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Abortion Care

IPPF works to ensure that every woman and girl has the human right to choose to be pregnant or not and we will continue to supply and support safe and legal abortion services and care. We are committed to reducing the number of deaths of women and girls who are forced to turn to unsafe abortion methods. Make Abortion Safe. Make Abortion Legal. For all Women and Girls. Everywhere.

Articles by Abortion Care

Tips on how to educate about abortion - video thumbnail
12 June 2017

Watch: Tips on how to educate about abortion

This short video provides useful tips to people who want to educate others about abortion, including ideas on how to create a safe and respectful space for discussion, how to present facts and how to make your session practical. Read our guide for more information:     Voir cette vidéo en français   Ver el video en español    Using these resources? Let us know how!

Why we will not sign the Global Gag Rule

Why we will not sign the Global Gag Rule

On 23 January 2017 President Trump signed an executive order reinstating the Global Gag Rule, or the Mexico City Policy.  The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) believes in the right of every individual to decide about their own health and well-being.  As an organisation that seeks to protect and improve the lives of women, men and children around the world, IPPF and its partners in 170 countries will not sign a policy that denies human rights and puts the lives of women at risk.   The Global Gag Rule denies U.S. funding to organisations like IPPF if they use money from other donors to provide abortion services, counselling or referrals—even if abortion is legal in a country. It blocks critical funding for health services like contraception, maternal health, and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment for any organisation that refuses to sign it. When it has been enacted by previous Republican Presidents, evidence has shown that the Global Gag Rule has not reduced the number of abortions; rather, by eliminating access to contraception, it has led to more unintended pregnancies and more unsafe abortions.     IPPF is the largest non-governmental provider of contraception in the world. It has worked with the U.S. government for decades. Our global network of local partners delivers more than 300 services every minute of every day, including 70 million contraceptive services every year.  The Global Gag Rule’s reinstatement will result in additional unintended pregnancies and countless other needless injuries and deaths. It means IPPF will lose $100 million USD for proven programs that provide comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services for millions of women and youth who otherwise go without these vital services, including women suffering the burden of health and humanitarian crises.  Over the years USAID has been a huge supporter of family planning – with a budget of over $600 million per year. Reinstatement will mean that years of progress to increase access to essential services globally, will be lost. We cannot—and will not—deny life-saving services to the world’s poorest women.  We will work with governments and donors to bridge the funding and service gaps the Global Gag Rule creates. We will ensure that women can exercise their rights and access safe abortion and family planning.  WANT TO GET INVOLVED? SUPPORT OUR WORK WITH A DONATION     Subscribe to our updates!

France
12 June 2024

"Let's Resist The Far Right"

This is a serious time. The results of the European elections mark a worrying turning point, with the rise of the far right across Europe and, above all, their sweeping victory in France. The results in France overwhelm us, with almost 38% of votes cast for far-right parties. We know that these parties undermine the rights of women, LGBTQIA+ people, gender equality and the rights of migrants and people far from the law. Their anti-choice, anti-feminist, racist and hateful political project endangers Le Planning Familial's actions towards all the people we support. These results come against a backdrop of increasing attacks on Le Planning Familial organization over the past few years, whether in the press, on social networks, through calls to cut our subsidies, or worse, directly against our local branches. When we attack Le Planning Familial organization, we jeopardize the reception of people who need to come to our clinics: those who come for an abortion, to access free contraception, those who are accompanied in their gender transition, women who are victims of domestic violence who come for support and a sympathetic ear, the young, the not-so-young, women in precarious situations... We are not fooled by these attacks, which are the work of a normalized extreme right and conservative anti-choice movements that are highly organized and ultra-funded! Our progressive actions are disturbing the extreme right, which is opposed to the evolution of society towards equal rights and access to healthcare for as many people as possible in France and Europe.  The European Parliament, the most progressive of the European Union's three institutions, has been a long-standing ally on gender equality issues. Planning familial was actively involved in the European elections, drawing up a manifesto with our recommendations for a feminist, supportive and inclusive Europe, meeting with various MEPs and analyzing the platforms of the main candidates. The new composition of the Parliament, with a more conservative majority, calls this dynamic into question. Nevertheless, we will continue to work with our new allied MEPs to advance sexual and reproductive rights in Europe. Despite these alarming findings, Le Planning Familial will not be silent, will proudly stand by its values and will continue its actions. We have 18 days left before the parliamentary elections to mobilize. It's important for many of us to take to the streets all over France this weekend, to show our support for our model of society and the values we defend. The challenges ahead are great, but Le Planning Familial will always be there to defend and advance human rights for all European citizens. Together, as feminists, in solidarity and in anger, we will resist! Thank you for your unfailing support.   Feminist solidarity,   Sarah Durocher President of Le Planning Familial   To support Le Planning familial click here

