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Defending life from the moment of conception

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World stats show healthcare, not abortion, needed to save women

22 May 2009

World stats show healthcare, not abortion, needed to save women World Health Assembly, Geneva, 22 May 2009 - Figures released today by the World Health Organisation (WHO) show that improved standard health care, but not abortion, is needed to improve survival rates among mothers.

The WHO's World Health Statistics 2009 report (released today) shows that the Republic of Ireland, where abortion is banned, has the lowest maternal mortality rate in the world (1 death per 100,000 live births).

In contrast, the maternal mortality rate in other developed countries where abortion is almost totally unrestricted are several times higher than Ireland's (8 deaths per 100,000 live births in the UK and 11 deaths per 100,000 live births in the US).

Pat Buckley, who is representing the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) at the WHO's World Health Assembly in Geneva, commented: "Improved basic living conditions, basic health care, skilled attendants and emergency obstetrics have been the key to decreasing maternal mortality in the developed world. "The false claim that saving women's lives is dependent on legal abortion diverts attention from women's real healthcare needs and threatens to undermine the whole field of obstetrics and gynaecology. "The WHO and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) have focused on reducing the number of children born, rather than on making childbirth safer. This approach is fundamentally flawed, ideologically driven and ultimately responsible for the deplorable lack of progress in improving maternal mortality in developing countries. "We therefore called upon the governments represented at this week's World Health Assembly to resist any moves promoting abortion under the guise of sexual and reproductive health."

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