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26.09.2008 – 01:06

Bayer Schering Pharma

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

London (ots/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: )
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
For more information and advice on contraception and sexual
health, plus information on activities happening worldwide, go to
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
The six international and regional sexual health and reproductive
organizations are:
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:
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
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:
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
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:
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:
The campaign is sponsored by 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
(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:
FactSh_Abortion_Jan2006.pdf Last accessed 10th July 2008.
(Due to the length of this URL, it may be necessary to copy and
paste  this hyperlink into your Internet browser's URL address field.
Remove the  space if one exists.)
(7) Hansard. Source: DH. National Schedule of Reference Costs
Appendix  1C. 2004 Available at  http://www.parliament.the-stationery vo040512/text/40512w35.htm
(Due to the length of this URL, it may be necessary to copy and
paste  this hyperlink into your Internet browser's URL address field.
Remove the  space if one exists.)


For further information please contact: Dr. Friederike Lorenzen,
Product Communication, Bayer Schering Pharma AG, phone:
+49-30-468-15805, e-mail:
Fiona Gildea, Account Manager, Ketchum, phone: +44-20-7611-3601,