Abortion Rights: Latest Decisions and Developments around the World

Abortion Rights: Latest Decisions and Developments around the World

Over the past 30 years, more than 60 countries and territories have liberalized their abortion laws. Only four have regressed, including the United States. Abortion rights are increasingly becoming recognized as fundamental human rights for millions of people worldwide. The global landscape of abortion rights continues to evolve in 2024, with new legislation and feminist movements fighting for better access. Let's take a trip around the world to see the latest developments.

MPs and Feminist organizations in front of the Parliament
26 February 2024

Will France Vote to Enshrine Abortion Rights in the Constitution?

The enshrinement of the right to abortion in the French Constitution has been a historic demand of feminist organizations since I can remember. But for the past decade, this demand has had little resonance with the French population. Many felt that the Constitution would not have to be invoked to defend this right. I would even go so far as to say that many thought that this right was not at risk. But then, two years ago, the US Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade and everything changed. Millions of people suddenly realized that, unfortunately, the right to abortion can be won and then lost. It's an ongoing battle. On 28 February, France’s Parliament will make its final decision on whether or not to pass the constitutional abortion bill. To succeed, we need the support of the international community.   The COVID crisis and the need to expand access to abortion To understand the impact of the US Supreme Court's decision on France, it is necessary to look at the context of abortion rights advocacy in our country. During the COVID crisis, the Mouvement Français pour le Planning Familial - commonly known as 'Le Planning Familial' - joined forces with feminist associations, health professionals and Members of Parliament to ensure access to abortion care during lockdown. Our mobilization triggered an increase in media coverage of the issue: women of all ages began to share their own abortion stories. Thanks to their courage, we managed to bring to light the existing obstacles to access abortion in France. We focused our advocacy on one main barrier: the legal time limit - 12 weeks of pregnancy - to access abortion. We knew that some women would not be able to get an abortion within this time because of the lockdown.  Pregnant women reached out to us by calling our national hotline and our local centers as they were unable to leave their homes because of domestic violence, as well as minors. We knew that, by the time the lockdown was over, they would have exceeded the abortion time limits and would be forced to continue through pregnancies against their will. Over the months, our advocacy campaign evolved into a demand for a legal change to permanently extend the time limit for accessing abortion care in France. It was a long political battle. We celebrated a great victory on 2 March 2022: abortion time limits were extended by two weeks. It was at this point that we saw a significant increase in support: French people who had previously been silent on the issue of abortion began to speak out.  Meanwhile, the anti-choice and anti-rights groups intensified its attacks against us. In the space of a few months, they broke down the doors, the windows and the locks of many of our local centers. Online and in-person threats were sent to our members across France.

AWAC rally 8 march women's day
15 February 2024

Why we need to keep funding, and speaking about, abortion.

As we ease into 2024, abortion continues to hit the headlines. Especially since so much global news is focused on what is happening in the US, where politicians continue to block access to basic reproductive rights. Though we may hear less about restriction of safe abortion in other countries, tens of thousands of women are still dying unnecessarily because of politics. Afterall, we already have the technical knowledge and resources to perform abortions safely. As the World Health Organisation points out, abortion is a simple healthcare intervention, and deaths from unsafe abortions are preventable.  But due to prohibitive laws and policies, entrenched stigma, and crumbling health care systems, not everyone can access safe care when they need it. SAAF is the only global funder solely dedicated to abortion. Hosted by IPPF since our founding in 2006, the Safe Abortion Action Fund (SAAF) has provided $69 million USD to global organisations seeking to tackle the unnecessary deaths and harm caused by a lack of access to safe abortion. We are currently providing support to over 80 organisations in low- and middle-income countries around the world. We wish we didn’t need to exist, that every country would provide its citizens with access to safe, legal abortion care (and contraception) when they need it. Unfortunately, the need for funding to support safe abortion care and advocacy is just as relevant as when we were founded.  Our first call for funding in 2007 received 222 applications, our most recent in 2022 attracted 1191 applications, from 90 different countries.

