Family Planning Spending Cuts Will Lead To ‘More Unwanted’ Pregnancies, ‘Unsafe Abortions’

“Unwanted babies and unsafe abortion are major problems in the developing world, yet funding for contraception is limited because of attitudes to sex and abortion in donor countries,” the Guardian’s Sarah Boseley writes in her “Global Health Blog.” She reflects on her time spent in Dakar, Senegal, last week for the 2nd International Conference on Family Planning, and writes that, “in francophone Africa …, only 10 percent of women have access to what are called modern methods of family planning,” such as hormonal contraceptive injections or pills.

“Although Senegal is a deeply conservative country which once had French colonial legislation outlawing family planning, that is not where the problem lies,” Boseley writes, noting that family planning has the support of some imams as well as the president. “The bigger problem appears to have been the donor community,” she adds, and discusses U.S. funding for family planning, progress in the field, and the Millennium Development Goals. “Family planning should not suffer a worse cut than any other aspect of U.S. aid, but it could be 25 percent down. It’s hard to see any other consequence from that than more unwanted babies and more backstreet abortion deaths,” she concludes (12/4).

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