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Kenyan conference challenges aid agencies' focus on contraception

Catholic World News - October 30, 2012

A series of speakers challenged Western relief agencies for their fixation on family-planning efforts, during a conference on bioethics and fertility held at Strathmore University in Nairobi, Kenya.

Robert Walley, the founder of Mater Care International reported that 330,000 mothers die in pregnancy every year worldwide, but more than 90% of those deaths are easily preventable. He denounced agencies that focus on preventing pregnancy rather than helping these women in need.

Dr. Henrietta Williams of Nigeria, the president of the Catholic Doctors association of Nigeria, also spoke on the problem of maternal mortality, noting that only 7.9% of the UN’s aid budget is devoted to maternal health, while millions are spent on contraceptives. Pregnancy is safer than abortion, she argued, when women receive proper care.

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