argentina
19 January 2024

Argentina’s new President could roll back decades of progress in reproductive rights: We won’t cower in silence

The recent inauguration of the ultra-right-wing Argentinian President Javier Milei is a stark reminder of the fragility of our rights to our own bodies.  Within a week of taking office, the self-described libertarian, who is openly anti-abortion and sexist, slashed the number of government ministries in half and delivered on his promise to eliminate the Ministry of Women, Gender and Diversity in the name of austerity. Although Milei's definitive plan for the newly formed and arbitrarily named ‘Ministry of Human Capital’ is not yet known, his famous phrase "there is no money" is a clear signal that sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice will not be on the agenda. Milei has said so himself: he has vowed to hold a plebiscite on whether to repeal the country’s 2020 landmark legislation of abortion, has attacked the 2006 law which recognizes’ students’ right to comprehensive sexuality education, routinely portrays LGBTIQ+ people as a menace to Argentinian society and denies the existence of the gender gap.  But the need for a robust and well-funded public health service in Argentina, one that provides integrated sexual and reproductive healthcare services, is of vital public interest. 

colombia-abortion-protest

Human rights defenders and health workers who face widespread abuse and criminalization for defending the right to abortion must be better protected

The below is a joint press release between Amnesty International, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, MSI Reproductive Choices, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), International Confederation of Midwives and Ipas. People who are defending the right to abortion and providing essential services are being stigmatized, intimidated, attacked and subjected to unjust prosecutions, making their work increasingly difficult and dangerous to carry out, said Amnesty International in a new report out today. The report, An Unstoppable Movement: A global call to recognize and protect those who defend the right to safe abortions, reveals how many healthcare workers, activists, advocates and accompaniers around the world face abuse, arrest, prosecution and imprisonment for supporting the right of women, girls and people to access abortions. Such an environment is prevalent including in countries where abortion is partially allowed by law. It is having a chilling, silencing and stigmatizing effect on all those defending access to abortion, as they live in constant fear of being attacked and prosecuted for providing abortion care, whether it is legal or not. It is also creating major barriers for women, girls and people who need abortion care – particularly those who are most marginalised. “The right to abortion is not an opinion. It is a matter of international standards and international legal norms. It is a right underpinned by many human rights, including the rights to physical and mental integrity, the right to health and the right not to be unlawfully and arbitrarily killed through the withdrawal of safe services. It is essential for the dignity of all women and girls, and of everyone who can become pregnant. Those who defend and enable exercise of that right deserve our respect and protection. Yet, many States around the world persist with policies of over-regulation and criminalization that generate hostile, even perilous environments for those who defend the right to abortion,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General. “Anti-abortion rhetoric, policies and laws stamp a target on the backs of health workers and advocates. Stigmatized, abused, discriminated against, criminalized, imprisoned, even killed - the rights of those who defend the right to abortion are under attack. But their human rights to work without fear, to provide essential services without threat, to exercise their professional skills without discrimination, must be respected and protected.” Isolated and unsupported While progressive abortion law reform continues, anti-abortion regressions impede access with the promotion of disinformation and toxic narratives - smear campaigns that hijack public discourse and agitate against the right to abortion and against those who defend it. “For many sexual and reproductive health providers this harassment and abuse has come to feel like just part of the job, but we cannot allow this to become the new normal,” said Sarah Shaw, MSI Reproductive Choices’ Head of Advocacy. “Enough is enough. It’s time to recognise abortion providers as human rights defenders and stand up for those who put their lives on the line to make choice possible.” Throughout the report, based on more than 40 interviews with abortion rights defenders from all over the world and with the support of global healthcare and grassroots organizations, people defending the right to abortion, particularly healthcare workers, explained how they often feel isolated and unsupported. Their work is not recognised, and they are left fearing the threat of criminalization, harassment, stigmatization, verbal threats and violence, as well as ostracization and burnout in the workplace. Some health workers have seen their personal details leaked online, while others are unsure whether they’ll make it home safely. For example: Venezuelan teacher and human rights defender Vannesa Rosales was criminalized for helping a woman and her 13-year-old daughter get access to abortion. In Poland, Justyna Wydrzyńska, a member of Abortion Without Borders and the Abortion Dream Team, was convicted for helping a woman access abortion pills earlier this year - a safe way of terminating a pregnancy. In Ghana, an advocate for sexual and reproductive rights said service providers have experienced physical violence and public shaming by members of the public, for educating people about contraception. “Violence against frontline sexual and reproductive health care providers is something that continues to happen unabated; it's about time the voices, experiences and concerns of our frontline defenders are heard,” said Alvaro Bermejo, International Planned Parenthood Federation’s Director General. “As anti-abortion authorities around the world continue to deploy stigma, fear and hate-speech against those seeking and those providing services, we, as institutional champions of sexual and reproductive health and rights, commit to matching the courage of our frontline defenders.”

