Is family planning still an international development priority?

According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), at least 200 million women want to use safe and effective family planning methods, but are unable to do so because they lack access to information and services or the support of their husbands and communities. It is also known that a quarter of women who become pregnant each year have abortions but many of these are done in secret and are performed under unsafe conditions. Even though it is an economically sound investment, family planning has been losing ground as an international development priority. To discuss the importance of family planning in development, parliamentarians from around the world met at the British Houses of Parliament last week. Listen to an interview by Jenni Murray of BBC Radio 4’s programme Women’s Hour, who was joined by two of the delegates – Baroness Jenny Tonge Chair of the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Population, Development and Reproductive Health and by Dr Hedy Fry, vice-chair of the Canadian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (CAPPD) and former Secretary of State for Multiculturalism and the Status of Women in the Canadian government. Click here to listen to the interview  (interview begins at the 23:10 mark and last for about 10 mins).