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Developing Countries: Abortion

Volume 468: debated on Monday 26 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his policy is on the provision of safe abortions in developing countries; and if he will make a statement. (165324)

DFID recognises that unsafe abortion is a major cause of maternal death and ill-health and believes that no woman should die or suffer as a result of unsafe abortion. A woman should have access to services and care that are safe, humane, accessible and respectful of her decision. She should also be able to access services for safely and effectively managing the complications arising from induced or spontaneous abortion. Lowering abortion-related maternal deaths is a key way to reduce maternal mortality (Millennium Development Goal 5) given that nearly all deaths from unsafe abortion are preventable.

DFID agrees that abortion should never be promoted as a means of family planning in line with the consensus agreed at the International Conference for Population and Development (ICPD) in 1994. Women and men should be able to access and choose good quality contraceptives to prevent unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.