abortion-rights-bolivia
28 September 2023

The global abortion rights movement is unstoppable

Restrictions to safe, legal abortion care are in place all over the world. A handful of countries ban the procedure in every circumstance, but nearly all place limits on who can have an abortion and when. Abortion is often criminalised, and nearly always stigmatised. Despite all this, abortions still happen.   In fact, abortion rates in countries where abortion is heavily restricted are similar to those where it is mostly legal. Every year, millions of people are able to circumnavigate oppressive legal systems and practical obstacles to end their pregnancies by choice. They are able to do this because of abortion rights activists.  Activists are succeeding in changing laws, as well as hearts and minds News headlines are often dominated with stories about the devastating impact of abortion bans in the US. But the global picture is more positive.   According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, more than 60 countries have liberalised their abortion laws in the past 30 years. Only four (including the US) have regressed. 

Tips on how to educate about abortion - video thumbnail
12 June 2017

Watch: Tips on how to educate about abortion

This short video provides useful tips to people who want to educate others about abortion, including ideas on how to create a safe and respectful space for discussion, how to present facts and how to make your session practical. Read our guide for more information:     Voir cette vidéo en français   Ver el video en español    Using these resources? Let us know how!

Why we will not sign the Global Gag Rule

Why we will not sign the Global Gag Rule

On 23 January 2017 President Trump signed an executive order reinstating the Global Gag Rule, or the Mexico City Policy.  The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) believes in the right of every individual to decide about their own health and well-being.  As an organisation that seeks to protect and improve the lives of women, men and children around the world, IPPF and its partners in 170 countries will not sign a policy that denies human rights and puts the lives of women at risk.   The Global Gag Rule denies U.S. funding to organisations like IPPF if they use money from other donors to provide abortion services, counselling or referrals—even if abortion is legal in a country. It blocks critical funding for health services like contraception, maternal health, and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment for any organisation that refuses to sign it. When it has been enacted by previous Republican Presidents, evidence has shown that the Global Gag Rule has not reduced the number of abortions; rather, by eliminating access to contraception, it has led to more unintended pregnancies and more unsafe abortions.     IPPF is the largest non-governmental provider of contraception in the world. It has worked with the U.S. government for decades. Our global network of local partners delivers more than 300 services every minute of every day, including 70 million contraceptive services every year.  The Global Gag Rule’s reinstatement will result in additional unintended pregnancies and countless other needless injuries and deaths. It means IPPF will lose $100 million USD for proven programs that provide comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services for millions of women and youth who otherwise go without these vital services, including women suffering the burden of health and humanitarian crises.  Over the years USAID has been a huge supporter of family planning – with a budget of over $600 million per year. Reinstatement will mean that years of progress to increase access to essential services globally, will be lost. We cannot—and will not—deny life-saving services to the world’s poorest women.  We will work with governments and donors to bridge the funding and service gaps the Global Gag Rule creates. We will ensure that women can exercise their rights and access safe abortion and family planning.  WANT TO GET INVOLVED? SUPPORT OUR WORK WITH A DONATION     Subscribe to our updates!

