Member organisations of the UK Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Network and Action for Global health (AfGH) UK network, including the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), released a joint statement ahead of the Family Planning Summit 2017.
The statement calls on all governments, including donors, and other partners to reaffirm a clear commitment that family planning must be part of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in all settings.
It also calls for evidence-informed and rights-based approaches to integrated SRHR and for governments to speak up more strongly in defence of such approaches, and support organisations working to advance SRHR.
According to the World Health Organisation, approximately 214 million women of reproductive age in developing countries who want to avoid pregnancy, are not using a modern contraceptive method. Providing these women with effective contraception would prevent millions of abortions, miscarriages and maternal and infant deaths.
Commenting on the statement, Professor Lesley Regan, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), said:
"Ensuring access to high quality family planning is critical to achieving gender equality and the empowerment of girls and women, as well as reducing deaths and morbidity.
“We can and we must do more to invest in the future health of girls and women globally. This is why we are calling on governments worldwide to ensure the family planning needs of girls and women are prioritised. Family planning must be part of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights, including STI prevention, diagnosis and treatment, HIV services, access to education, universal access to safe abortion services and post abortion care, as well as gender equality and girls's and women's rights."
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About the RCOG
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is a medical charity that champions the provision of high quality women’s healthcare in the UK and beyond. It is dedicated to encouraging the study and advancing the science and practice of obstetrics and gynaecology. It does this through postgraduate medical education and training and the publication of clinical guidelines and reports on aspects of the specialty and service provision.