For the first time, the United Nations says access to contraception is a universal human right.
In its annual report released Wednesday, the UN Population Fund says family planning could dramatically improve the lives of women in poor countries and declared any legal, cultural or financial barriers to contraception an infringement of women's rights.
"Women who use contraception are generally healthier, better educated, more empowered in their households and communities and more economically productive," Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the fund, wrote in a statement obtained by CBS News. "Women's increased labor-force participation boosts nations' economies."
The report is not binding and has no legal effect on national laws.
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