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Access to contraception as a fundamental right

© Quentin Top

Access to contraception as a fundamental right

Doctors of the World – Médecins du Monde (MdM) made sexual and reproductive health one of its priorities for action and  advocates for women’s right to control their own bodies, to have a sexual life free of coercion nor violence and to decide freely whether to have children or not, when and how many. To do so, women and girls must have access to complete sexuality education, the contraception method of their choice as well as quality and appropriate health services, including safe and legal abortion care.

access to contraception

Today, 214 million women in the developing world who wish to avoid or differ pregnancy do not have access to family planning services. “Although more and more countries include access to contraception as a priority in their national health policy, these efforts do not always result in effective services and still excludes women in precarious or poverty situation, unmarried women or minor girls” warns Catherine Giboin, member of the administrative board at MdM. However, answering the needs in contraception would reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies by 84% and consequently, maternal mortality associated to complications related to pregnancy and delivery or to unsafe abortion, notably among young girls, who are particularly at risk.

Answering the needs in contraception would reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies by 84%.

 

Family Planning 2020

On July 11th 2017, the 2nd summit of the Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) global movement will be held in London. FP2020 partnership was initiated in London in 2012 to enable access to human-rights based contraception for 120 million women and young girls by 2020. This movement works with governments, civil society, donors, multilateral agencies and targets 69 countries. MdM has decided to join in this initiative, consistent with a dynamic of supporting social change.

 

Doctors of the World – Médecins du Monde (MdM) made sexual and reproductive health one of its priorities for action and  advocates for women’s right ©Olivier Papegnies
Doctors of the World – Médecins du Monde (MdM) made sexual and reproductive health one of its priorities for action and advocates for women’s right ©Olivier Papegnies

Present particularly in French-speaking Africa, crisis and conflict settings and by young people (from 10 to 24), MdM, in partnership with local stakeholders, takes action to improve access to and sexual and reproductive health and rights in 13 out of the 69 countries targeted by FP2020. By 2020, MdM commits to support access to family planning for a million women, including 150 000 adolescents and young girls. This commitment will be made official during the London’s summit, to which MdM France, United Kingdom and USA will participate.

 

 

Access to contraception is a fundamental right, as well as a powerful lever for fair and sustainable development; but it is particularly the sine qua non condition for women to reach their goals in their personal, professional or public life! Even if this movement is a real step forward for women’s rights and health, this ambition will only be achieved if the governments make strong commitments and allocate significant funding for implementation” concludes doctor Françoise Sivignon, President of MdM.

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