France
12 June 2024

"Let's Resist The Far Right"

This is a serious time. The results of the European elections mark a worrying turning point, with the rise of the far right across Europe and, above all, their sweeping victory in France. The results in France overwhelm us, with almost 38% of votes cast for far-right parties. We know that these parties undermine the rights of women, LGBTQIA+ people, gender equality and the rights of migrants and people far from the law. Their anti-choice, anti-feminist, racist and hateful political project endangers Le Planning Familial's actions towards all the people we support. These results come against a backdrop of increasing attacks on Le Planning Familial organization over the past few years, whether in the press, on social networks, through calls to cut our subsidies, or worse, directly against our local branches. When we attack Le Planning Familial organization, we jeopardize the reception of people who need to come to our clinics: those who come for an abortion, to access free contraception, those who are accompanied in their gender transition, women who are victims of domestic violence who come for support and a sympathetic ear, the young, the not-so-young, women in precarious situations... We are not fooled by these attacks, which are the work of a normalized extreme right and conservative anti-choice movements that are highly organized and ultra-funded! Our progressive actions are disturbing the extreme right, which is opposed to the evolution of society towards equal rights and access to healthcare for as many people as possible in France and Europe.  The European Parliament, the most progressive of the European Union's three institutions, has been a long-standing ally on gender equality issues. Planning familial was actively involved in the European elections, drawing up a manifesto with our recommendations for a feminist, supportive and inclusive Europe, meeting with various MEPs and analyzing the platforms of the main candidates. The new composition of the Parliament, with a more conservative majority, calls this dynamic into question. Nevertheless, we will continue to work with our new allied MEPs to advance sexual and reproductive rights in Europe. Despite these alarming findings, Le Planning Familial will not be silent, will proudly stand by its values and will continue its actions. We have 18 days left before the parliamentary elections to mobilize. It's important for many of us to take to the streets all over France this weekend, to show our support for our model of society and the values we defend. The challenges ahead are great, but Le Planning Familial will always be there to defend and advance human rights for all European citizens. Together, as feminists, in solidarity and in anger, we will resist! Thank you for your unfailing support.   Feminist solidarity,   Sarah Durocher President of Le Planning Familial   To support Le Planning familial click here

Abortion Rights: Latest Decisions and Developments around the World

Abortion Rights: Latest Decisions and Developments around the World

Over the past 30 years, more than 60 countries and territories have liberalized their abortion laws. Only four have regressed, including the United States. Abortion rights are increasingly becoming recognized as fundamental human rights for millions of people worldwide. The global landscape of abortion rights continues to evolve in 2024, with new legislation and feminist movements fighting for better access. Let's take a trip around the world to see the latest developments.

MPs and Feminist organizations in front of the Parliament
26 February 2024

Will France Vote to Enshrine Abortion Rights in the Constitution?

