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Letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: Family Planning and Contraception Are Essential to Maternal and Child Health

Dear Secretary Clinton:

I am writing as a representative of the Center for Reproductive Rights (the Center), an international non-governmental organization that uses constitutional and international law to secure women's reproductive freedom worldwide. The Center is gravely concerned about a "Maternal and Child Health Initiative" slated to be proposed by the Canadian government during the 36th Annual G8 Summit, which will take place on June 25-26, 2010, in Huntsville, Canada.

The intent of the "Maternal and Child Health Initiative" is laudable, particularly in light of the fact that Millennium Development Goal 5 (to reduce maternal mortality by three quarters and to guarantee universal access to reproductive health by 2015) is the Goal towards which governments have generally made the least progress. Nevertheless, it appears that the Canadian government has no intention of including family planning, contraception and/or unsafe abortion within the Initiative's programmatic scope and funding scheme.

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