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Family Planning

Volume 448: debated on Monday 3 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to her Answer of 20 June 2006, Official Report, column 1720W, on family planning, if she will make it her policy (a) not to recognise abortion as a method of family planning and (b) not to support abortion in reproductive health assistance; and if she will make a statement. (81165)

I have been asked to reply.

DFID does not promote abortion as a method of family planning. However, we recognise that if a woman decides she cannot go through with a pregnancy, she needs to be able to access services that are safe, as well as family planning services. This is in line with the consensus agreed by the International Conference for Population and Development (ICPD) in 1994.

Globally, 137 million couples who say they would like to use family planning do not have adequate access to modern contraception, with an estimated 87 million unintentional pregnancies as a result. DFID support for sexual and reproductive health is to enable women and men to exercise informed and safe choices in matters of childbearing and to provide a comprehensive range of information and services that can help to save women's lives and to reduce the need for abortion.