I’m Not Privileged because I Can Get Pregnant and Give Birth
One in five women across the world gives birth before they turn 18 yet they are five times more likely to die doing so than mothers in their 20s.
With a family planning summit in London weeks away, the Save The Children study highlights the desperate need to curb the ‘number one killer’ of 15- to 19-year-olds.
Chief executive Justin Forsyth said: ‘The issue of children having children – and dying because their bodies are too immature to deliver the baby – is a global scandal.
‘Babies are 60 per cent more likely to die if their mother is under 18. Family planning isn’t just a lifestyle choice – children’s lives depend on it.’
Some 570,000 newborn babies and 79,000 mothers are needlessly dying each year due to family planning failures, the charity says.As many as 222million across the world who do not want to get pregnant have no access to contraceptives, leading to an estimated 79million unintended or mistimed pregnancies each year.
The London summit on July 11 is being co-hosted by the Gates Foundation and Department for International Development, who are also seeking to end forced pregnancies and marriages.
International development secretary Andrew Mitchell said: ‘This important report underlines the shocking fact that pregnancy can be a death sentence for many girls and women in the developing world.’
He added that one of the aims of the summit is to cut in half the number of girls and women unable to access contraception