The British government has pledged to prevent the deaths of 42,000 women in the developing world between now and 2020
Britain has pledged to provide family planning services for an additional 24 million women and girls in developing countries, for whom an unintended pregnancy can have fatal consequences.
Currently, one woman in the developing world dies every two minutes in pregnancy or childbirth, but, with British aid, the aim is to prevent the deaths of 42,000 girls and women, for whom an unintentional pregnancy could lead to such a tragic fate.
The plan, according to International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell, is to save the life of a woman or girl every two hours for the next eight years by giving developing countries access to modern contraception.
He said: ‘The health and rights of girls and women are front and centre of Britain’s aid programme. Being able to plan the size of her family is a fundamental right that we believe all women should have.
‘British support will mean that millions of women who are currently unable to access or use family planning information, services and supplies will be able to decide, freely and for themselves, whether, when and how many children to have.
The pledge of British aid comes ahead of the London Summit on Family Planning, hosted by the British Government and Melinda Gates, which is aiming to get assurance from other countries that they will commit to strengthening and promoting women’s rights and doubling Britain’s goal of providing 24 million women with the opportunity to plan their families.
The campaign has the backing of former model Christy Turlington, who is the founder of Every Mother Counts, a charity promoting the importance of maternal health.
She said: ‘For far too many, pregnancy is a death sentence. By 2020, if 120 million more women have access to contraceptives, there will be 100 million fewer unintended pregnancies, 200,000 fewer deaths of women and girls in pregnancy and childbirth, and more than 50 million fewer abortions.
‘My hope is that the London Family Planning Summit and the provision of family planning will go a long way to ending the lottery faced by most girls and women in the developing world.’
For more information visit London Summit on Family Planning site.
To get involved visit here.
Watch Melinda Gates speaking passionately about the important subject of birth control below.