Is the question Save the Children recently posed in its new video to help the public understand the connection between contraceptive use and saving children’s lives.
It might sound a bit strange – but improving the availability of contraception could help save 2 million children’s lives a year by ensuring mothers can have their children when they’re best able to care, support and feed them as well as adequately recover from pregnancy.
Below you can watch the Save the Children’s video- please don’t forget to share it!
Mothers who can’t properly support and feed their children because they are born too close together; or who can’t adequately recover between pregnancies are less able to care for their children. In addition, children born too close together are more likely to die from preventable causes.
Moreover, pregnancy before the age of 19 is life threatening; it’s actually the number one cause of death for teenage girls around the world with 1 million teenage girls killed or injured every year in pregnancy or giving birth. If you are under 15 when you give birth you are over 5 times more likely to die than those over 19. Their children are also 60% more likely to die before their fifth birthday. In countries like Liberia – 1 in 3 girls give birth before the age of 19, and are more than twice as likely to die compared with those over 19.
The link between contraception and saving lives is a bit counterintuitive, but the numbers speak for themselves. There are 222 million women around the world who want contraception but can’t access it. Of them, most are under 18 and live in the world’s poorest countries. In Save the Children’s report published earlier this week, they make a clear connection between contraceptive use, family planning and child survival.
We rarely contemplate the role contraception plays in our daily lives, we take it for granted. However, without it most people’s lives would be dramatically different. We wouldn’t be enabled to make the same plans, career and life choices that are so central to planning our future.
Contraception is a human right – and all women should be able to enjoy the same rights as we have. To plan their futures. To choose to stay in school, have a career and to have a family – if and when she is ready.
On July 11th, world leaders are meeting in London to make political and financial commitments to shrink the global family planning gap. If you’d like to, you can add your voice to their petition ensuring that the needs of women and girls are heard alongside financial pledges for contraceptive supplies.
Guest Blog by Brie O'Keefe, Senior Campaigns Adviser - Health, Humanitarian & Aid for Save the Children UK
Image and video are from Save the Children's UK website