Monday, 18 October 2010
Please respond to UK government consultation seeking to promote abortion
The UK Department for International Development is promoting abortion in a new public consultation – please respond urgently, whether you're in the UK or abroad. The deadline for consultation responses is 20 October.
Please go to this page: http://consultation.dfid.gov.uk/maternalhealth2010/ then click the links in either or both of the boxes:
"People around the world: Take our survey" (This leads to a ‘surveymonkey’ online survey) and
"Development partners: Have your say" (this will lead to a set of questions to which people can respond with comments – scroll to the bottom of the comments displayed to add your comment.)
If you can, please respond to both of these sets of questions.
As you will see, the issues of abortion and contraception dominate the approach to reproductive health in this consultation.
The consultation mentions some positive measures (like early breastfeeding) to reduce infant mortality, but does not mention measures that protect maternal health such as promoting marriage and stable families, continence and responsible sexual behaviour. Nor is there any effort to help people resist unsafe practices like pre-marital sex, promiscuity or prostitution. The survey also presumes that abortion can be “safe” for women – whereas it always carries risks.
Please respond to this consultation before Wednesday (20th October), and encourage others to do so too.
Further information that may be helpful in responding to the consultation:
A short briefing on maternal death and the Millennium Development Goals:
A useful British Medical Journal article, pointing out that rising rates of maternal death in southern Africa are largely due to HIV: http://www.bmj.com/content/341/bmj.c5068.full (This article also cites Margaret Chan of WHO, saying that training midwives and improving healthcare facilities are the effective measures being taken to reduce maternal deaths.)
A WHO article which does not distinguish between spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) and induced abortion, but suggests that maternal deaths due to abortion are overestimated in surveys where the data is of poor quality: http://centre.icddrb.org/images/WHO_Analysis_of_Causes_of_Maternal_Death_-_Khan_&_co..pdf
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