The Interfaith Declaration to improve family health and wellbeing of June 29th 2011 has over 250 endorsees so far. In this declaration, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist religious leaders committed to leveraging their networks to provide education and services that enable families to plan the timing and spacing of their pregnancies in ways consistent with their faith.
They also called on others to support this initiative to further influence government and donor policies and funding, so as to bring their faith to action in enabling families to plan the timing and spacing of their pregnancies, consistent with their faith.
The Interfaith Declaration emphasizes that the decision to plan a family must be consistent with one’s faith. It recognizes that the methods of family planning such as choice of contraceptive used may differ across religions or cultures, but there is fundamental agreement that all women and men have the right to information and contraceptive options and the right to decide for themselves based on their faith and conscience.
Interfaith Declaration to Improve Family Health and Welbeing
We, leaders of religious institutions and faith based organizations (FBO), believe that health is a universal value held by all faiths and a universal right for human beings. Our faith traditions, spiritual values and commitment to social justice lead us to believe passionately that families should not suffer needlessly because they lack access to health services.
We acknowledge the evidence that the health benefits of access to education and services, and thereby averting unintended pregnancies, can be substantial. Each year lack of family planning services and education in developing countries results in an estimated 600,000 newborn deaths; 150,000 maternal deaths from abortion and other pregnancy-related causes; and at least 340,000 children lose their mother.
We recognize the importance of access to information about and services to enable families to plan the timing and spacing of their pregnancies consistent with their faith for family wellbeing, for achievement of country health targets and to support achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
We respect the choice of families based on their own faith and needs and know that stronger, healthier and thriving families and communities result when couples jointly plan their families.
In this Declaration, we commit to leveraging our networks to support family health by providing education and services that enable families to plan the timing and spacing of their pregnancies consistent with their faith. We call on others to support this initiative to influence government and donor policies and funding.