Britain to provide contraception to save lives

Steve Brine has warmly welcomed news that Britain will save the lives of thousands of women in the developing world by providing urgently needed contraceptive supplies.

Britain's support with these contraceptives will prevent more than 2 million unintended pregnancies and avert nearly 220,000 unsafe abortions, many of which result in life-threatening complications such as severe bleeding and organ damage.

International Development Minister Stephen O'Brien said the funding for the UN's Population Fund (UNFPA) will provide at least 1.6 million implants for women across the developing world so that they can decide for themselves whether, when and how many children to have.

It will ensure women in countries such as Mali, where the prevalence of contraception is only 8% compared with 82% in Britain, receive implants, which are long-acting but reversible methods of birth control.

In addition, Britain is backing a rapid response-style unit which will procure and deliver up to 6 months worth of contraceptive supplies to countries where stocks are running out to give local providers an opportunity to find lasting solutions.

Winchester MP Steve Brine said:"Millions of unintended pregnancies happen each year because 215 million women who desperately want to delay or avoid pregnancy are unable to do so. For many of them, this amounts to a death sentence with a woman dying in pregnancy or childbirth every two minutes - 99% of them in the developing world.

"Giving girls and women the choice to decide whether, when and how many children they have is a priority for Britain. It means fewer women die in childbirth and the poorest families can make what little they have go further.

"Family planning is a smart, simple and extremely cost effective investment of aid. It is at the centre of all our development work and we are going to ensure more women are given the choices they want and deserve."

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