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Health Experts, Faith Leaders to Examine Health and Societal Benefits, Explore Christian Attitudes in Capitol Hill Panel Discussion

MCLEAN, Va. – Although most Christians support and even practice family planning, stories in the media of Christians objecting to the use of contraception on religious grounds are common. In reality, Christian organizations are working in places that struggle with high maternal mortality rates to save the lives of mothers and children and avoid abortions, and family planning is a key component of their strategy.

To explore why Christian organizations are helping families safely space births, including a discussion of the health and societal benefits of family planning, Christian Connections for International Health (CCIH) (www.ccih.org) is hosting a panel presentation moderated by Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson on Dec. 3 on Capitol Hill.

“An important issue that is too often overlooked in the discussion on family planning is the role of child spacing in protecting the health of mothers and children and enhancing overall family well-being, especially in developing countries,” said Ray Martin, CCIH executive director. “Using family planning methods to achieve healthy timing of pregnancies improves the health of women and children, enables families to grow at a rate they can afford and reduces the number of abortions.”

The panel discussion, “Where Do Christians Stand on Family Planning? Voices from the Global South,” will be held Tuesday, Dec. 3 from 3-4:30 p.m. followed by a reception from 4:30-6 p.m. at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room G11 in Washington, DC.

Panelists include Susan Otchere, MSc, RN, project director, Mobilizing for Maternal and Neonatal Health through Birth Spacing and Advocacy (MOMENT), World Vision US; Dr. Zipporah Kpamor, chief of party, Management Sciences for Health, Nigeria; Dr. Tonny Tumwesigye, executive director, Uganda Protestant Medical Bureau; Dr. Anne Peterson, public health program director, Ponce School of Medicine & Health Sciences, Puerto Rico; and Rev. Richard Cizik, president, The New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good and author of  “A Call to Christian Common Ground on Family Planning, and Maternal, and Children’s Health.”

Those interested in attending should visit www.ccih.org/christians-and-family-planning-dec-3 to RSVP.

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Christian Connections for International Health (CCIH) (www.ccih.org) is a 501(c)(3) membership association founded in 1987 to promote global health and wholeness from a Christian perspective. The CCIH network includes approximately 350 individuals and more than 200 organizations (more than 170 Christian members and approximately 40 secular affiliates) based both in the U.S. and abroad. The CCIH network is diverse, spanning the Christian spectrum and comprising a community of people from many disciplines and nationalities who are dedicated to a vision of a world where all, without bias, have access to basic health and prevention services.

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