28 September is International Safe Abortion Day!!! – Global Day of Action 2019
2019 Theme: Abortion is healthcare
Today, 28 May, is the International Day of Action for Women’s Health. For the past several years, we have announced the first Call to Action for 28 September on this day. 28 September is the annual day of action in support of the right to safe abortion. It has been celebrated since 1990 in Latin America, and since 2011 around the world. In recent years, there have been something like 100 activities in 65 countries. National and world leaders have begun to make statements in support of the day, and a growing number of media outlets report national and international events and write articles on the theme. With your involvement, we hope 28 September 2019 will be the biggest yet.
Why this theme and hashtag
For 2019, we chose: “Abortion is healthcare” and #MyAbortionMyHealth because unintended and unwanted pregnancy and abortion are part of women’s lives:25% of all pregnancies worldwide ended in an induced abortion,4.7-13.2% of maternal deaths are attributable to unsafe abortion, most in the poorest countries25 million abortions each year are unsafe, and7 million women and girls end up in hospital needing treatment for complications of unsafe abortions (WHO data, 2018).Almost all complications and deaths from unsafe abortion could be prevented if safe abortion were accessible, affordable and available from the healthcare services in our countries – the means, the technology and skills all exist and can be provided at very low cost if the will exists to provide them.
The fact is, abortion is an essential part of women’s sexual and reproductive lives and health and is essential to women’s right to bodily autonomy. And the human right to life and to health can only be achieved for women and girls if they have access to safe abortion if and when they need it.
International context The theme “Abortion is healthcare” is especially appropriate this year because of three upcoming international meetings, which are addressing healthcare, sustainable development and sexual and reproductive health and reproduction rights:
Universal Health Coverage, 23 September 2019, during the United Nations General Assembly meeting, New York City – Theme: “Moving Together to Build a Healthier World”.
Sustainable Development Goals, 24-25 September 2019, during the United Nations General Assembly meeting, New York City – Theme: “Review progress in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.
ICPD+25, 12-14 November 2019, Nairobi, convened by the Government of Kenya, the Government of Denmark and UNFPA – Theme: “Accelerating the Promise”.
Call to Action
We call on all our leaders to support the goals outlined for these three conferences. To reject any push-back on sexual and reproductive health and rights. And to make sure that the right to safe abortion as health care is endorsed and upheld – 25 years after ICPD agreed that unsafe abortion was a serious public health problem, because it still is.
We call on all the members of our networks, our friends and supporters in women’s groups, NGOs, health professional associations, law and human rights organisations, academia, sexual rights groups, disability rights groups – everyone who supports the right to decide over our own bodies and lives – to organise for 28 September.
We support safe abortion as healthcare for all who request it.
We call on our governments and health professionals to provide universal access to safe abortion as part of universal health coverage and as an essential component of sexual and reproductive healthcare.