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Contraception: UN says access is a human right, and a money saver

Contraception and access to family is a universal human right, according to the United Nation's Population Fund's annual report.

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Contraception access is a human right according to a UN new report released. Here, housewives hold their babies while waiting for a free pediatric check-up at a government health center in Manila, Aug. 6, 2012.

Reuters

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The United Nations says access to contraception is a universal human right that could dramatically improve the lives of women and children in poor countries.

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It is the first time the U.N. Population Fund's annual report explicitly describes family planning as a human right.

It effectively declares that legal, cultural, and financial barriers to accessing contraception and other family planning measures are an infringement of women's rights.

The report released Nov. 14 isn't binding and has no legal effect on national laws.

The global body also says increasing funding for family planning by a further $4.1 billion could save $11.3 billion annually in health bills for mothers and newborns in poor countries.

The U.N. doesn't count abortion among the measures.

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