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Family Planning Investments Could Reduce Maternal Deaths In 4 Ways

Huffington Post: Dollars and Sense … Investing in Mothers
Jay Gribble, deputy director of family planning/reproductive health at Palladium’s Health Policy Plus

“…Scientists have identified four ways that family planning can reduce maternal deaths. The first one is simple: if a woman does not become pregnant (through contraceptive use) then she avoids the risk of pregnancy-related complications that can lead to her dying. Second, by avoiding unplanned pregnancy (through contraceptive use) fewer women will seek abortion … Third, for young women who are not yet developed sufficiently from a physiological perspective, use of contraception can avoid life-threatening pregnancies that occur at an early age. And fourth, for older women who have already had many pregnancies, the risk of additional, high-parity, high-risk pregnancies can be reduced through contraceptive use. … [Family planning] is a straightforward intervention that already saves the lives of hundreds of thousands of women each year, and can help save thousands more. It’s also smart economics. The return on investment for lowering rates of maternal and infant mortality through reducing unplanned pregnancies alone is estimated to [be] between $30 and $50 for each dollar invested. … [Family planning is] an investment that … makes dollars … and a lot of sense” (5/10).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.