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Blog Posts Address Family Planning As International Conference On Family Continues

The following is a summary of two blog posts addressing family planning as the International Conference on Family Planning continues in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia this week.

  • Kelsey Holt, Maternal Health Task Force blog: “The speeches given during the opening session of the conference Tuesday on sustained political commitment emphasized family planning as a tool to reduce maternal mortality and protect women’s rights,” Holt, of the Harvard School of Public Health, writes. “Against [a] backdrop of political commitments and acknowledgement of the importance of family planning to women’s health and equality, the many subsequent conference sessions about quality of care hold much promise for real progress and action towards these goals,” she states, adding, “Moving beyond access to quality [care] and a focus on respectful care and informed choice seems particularly critical in the context of new approaches reported on at the conference to increase contraceptive uptake through financial incentives to women, health workers, and health facilities, or goals for uptake of a certain volume of long-acting methods” (11/13).
  • Emma Saloranta, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog: “For millions of women, lack of access [to family planning] starts with simply not having family planning services and information available,” Saloranta, editor and blogger for Girls’ Globe, writes. “However, other barriers related to culture, social norms, women’s and girls’ status and gender inequality also remain as severe obstacles to full access and full choice,” she states, adding, “This is why efforts to improve access must be embedded in larger initiatives that not only look at the availability of family planning services, but also build and promote an enabling environment that allows women and girls to truly utilize those services and take control over their reproductive decisions” (11/14).