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Departments: Marie Stopes International Conference

Volume 464: debated on Friday 19 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will list the Ministers from his Department who will be (a) attending and (b) speaking at the Marie Stopes International Conference being held at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre on 23 to 24 October; whether his Department will be contributing (i) direct funding, (ii) informal support and (iii) personnel; whether there are restrictions on the use of these contributions; whether officials from his Department will (1) attend and (2) participate; if he will place in the Library material produced for the conference by his Department; and if he will make a statement. (158371)

DFID officials will be participating in the Marie Stopes international global safe abortion conference. However no DFID Ministers will be attending or speaking at the conference. DFID is not providing funding, informal support or producing any material for the Conference.

DFID believes that no woman should die or suffer because of unsafe abortion. Abortion should not be promoted as a form of family planning. But if women seek abortion through failure of contraception or lack of control over the circumstances in which they become pregnant, abortion should be available, safe and linked to post-abortion care, including contraception and HIV prevention services. This is in line with the consensus agreed at the International Conference for Population and Development (ICPD) in 1994.

Sexual and reproductive health is an essential element of good health and human development. More progress is needed on sexual and reproductive health to meet many of the millennium development goals, particularly those concerned with child and maternal health, HIV and AIDS and other communicable diseases, gender equality and achieving universal primary education.