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Commitments Announced At London Summit Show Power Of Family Planning Evidence

“High levels of unmet need for contraception around the world have a very negative impact on women’s and children’s health and survival as well as on the prosperity of communities and nations,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) writes in the Huffington Post’s “Global Motherhood” blog. “If these women had access to dependable voluntary contraception, unintended pregnancies would fall by more than 70 percent, 100,000 fewer women would die in childbirth, and nearly 600,000 fewer newborns would die each year,” she continues, adding, “If every woman had the option to leave a two-year gap between a birth and a subsequent pregnancy, deaths of children under five would fall by 13 percent.”

Last week, “leaders from donor countries, developing countries and the private sector came together in the London Summit on Family Planning in an exciting moment to launch commitments to fundamentally improve the lives of women and girls by meeting the unmet need for contraception for an additional 120 million women by the year 2020,” Maloney notes. She concludes, “This type of across-the-board agreement is rare in assistance programs and is a testament to the overwhelming evidence that meeting the unmet need for contraception will have ripple effects that could profoundly change the world for the better in a short timeframe” (7/13).

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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.