UK government 'increasing contraception' to developing countries

The UK government will be increasing access to contraception and safe abortion in developing countries around the world.

Andrew Mitchell, the international development secretary, is launching a consultation on the funding proposal.

His department's budget is not being hit by spending cuts, therefore Mr Mitchell said it had a "double duty" to help developing nations, reports the BBC.

There are around 75 million unplanned pregnancies in the world each year, and 70,000 deaths result from illegal or botched abortions in developing countries.

Mr Mitchell was quoted by the news provider as saying: "I'm not entering the ring at all on whether one should be for or against abortion.

"The focus of my attention is the fact that thousands of women die every year from unsafe abortions. I want to bring that figure down sharply.

"We have a golden opportunity within our grasp if not to eradicate these maternal-related deaths, then to reduce them significantly."

One of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals deals with reducing maternal and infant mortality rates in less developed nations.

The aim is for developing countries to meet the goals, which total eight, by 2015.

Read about FIGO's work in this area.