GENEVA (November 14, 2012)--Access to contraception is a universal human right that could dramatically improve the lives of women and children in poor countries, the United Nations said in a report released Wednesday.
It is the first time the U.N. Population Fund's annual report explicitly describes family planning as a human right.
It effectively declares that legal, cultural and financial barriers to accessing contraception and other family planning measures are an infringement of women's rights.
The report isn't binding and has no legal effect on national laws.
The global body also says increasing funding for family planning by a further $4.1 billion could save $11.3 billion annually in health bills for mothers and newborns in poor countries.
The U.N. doesn't count abortion among the measures.