The enshrinement of the right to abortion in the French Constitution has been a historic demand of feminist organizations since I can remember. But for the past decade, this demand has had little resonance with the French population. Many felt that the Constitution would not have to be invoked to defend this right. I would even go so far as to say that many thought that this right was not at risk. But then, two years ago, the US Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade and everything changed. Millions of people suddenly realized that, unfortunately, the right to abortion can be won and then lost. It's an ongoing battle. On 28 February, France’s Parliament will make its final decision on whether or not to pass the constitutional abortion bill. To succeed, we need the support of the international community.   The COVID crisis and the need to expand access to abortion To understand the impact of the US Supreme Court's decision on France, it is necessary to look at the context of abortion rights advocacy in our country. During the COVID crisis, the Mouvement Français pour le Planning Familial - commonly known as 'Le Planning Familial' - joined forces with feminist associations, health professionals and Members of Parliament to ensure access to abortion care during lockdown. Our mobilization triggered an increase in media coverage of the issue: women of all ages began to share their own abortion stories. Thanks to their courage, we managed to bring to light the existing obstacles to access abortion in France. We focused our advocacy on one main barrier: the legal time limit - 12 weeks of pregnancy - to access abortion. We knew that some women would not be able to get an abortion within this time because of the lockdown.  Pregnant women reached out to us by calling our national hotline and our local centers as they were unable to leave their homes because of domestic violence, as well as minors. We knew that, by the time the lockdown was over, they would have exceeded the abortion time limits and would be forced to continue through pregnancies against their will. Over the months, our advocacy campaign evolved into a demand for a legal change to permanently extend the time limit for accessing abortion care in France. It was a long political battle. We celebrated a great victory on 2 March 2022: abortion time limits were extended by two weeks. It was at this point that we saw a significant increase in support: French people who had previously been silent on the issue of abortion began to speak out.  Meanwhile, the anti-choice and anti-rights groups intensified its attacks against us. In the space of a few months, they broke down the doors, the windows and the locks of many of our local centers. Online and in-person threats were sent to our members across France.

AWAC rally 8 march women's day
15 February 2024

Why we need to keep funding, and speaking about, abortion.

As we ease into 2024, abortion continues to hit the headlines. Especially since so much global news is focused on what is happening in the US, where politicians continue to block access to basic reproductive rights. Though we may hear less about restriction of safe abortion in other countries, tens of thousands of women are still dying unnecessarily because of politics. Afterall, we already have the technical knowledge and resources to perform abortions safely. As the World Health Organisation points out, abortion is a simple healthcare intervention, and deaths from unsafe abortions are preventable.  But due to prohibitive laws and policies, entrenched stigma, and crumbling health care systems, not everyone can access safe care when they need it. SAAF is the only global funder solely dedicated to abortion. Hosted by IPPF since our founding in 2006, the Safe Abortion Action Fund (SAAF) has provided $69 million USD to global organisations seeking to tackle the unnecessary deaths and harm caused by a lack of access to safe abortion. We are currently providing support to over 80 organisations in low- and middle-income countries around the world. We wish we didn’t need to exist, that every country would provide its citizens with access to safe, legal abortion care (and contraception) when they need it. Unfortunately, the need for funding to support safe abortion care and advocacy is just as relevant as when we were founded.  Our first call for funding in 2007 received 222 applications, our most recent in 2022 attracted 1191 applications, from 90 different countries.

argentina
19 January 2024

Argentina’s new President could roll back decades of progress in reproductive rights: We won’t cower in silence

The recent inauguration of the ultra-right-wing Argentinian President Javier Milei is a stark reminder of the fragility of our rights to our own bodies.  Within a week of taking office, the self-described libertarian, who is openly anti-abortion and sexist, slashed the number of government ministries in half and delivered on his promise to eliminate the Ministry of Women, Gender and Diversity in the name of austerity. Although Milei's definitive plan for the newly formed and arbitrarily named ‘Ministry of Human Capital’ is not yet known, his famous phrase "there is no money" is a clear signal that sexual and reproductive health, rights and justice will not be on the agenda. Milei has said so himself: he has vowed to hold a plebiscite on whether to repeal the country’s 2020 landmark legislation of abortion, has attacked the 2006 law which recognizes’ students’ right to comprehensive sexuality education, routinely portrays LGBTIQ+ people as a menace to Argentinian society and denies the existence of the gender gap.  But the need for a robust and well-funded public health service in Argentina, one that provides integrated sexual and reproductive healthcare services, is of vital public interest. 

colombia-abortion-protest

Human rights defenders and health workers who face widespread abuse and criminalization for defending the right to abortion must be better protected

