Call for Action
International Safe Abortion Day
Why do we fight for access to safe abortion?
Ensuring universal access to safe abortion is a fundamental human right, we cannot view it as only a “women’s issue.” It is a fundamental human right, which intersects with and is integral to realizing social, economic and reproductive justice. When individuals are able to access safe abortion, along with comprehensive sexuality education and a range of contraceptives, the social good outcomes are numerous – including plummeting maternal mortality and morbidity, and significantly reduced rates of STIs and teenage pregnancy. Other positive ripple effects include an increase in women and girls’ ability to continue education; increased gender equity and women’s empowerment; and reduced intergenerational transfers of poverty, among many other integral benefits.
What’s happening on the world stage?
We have been witnessing a number of alarming rollbacks regarding sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Some of the most recent rollbacks include:
-the reinstatement and expansion of the Global Gag Rule
-funding cuts to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
-and new law proposals in a number of countries such as Poland and El Salvador, attempting to ban abortions or criminalize “suspicious” miscarriages.
Even in countries where abortion is legal or decriminalized, we are seeing on-going or renewed attempts to uphold obstructive barriers such as mandatory waiting periods, parental/marital consent requirements, prohibitive costs, and limited services in rural and remote areas. These barriers restrict access to timely and affordable safe abortion services, disproportionately affecting lower-income groups who are unable to afford private healthcare services, or travel to better-serviced areas.
This year’s campaign
In light of the current context, it is all the more imperative that we tap into both past and present forms of ongoing collective resistance, reminding ourselves of important achievements, and the power of collective organizing and mobilizing, propelled by local and individual actions. Our aim this year is to thus highlight, promote, and support the many different ways activists are currently challenging the status quo and resisting in diverse contexts. These seemingly small actions add up, make waves and contribute to collective movements. When I resist, we persist.
In turn, collective mobilization also feeds and sustains individual mobilization, through motivating and inspiring individuals, activists, and allies to continue our important abortion advocacy.
If anything, the current global context is a reminder of the “long-game,” vigilant, and intersectional nature of fighting for SRHR, and of ensuring transformative social change. As such, for this year’s September 28, we at WGNRR invite our members, partners, and allies worldwide to join us in resisting at individual and collective levels, and persisting in our fight towards ensuring universal access to safe and legal abortion!
To learn more about these actions, please visit www.september28.org