G-8 Takes Step Forward on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health
Planned Parenthood Applauds Inclusion of Family Planning but Regrets that Safe Abortion is Excluded
Washington, DC — Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) commends the Group of 8 (G-8) for its commitment to improving the health of mothers, newborns and children worldwide, including family planning, but regrets that access to safe abortion was excluded from its recommendations for maternal and child health. At its June 25–26 annual summit in Muskoka, Ontario, the G-8 outlined a comprehensive approach to improving maternal and child health that includes family planning but excludes safe abortion.
“Women cannot achieve full equality around the world without access to comprehensive health care and family planning services, and the G-8 has taken an important step forward to ensuring that access, but there is much more to do,” said PPFA President Cecile Richards. “An estimated 20 million unsafe abortions occur each year around the world resulting in death for nearly 70,000 women and requiring medical treatment for millions more. While we heartily applaud the G-8 for committing itself to family planning that will make it possible for millions of women to avoid unintended pregnancies, we must also address the devastating medical implications for the 20 million women who have unsafe and life-threatening abortions each year.”
Childbirth or pregnancy-related causes kill hundreds of thousands of women each year, and almost all of these deaths are preventable. Moreover, women face a number of other obstacles in accessing health care around the world, including a lack of skilled health care workers, insufficient funding for health clinics and supplies, lack of transportation, and legal and financial barriers to family planning and abortion services. Deaths from unsafe abortions account for 13 percent of pregnancy-related deaths.
In meeting its commitment to improving maternal and child health, the G-8 also continued to augment its emphasis on accountability with greater clarity on each country’s commitment to women’s and children’s health initiatives. Planned Parenthood commends this effort and hopes the G-8 governments will work with civil society in individual countries to strengthen government accountability and ensure that women’s and children’s health needs are being addressed in each country. Governments must also follow through and build upon the $5 billion committed at this summit to meet the needs of women and children around the world.
June 27, 2010
May 14, 2014