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Blog Posts Address London Summit On Family Planning

On World Population Day, observed on Wednesday, July 11, the U.K. Government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation co-hosted the London Summit on Family Planning. The following are summaries of blog posts addressing the summit.

  • Fabio Castano, Management Sciences for Health’s (MSH) “Global Health Impact” blog: “Family planning saves women’s and children’s lives and improves economic and health conditions of families,” Castano, global technical lead of family planning and reproductive health at MSH, writes, adding, “Current contraceptive use could prevent 218 million unintended pregnancies, 25 million miscarriages, and 118,000 maternal deaths in 2012, according to a report [.pdf] released last month by Guttmacher Institute and UNFPA.” He concludes, “There is no controversy: family planning saves lives” (7/11).
  • Isobel Coleman, Council on Foreign Relations’ “Democracy in Development” blog: “Access to family planning is a matter of survival for many of the world’s women, and their children too,” Coleman, a senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy and director of the Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Initiative at the Council, writes. Coleman highlights the CFR report “Family Planning and U.S. Foreign Policy,” which she wrote last year with colleague Gayle Lemmon, and adds, “There are few more cost-effective, lifesaving interventions than family planning, and it’s about time more attention and resources are put toward it” (7/11).
  • Latanya Mapp Frett, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog: “Today, world leaders convened at this gathering place and pledged $2.6 billion in support for women and families in some of the world’s least developed countries, exceeding its goal of $2.3 billion,” Frett, global vice president at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, writes, adding, “A lot is on the table. Now it’s up to us to hold those in power accountable to their promises.” She concludes, “These commitments now need to be turned into action, and U.S. leadership must be sustained” (7/11).
  • Tom Paulson, KPLU 88.5’s “Humanosphere” blog: At the summit on Wednesday, Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, “and a few big guns in the British government did a much-needed and celebrated thing — getting billions of dollars from the international community to fund family planning services for some 120 million women and girls,” KPLU’s Paulson writes. “Improved access to contraception has been estimated to reduce maternal mortality by a third,” he continues, adding, “So this campaign … may indeed represent a significant turning point for family planning and for maternal health worldwide” (7/11).
  • Rajiv Shah, USAID’s “IMPACTblog”: “To support the aspirations of the London Summit, the United States commits the power of its voice and example, as well as resources, technical support and leadership that will lead to new and innovative ways of substantively reducing unmet need for family planning,” USAID Administrator Shah writes. “Over the next eight years, our work to support more than 84 million women annually across 42 countries will provide for 675 million user-years of coverage,” he adds, concluding, “Alongside critical investments in education and economic opportunity for women and girls, voluntary family planning paves the way for peaceful, more prosperous communities” (7/11).

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