|March 9th, 2017.
Population Institute Canada applauds the announcement, made by Prime Minister Trudeau on International Women’s Day, of $650 million to be invested over three years towards sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
This unprecedented announcement comes on the heels of International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau’s pledge of $20 million to address the SRHR funding gaps created by President Trump’s Global Gag Rule.
The funds pledged by the government will support programs that provide sex education and contraceptives, support the right to safe and legal abortions, strengthen reproductive health services, and prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence, including forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
With this investment, Canada is preventing hundreds of thousands of unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions, maternal deaths and pregnancy-related injuries.
According to the Task Force for the International Conference on Population and Development and the Guttmacher Institute, a major SRHR organization, if all women who want to avoid a pregnancy used modern contraceptives – and all pregnant women and newborns received care at the standards recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) – unintended pregnancies would fall by an estimated 70%, abortions by 67%, maternal deaths by 67% and newborn deaths by 77%.
It’s estimated that every US$1 invested in modern contraception and quality care for pregnant women and newborns returns an estimated US$120.
The funding announced by the Canadian government will help those women who are most vulnerable to plan and space their pregnancies, with the goal that every mother is a willing mother and every child is a wanted child. Result: healthier women with more opportunities for education and employment, and smaller families with healthier children who receive more years of schooling. The benefits of family planning will extend not only to the society at large, but will reduce the pressure of global population growth on the resources we need to survive and on other species – many of which face extinction from human-related activities.
Contact: Madeline Weld, PhD.
President, Population Institute Canada