Open Letter to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

My concerns regarding these recommendations are threefold: the first is to do with your definition of “a person”. The second is to do with the reasons why women have abortions vs. how different laws address and codify reasons for abortion as legal or illegal grounds. The third is that I believe including any ground for abortion in the law whatsoever – apart from permitting abortion at the woman’s request – is a mistake because it serves to restrict women’s autonomy and decisions over their own bodies.

Participation in International Safe Abortion Day expected to be bigger than ever

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            28.09.16 | FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Participation in International Safe Abortion Day expected to be bigger than ever Campaigning across borders for the right to safe abortion began in the late 1970s. In 1990, a Latin American feminist conference launched the first regional campaign for the decriminalisation of abortion. They chose 28 September as their day of action, and it has remained as such since. In 2011, the day of … Continued

Open Letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and heads of UN agencies

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17 August 2016 Open Letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and heads of UN agencies: Ms Helen Clark, Administrator, UN Development Programme Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women Dr Margaret Chan, Director General, World Health Organization Dr Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, UN Population Fund Mr Anthony Lake, Executive Director, UN Children’s Fund Ms Irina Bokova, Director General, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Mr Michel Sidibé, Executive Director, UNAIDS Re: Making International Safe Abortion … Continued

Joint Statement by UN human rights experts

Sexual and reproductive health and rights Joint Statement by UN human rights experts*, the Rapporteur on the Rights of Women of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Special Rapporteurs on the Rights of Women and Human Rights Defenders of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights * The UN Special Rapporteurs on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, on the situation … Continued

Statement: Organization of American States

Declaration on Violence Against Women, Girls and Adolescents and their Sexual and Reproductive Rights Paragraphs on abortion That sexual violence against women, girls, and adolescents has harmful consequences, both for them and the whole of society. It affects their physical and reproductive health, increases the risk of maternal and infant and HIV-related morbidity and mortality, causes high-risk pregnancies and pregnancy-related issues, including abortions, premature births, fetal distress, and low birth weight, and has serious psychological impacts, such as physical … Continued

Statement: African Commission of Human and Peoples’ Rights

General Comment No. 2 on Article 14.1 (a), (b), (c) and (f) and Article 14. 2 (a) and (c) of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa.     Preface By: Commissioner Soyata Maiga, Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women in Africa The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (the Maputo Protocol) is … Continued

Statement: Special Rapporteur on Torture

Harsh abortion laws are torture In the Report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment presented to the Human Rights Council’s 31st session (Agenda item 3 , A/HRC/31/57, page 12, January 2016) the following paragraphs on unsafe abortion were included: “Access to abortion and related care 43. Unsafe abortion is the third leading cause of maternal death globally. Where access to abortion is restricted by law, maternal … Continued

Statement: Working Group on the Issue of Discrimination against Women in Law and in Practice

UN and African experts urge Sierra Leone’s President to save millions of women’s lives by signing the 2015 Safe Abortion Bill GENEVA (28 January 2016) – A group of United Nations and African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights Commission human rights experts* today urge the President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma, to sign the 2015 Safe Abortion Bill for it to enter into force without further delay. They warned that reluctance towards the … Continued

Statement: African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Call to decriminalize abortion in Africa On 18 January 2016, in conjunction with the African Union Gender is My Agenda Campaign meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) launched a continental campaign for the decriminalization of abortion in Africa, to bring attention to the extent of unsafe abortion. The Hon. Commissioner Lucy Asuagbor, newly appointed Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women, spoke during the launch of the … Continued

Statement: International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO)

Unsafe abortion continues to be a major public health problem Unsafe abortion continues to be a major public health problem, causing thousands of death each year and resulting in many more women who suffer complications. Given the current critical shortage of specialized professionals in many countries, the involvement of a range of health worker cadres is essential to ensuring access to safe abortion and post-abortion care, including the provision of post-abortion contraception. FIGO has reviewed … Continued

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