November 20, 1996 in Nation/World

Aid Includes Birth Control

New York Times

Aid destined for Rwandan refugees from United Nations agencies and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies will be the first to include contraceptives and other sexual health services, the United Nations says.

Among the services to be offered under the program are postcoital contraceptives, the so-called “morning after” pills, for rape victims and women who have had what organization described as “unprotected, unexpected” sex.

The involvement of U.N. agencies in birth-control programs is controversial in a number of countries, including in the U.S. Congress.

The Vatican recently withheld a contribution to UNICEF, accusing it of supporting artificial birth control because it had taken part a year earlier in a conference to draw up sexual health guidelines for refugees.

Refugee women will also receive medical treatment for injuries sustained in unsafe abortions or in sexual assault and special care for sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS.

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