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Family Planning, Contraceptives A National Priority For Saving Women's Lives, U.N. Meeting Participants Say

First ladies, health and finance ministers, and parliamentarians from 12 developing countries participating in the U.N. Population Fund’s (UNFPA) Global Programme to Enhance Reproductive Health Commodity Security, which was launched in 2007, declared at a U.N. meeting held on Wednesday that “voluntary family planning, secured by a steady supply of contraceptives, is a national priority for saving women’s lives,” the U.N. News Centre reports. “More than 215 million women in developing countries want to avoid or space pregnancies but are not using modern methods of contraception, according to the UNFPA,” the news service writes.

In his opening remarks to the meeting in New York, UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin “called on the 12 countries to put resources in their budget to meet the needs of their women and girls,” according to the U.N. News Centre. Country-driven initiatives “include training and computers for stronger supply delivery in the national health system, awareness campaigns and advocacy for national policies, strategies and dedicated lines in national budgets for contraceptives,” and participating countries widely reported “[d]ramatic increases in the use of modern methods of contraception,” the news service notes (9/7).