The below is a joint press release between Amnesty International, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, MSI Reproductive Choices, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), International Confederation of Midwives and Ipas. People who are defending the right to abortion and providing essential services are being stigmatized, intimidated, attacked and subjected to unjust prosecutions, making their work increasingly difficult and dangerous to carry out, said Amnesty International in a new report out today. The report, An Unstoppable Movement: A global call to recognize and protect those who defend the right to safe abortions, reveals how many healthcare workers, activists, advocates and accompaniers around the world face abuse, arrest, prosecution and imprisonment for supporting the right of women, girls and people to access abortions. Such an environment is prevalent including in countries where abortion is partially allowed by law. It is having a chilling, silencing and stigmatizing effect on all those defending access to abortion, as they live in constant fear of being attacked and prosecuted for providing abortion care, whether it is legal or not. It is also creating major barriers for women, girls and people who need abortion care – particularly those who are most marginalised. “The right to abortion is not an opinion. It is a matter of international standards and international legal norms. It is a right underpinned by many human rights, including the rights to physical and mental integrity, the right to health and the right not to be unlawfully and arbitrarily killed through the withdrawal of safe services. It is essential for the dignity of all women and girls, and of everyone who can become pregnant. Those who defend and enable exercise of that right deserve our respect and protection. Yet, many States around the world persist with policies of over-regulation and criminalization that generate hostile, even perilous environments for those who defend the right to abortion,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General. “Anti-abortion rhetoric, policies and laws stamp a target on the backs of health workers and advocates. Stigmatized, abused, discriminated against, criminalized, imprisoned, even killed - the rights of those who defend the right to abortion are under attack. But their human rights to work without fear, to provide essential services without threat, to exercise their professional skills without discrimination, must be respected and protected.” Isolated and unsupported While progressive abortion law reform continues, anti-abortion regressions impede access with the promotion of disinformation and toxic narratives - smear campaigns that hijack public discourse and agitate against the right to abortion and against those who defend it. “For many sexual and reproductive health providers this harassment and abuse has come to feel like just part of the job, but we cannot allow this to become the new normal,” said Sarah Shaw, MSI Reproductive Choices’ Head of Advocacy. “Enough is enough. It’s time to recognise abortion providers as human rights defenders and stand up for those who put their lives on the line to make choice possible.” Throughout the report, based on more than 40 interviews with abortion rights defenders from all over the world and with the support of global healthcare and grassroots organizations, people defending the right to abortion, particularly healthcare workers, explained how they often feel isolated and unsupported. Their work is not recognised, and they are left fearing the threat of criminalization, harassment, stigmatization, verbal threats and violence, as well as ostracization and burnout in the workplace. Some health workers have seen their personal details leaked online, while others are unsure whether they’ll make it home safely. For example: Venezuelan teacher and human rights defender Vannesa Rosales was criminalized for helping a woman and her 13-year-old daughter get access to abortion. In Poland, Justyna Wydrzyńska, a member of Abortion Without Borders and the Abortion Dream Team, was convicted for helping a woman access abortion pills earlier this year - a safe way of terminating a pregnancy. In Ghana, an advocate for sexual and reproductive rights said service providers have experienced physical violence and public shaming by members of the public, for educating people about contraception. “Violence against frontline sexual and reproductive health care providers is something that continues to happen unabated; it's about time the voices, experiences and concerns of our frontline defenders are heard,” said Alvaro Bermejo, International Planned Parenthood Federation’s Director General. “As anti-abortion authorities around the world continue to deploy stigma, fear and hate-speech against those seeking and those providing services, we, as institutional champions of sexual and reproductive health and rights, commit to matching the courage of our frontline defenders.”

abortion-rights-bolivia
28 September 2023

The global abortion rights movement is unstoppable

Restrictions to safe, legal abortion care are in place all over the world. A handful of countries ban the procedure in every circumstance, but nearly all place limits on who can have an abortion and when. Abortion is often criminalised, and nearly always stigmatised. Despite all this, abortions still happen.   In fact, abortion rates in countries where abortion is heavily restricted are similar to those where it is mostly legal. Every year, millions of people are able to circumnavigate oppressive legal systems and practical obstacles to end their pregnancies by choice. They are able to do this because of abortion rights activists.  Activists are succeeding in changing laws, as well as hearts and minds News headlines are often dominated with stories about the devastating impact of abortion bans in the US. But the global picture is more positive.   According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, more than 60 countries have liberalised their abortion laws in the past 30 years. Only four (including the US) have regressed.