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Kelly Osbourne and International Health Groups Call for Improved Education on Choices and Usage of Contraception

September 25, 2008

LONDON, September 26 /PRNewswire/ — – World Contraception Day 2008 Highlights Scale and Impact of Unplanned Pregnancy

Today, international sexual and reproductive health experts and successful recording artist and media personality Kelly Osbourne, call for more action to address the burgeoning problem of unplanned pregnancies and the subsequent level of abortions worldwide. Both result from lack of, and inaccurate use of, contraception, and lead to significant personal crisis and societal burden. The campaign is supported by Bayer Schering Pharma. On the 40th anniversary year of the United Nations declaring contraception and family planning a basic human right, World Contraception Day highlights the impact of unplanned pregnancy to help educate young people on making informed choices about contraception and prevent unwanted pregnancies.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080925/322164 )

Successful recording artist and media personality Kelly Osbourne supports World Contraception Day: “This campaign is important because it empowers young people to make informed choices about contraception. Today, young women face many pressures and challenges when dealing with relationships and sex, but my message is simple when it comes to contraception: it’s your life, it’s your body and it’s your choice. Having a baby is one of the biggest things in your life. Talk to your partner and your doctor, and make your decision on the best contraception and protection for you.”

Unplanned pregnancies in Europe have now reached over 9 million per year,(1) with 90% of these in Eastern Europe and 64% in Western Europe resulting in abortion.(1,2) Behaviour amongst European women and men indicates ambivalence towards the use of contraception and the implications of not using it. Indeed, a recent survey revealed that very few Europeans when in a new relationship plan the first time they have sex. Almost half stated that it just happened spontaneously because it felt like the right time and place.(3) In addition, almost half of couples had sex for the first time together without using contraception.(3) Whilst women often underestimate their pregnancy risk, they also overlook the enormous impact of a mistimed or unwanted pregnancy on their life.

“In Europe, too many women are still having abortions as a form of ‘contraception’. We need to shift this misunderstanding and educate people on their right to contraception and on how to use contraception properly to prevent conception in the first instance,” commented Prof Jean-Jacques Amy from the European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health (ESC). “Unplanned pregnancies not only impact on society but most importantly on the woman, be it emotionally, socially or financially. We must work to make contraception accessible to all in the reproductive age, and educate on its effective use.”

Research shows that having a child at a young age can often limit a young woman’s education and career prospects and results in higher rates of poverty and a lower standard of living.(4) Preterm and low birth weight babies are more frequent among adolescent mothers and the children are more likely to suffer from childhood health issues or to be hospitalized, than those born to older women.(4) Children born to young mothers are also much more likely to experience a range of negative outcomes in later life, such as developmental disabilities, behavioural issues and poor academic performance.(4,5)

Societal costs for unplanned pregnancy and abortion are significant. In Europe, the availability of abortion ranges from availability “on demand” to only being available in extreme circumstances.(6) In addition, couples in most countries have to pay for contraception whereas abortions are either state-funded or a cheaper alternative.(2) Even in countries where there is adequate provision of family planning services, the impact of unplanned pregnancies is still high. For example, the average cost per abortion in the United Kingdom in 2003 was GBP469, which represented a total cost of GBP38.2m for that year.(7)

In 2008, the campaign aims to educate young people about making informed choices on contraception under the campaign motto ‘Your body, your life, your choice’. Seventy countries are expected to participate in World Contraception Day 2008. Different activities are taking place around the world to mark World Contraception Day. In Europe, these include educational events at schools, colleges and universities, internet quizzes, charity concerts, roadshows involving workshops for young people and awareness activities in nightclubs and discos and via the internet and mobile phone technology. In addition, a healthcare professional campaign has been launched to ensure that doctors, nurses and family planning clinics are fully aware of World Contraception Day. Healthcare professionals will be provided with a number of informative educational materials to provide during consultations, including a contraception guide featuring important information on how and where to access contraception.

For more information and advice on contraception and sexual health, plus information on activities happening worldwide, go to http://press.your-life.com/

Notes to Editor:

World Contraception Day 2008 is supported by successful recording artist and media personality Kelly Osbourne and six international and regional sexual and reproductive health organizations, including: Marie Stopes International; the Population Council; the European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health; the International Federation of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology; Centro Latinoamericano Salud y Mujer; and the Asia Pacific Council on Contraception. The campaign is sponsored by Bayer Schering Pharma.

In 2008, 70 countries will be involved in educational activities and events to mark World Contraception Day, including 39 countries in Europe; 9 countries in Asia; 18 countries in Latin America; and 4 countries in Africa. Activities include a healthcare professional campaign, school teacher and university campaigns and an online campaign.

