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Smyth uncovers the pros and cons of family planning as a way of reducing maternal mortality. She finds no evidence that such a link exists in Indonesia. The ‘Safe Motherhood’ programme in Indonesia focuses on family planning for women at high risk. But the programme excludes unmarried women, sex workers, and ill or infertile women, thereby narrowing its potential to reduce maternal mortality. In the bigger picture, family planning should only be considered as one part of broader, lifelong care for girls and women, and family planning services need to complement health care services.

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