On the occasion of International Safe Abortion Day on 28th September around the corner, we think that it is an important opportunity and space for the Gender, Justice Group of People’s Health Movement (PHM) to reiterate the demand for ‘Access to safe, quality and legal abortion’ and strengthen global solidarity on women’s /feminists and public movements and speak out for the Abortion rights of ALL- young girls, women / pregnant persons. We as PHM issued a statement following the fourth People’s Health Assembly (PHA4) in 2018, which was widely appreciated and contributed to building solidarity with other networks and movements.
Of the 56 million abortions that happen each year, 25 million are unsafe with a resulting estimated 22,000 women and girls dying —roughly 8 percent of all global maternal deaths—and 7 million more suffering serious, often permanent, injuries. The vast majority of these deaths and injuries are preventable and occur where laws are most restrictive. Evidence shows that restricting access to abortion does not decrease women seeking abortion, it only makes it less safe, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable women and girls. (Global Declaration on Abortion, Nairobi Summit on ICPD25)
Over the last 25 years, some governments, health care providers and civil society have initiated efforts to advance women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights within the realm of universal health care and reproductive justice, in line with international human rights standards and public health guidance, including liberalizing abortion laws in over 50 countries. This necessitates wide mobilization, solidarity and reinforcement of SRHR including of young girls, women / pregnant persons, to counter the threats and dilution of Abortion rights and other SRHR by governments as well as fundamentalist forces, including in the current pandemic lockdown contexts.
On 28th September, many feminist and rights based groups convene together to observe the International Safe Abortion Day– to visibilise the continued violation and marginalisation of this issue, its impact on their lives across the intersections of race, caste, ethnicity, disability, age, class, religion etc., and the politics of policies and criminalisation.
The Gender thematic Circle invites you to join the campaign for Right to safe abortion on 28th urging governments, UN agencies, civil society organizations, health providers, the private sector and the donor community to make abortion, including abortion self-care, safe, legal, available, accessible and affordable by eliminating all laws and policies that restrict or criminalize access. (Global Declaration on Abortion, Nairobi Summit on ICPD25)
Towards this we are proposing the following ideas ;
- Create posters reaffirming abortion rights/key messages-upload on social media and tag. Twitter @[email protected] and any of your Organisations, Regional Chapters
o Key messages for social media such as: Recognisesafe abortion as an essential health service; ; Reproductive rights are human rights, etc. We will share more messages in the coming week. Use hashtags #SafeAbortion #AbortionRights #PHMGenderJustice
- Make short videos and share with us to be disseminated on social media.
- Organise or if you have already planned panel discussions/webinar in your region/circle, do share the link with this group if it is an open space for participation.
- Share messages, posters, pictures, videos, links to the 28thSeptember events in your networks, countries, regions.
Look forward to hearing back from you. Please share the email with your regional/national/local chapters.
Sarojini N, Adsa and Deepa
(On behalf of Gender, Justice and Health Thematic Group of PHM)