The six international and regional sexual health and reproductive organizations are:

MARIE STOPES INTERNATIONAL (MSI)

Marie Stopes International (MSI) is one of the largest sexual and reproductive health agencies in the world. In 2006 alone, MSI provided nearly five million people in 38 countries with high-quality, affordable and culturally appropriate health services including family planning, maternal and child health care, safe delivery and obstetrics, safe abortion and post abortion care, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, voluntary and confidential testing for HIV/AIDS and prevention of mother-to-child transmission as well as information and education. For more information visit the website of Marie Stopes International: http://www.mariestopes.org.uk/

THE POPULATION COUNCIL

The Population Council is an international, non-profit-making, non-governmental organisation, which seeks to improve the well-being and reproductive health of current and future generations around the world and to help achieve a humane, equitable, and sustainable balance between people and resources. The Population Council’s Reproductive Health programme seeks to improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes – especially for disadvantaged populations in developing countries – through the development and introduction of appropriate technologies, assistance to policymakers in formulating evidence-based policies, and innovations in service delivery. For more information visit the website of the Population Council: http://www.popcouncil.org/

EUROPEAN SOCIETY OF CONTRACEPTION AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH (ESC)

The ESC was founded in France in 1988 and is a leading medical society in the field of contraception and family planning internationally. ESC’s primary aim is to both provide information and improve access to contraception and reproductive health care internationally. In order to achieve its objectives, the ESC strives to harmonize the legal situation internationally and to promote availability of all established methods of contraception. For more information visit the website of the ESC: http://www.contraception-esc.com/

INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF PEDIATRIC AND ADOLESCENT GYNECOLOGY (FIGIJ)

One of the main tasks of FIGIJ is to improve the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents around the world. An important part of this is to diminish the mortality of teenage mothers. One method of doing this is by preventing unplanned pregnancies in adolescents by the use of contraception. This is a very serious public health problem. For more information visit the website of FIGIJ: http://www.figij.org/

CENTRO LATINOAMERICANO SALUD Y MUJER (CELSAM)

CELSAM is a non-profit organization that aims at improving sexual and reproductive health in women and their partners, through information, orientation and education. CELSAM has a strong presence in Latin America where it conducts its activities. CELSAM’s regional network provides information to women and their partners on topics related to women’s health, from puberty to adulthood. For more information visit the website of CELSAM: http://www.celsam.org/

ASIA PACIFIC COUNCIL ON CONTRACEPTION

The Asia Pacific Council on Contraception (APCOC) was founded in 2006 by leading contraception and family planning experts to highlight the importance of family planning, with safe and reliable contraception across Asia Pacific. Its main goal is to provide women with the right information, education and communication (IEC) to offer them the opportunity to make informed choices in contraception. For more information visit the website of APCOC: http://www.apcoc.net/

   The campaign is sponsored by Bayer Schering Pharma:   BAYER SCHERING PHARMA  

Bayer Schering Pharma is a worldwide leading specialty pharmaceutical company. Its research and business activities are focused on the following areas: Diagnostic Imaging, General Medicine, Specialty Medicine and Women’s Healthcare. With innovative products, Bayer Schering Pharma aims for leading positions in specialized markets worldwide. Using new ideas, Bayer Schering Pharma aims to make a contribution to medical progress and strives to improve quality of life. Find more information at http://www.bayerscheringpharma.de/

References

(1) The Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI), Sharing responsibility: women, society and abortion worldwide, New York: AGI, 1999.

(2) WHO. Abortion in Europe. Entre Nous The European Magazine for Sexual and Reproductive Health No. 59. 2005.

(3) Bayer Schering Pharma: Study – Opinion poll / Sexual behaviour in Europe, 2006.

(4) Save the Children. Children Having Children. State of the World’s Mothers 2004. May 2004.

(5) Hofferth SL, Reid L. Early Childbearing and Children’s Achievement and Behavior Over Time. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. 2002; 34(1); 41-49

(6) International Planned Parenthood Federation. Why We Need to Talk About Abortion Factsheet. Available at: http://www.ippfen.org/NR/rdonlyres/06AC38E3-2203-494A-A9C8-5D1D4DA551AC/0/ FactSh_Abortion_Jan2006.pdf Last accessed 10th July 2008.

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(7) Hansard. Source: DH. National Schedule of Reference Costs Appendix 1C. 2004 Available at http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm200304/cmhansrd/ vo040512/text/40512w35.htm

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Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080925/322164

Bayer Schering Pharma

CONTACT: For further information please contact: Dr. FriederikeLorenzen, Product Communication, Bayer Schering Pharma AG, phone:+49-30-468-15805, e-mail: friederike.lorenzen@bayerhealthcare.com. FionaGildea, Account Manager, Ketchum, phone: +44-20-7611-3601, e-mail:fiona.gildea@ketchum.com




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