contribute their views too.
The findings from the consultation will help prioritise the government’s work in following through on its G8 pledge to improve the health and well-being of women and children in the developing world.
“DFID will now have an unprecedented focus on family planning, which will be hard-wired into all our country programmes,” said Andrew Mitchell.
The consultations will highlight a range of issues including family planning, adolescent fertility, unsafe abortion, antenatal care, and skilled care at delivery. Failure to address these issues contributes to up to 1,000 women dying needlessly in pregnancy and childbirth every day.
Of particular concern to Abortion Rights are the 20 million unsafe abortions each year, resulting in up to 70,000 maternal deaths. Ensuring safe abortions and adequate post abortion care saves lives and Abortion Rights will defend the right to access contraception and safe abortions in its submission to the consultation.
As we recently reported, Andrew Mitchell’s speech supporting reproductive rights in developing countries was an extremely positive step and one Abortion Rights wants to build upon. Make your voice heard and show your support for the initiative by submitting your own views to the consultation.
The consultation will run for 12 weeks and the deadline for responses is Tuesday, October 20.
View details of the consultation here.