Why do we need a guide for rights-based abortion workshops?
Many young people involved with IPPF Member Associations across the world have told us that they lack good quality information on abortion, or are not always confident talking about it with their peers. The subject of abortion is often left out of peer education manuals on sexual and reproductive health, or only mentioned briefly. Where sexuality education is provided to young people, it is not always comprehensive, and abortion, which is viewed as a ‘sensitive’ topic, may not be included. Therefore this guide aims to fulfil an unmet need for practical support for delivering workshops on abortion, including recommended activities, and support for advocating for the inclusion of abortion in sexuality education programmes.
In a 2012 review of school curricula in ten East and South African countries, UNFPA and UNESCO found that education on abortion was lacking, and at times ‘unscientific’. In some curricula, value judgements such as ‘abortion is murder’ were framed as facts, and there was often a lack of clear information about the genuine legal status of abortion. The review recommended that abortion is better framed as an issue relating to sexual and reproductive health and choices, rather than as a moral/spiritual issue.
This guide has been developed for trainers and educators who want to deliver workshops or training on abortion to young people, especially those training young peer educators. The target audience is those who train young peer educators, and experienced young peer educators themselves.
The guide could also be useful for other trainers, educators, teachers and youth workers. The guide assumes that the reader has experience facilitating groups and running workshops, and has prior knowledge of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) issues.