Dr. Babatunde Served As Head of UNFPA, Championed Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Globally

NEW YORK, NY – Planned Parenthood today mourned the sudden loss of Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, head of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), former Minister of Health in Nigeria and a global champion for sexual and reproductive health and rights who fought tirelessly for equal rights for women, girls and young people. Under his leadership, UNFPA worked to promote women and young people’s health and rights across the globe, offering resources to help women survive childbirth, have healthy babies, and plan their families and serving as the largest global provider of maternal health care in humanitarian emergencies.

I join advocates from around the world today in expressing my profound sadness at the passing of Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin,” said Latanya Mapp Frett, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Global. “Dr. Osotimehin was a global champion for sexual and reproductive health and rights, who was deeply committed to advancing public health in Nigeria and around the world.”

“This is a loss for the entire field of global health,” said Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “Our hearts go out to Dr. Osotimehin's family and UN colleagues. We at Planned Parenthood Federation of America will miss our friend and hero, and we pledge to keep his legacy alive by fighting for sexual and reproductive health and rights -- here in the U.S. and around the world.

The loss of Dr. Osotimehin comes at a time when global health and rights are under attack. The Trump Administration recently eliminated U.S. funding for UNFPA.

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Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.

For more than 40 years Planned Parenthood Federation of America has supported access to sexual and reproductive health care and advocated for reproductive rights around the world through our international arm, Planned Parenthood Global. In partnership with more than 50 organizations across 12 focus countries in Africa and Latin America, we advance the health and rights of young people, women and families, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable and underserved. Last year, our partners reached over a million people with sexual and reproductive health information and services provided by our partners. Our unique sustainability model sets us apart, as we empower partners to stand on their own. We help grassroots organizations develop solid reproductive health programs, identify other sources of funding, build their communications and advocacy skills, and develop strategic plans.