LONDON, Feb. 6 (Xinhuanet) -- The British government on Monday announced it is
to start funding safe abortion services in developing countries.
The Department for International Development will contribute 3 million
pounds (around 4.5 million U.S. dollars) over two years, London's Guardian
Nearly 70,000 women and girls died last year as a result of back-street abortions
and hundreds of thousands of others suffered serious injuries.
The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) published a report
titled "Death and Denial: Unsafe Abortion and Poverty" on the damage caused by
unsafe abortion on Monday.
It revealed that an estimated 19 million women will risk the consequences
of an unsafe abortion this year, of whom 70,000 will die. This accounts for 13
percent of the 500,000 maternal deaths each year.
The British move is in defiance of the "global gag" rule imposed by the U.S. Bush
administration in 2001 which requires any organizations applying for U.S.
funds to sign an undertaking not to counsel women on abortion or provide abortion
services. The IPPF has consequently lost 15 million U.S. dollars each
year for the past five years.
The funding from Britain will be shared among developing countries which
have lost U.S. funds. Enditem