Medical abortion: reconceptualising access to abortion
Working towards decriminalisation
Advocacy and the differing faces of success
Call for submission of papers on the Forum themes to publish in a peer-reviewed journal in 2019
13 November 2018
On 8-10 July 2018 the International Campaign organised and facilitated a workshop over three days at the Abortion & Reproductive Justice Conference in South Africa. More than 33 people participated. The report has been published in the Campaign newsletter. Then, on 5-7 September, we organised an international forum in Lisbon on “Developing an Advocacy Agenda for Abortion in the 21st century and making change happen”. About 110 people from 56 countries participated. The number was small to ensure space for the active involvement of everyone in discussion, both during the morning plenaries and the 15 afternoon workshops. We were also limited by space and funds from including more people. Hence, we want to share as much as possible of what was presented, what was said from the floor, what was discussed in the workshops and all the recommendations that were made. One way we are doing this is to write a detailed report, which is in process and should be ready by end of November. Another is to invite participants at both meetings to submit papers on the subjects and themes of the meetings. Then we decided to open the invitation to write papers to all Campaign members. Hence, this call for submissions. We hope to hear from you if you wish to submit something that is thought-provoking, innovative, and cutting edge. In short, we are looking for thought leadership.
We invite you to write an original research paper, discussion paper, commentary, and/or analysis on abortion law, policy, services and methods, to be published by the Campaign in a peer-reviewed journal in 2019.
The aim is to share, with the Campaign membership as a whole and a wider readership, the information, expertise and experience which were exchanged by the participants in these two international meetings, plus any up-to-date information since the meetings took place. Maximum length of papers is 5,000 words; references should be in Vancouver style.
Topics are based on the themes of the Campaign Forum in September 2018 and could include, but are not limited to the following:
How medical abortion is changing everything
- Conditions under which medical abortion pills are accessed and used nationally.
- Transforming the regulatory landscape to integrate medical abortion provision
- The role of the internet, hotlines, pharmacies and other non-health system sources to obtain medical abortions: how does it work?
- How does medical abortion challenge tradition ways of providing abortion?
- Self-managed abortion: What is happening with medical abortion on the ground?
- Medical abortion pills in legally restricted settings – harm reduction compared to traditional unsafe methods, but are safety and effectiveness limited by lack of information and support from the health system?
Abortion providers and services
- Developing a national abortion service and training providers, including mid-level and primary level providers and pharmacy workers.
- Successful and unsuccessful efforts to register and obtain approval of mifepristone and misoprostol for abortion.
- A national assessment of abortion methods being used in the public and private health system, including for post abortion care, and clandestinely.
- Abortion for fetal anomaly: law, practice, anti-abortion opposition, and consequences nationally if the upper time limit on abortion is not high enough to allow women to get screening results and take an informed decision.
- Taking abortion services out of hospitals and moving provision away from obstetricians/gynaecologists.
- Role of health professionals as advocates for safe abortion and better laws.
- The importance of government-approved guidelines and regulations on abortion and what they should contain.
Coalition building to make safe abortion a priority
- Successful examples of gaining public support for law reform across relevant fields of expertise e.g. health professionals with a public health remit; law, gender and human rights experts, women’s groups, pro-choice religious bodies and others.
- Using intersectional approaches for coalition building to support the abortion rights movement e.g. with the family planning movement, sexuality rights movement and disability rights movement.
- Engaging a critical mass of support, particularly from women and youth.
- Engaging key political stakeholders e.g. parliamentarians, policymakers, political party members, health systems managers to support law and policy reform and improving service delivery.
- What to do in national situations so controlled by powerful anti-abortion leaders and groups that it seems almost impossible to make change happen?
- How international and regional networks contribute to campaigns for abortion rights.
- Youth participation and activism in abortion rights movements.
Abortion law reform, national advocacy and campaigns
- What are all the national laws and policies that control access to abortion?
- What would your ideal abortion law be and is it achievable? If so, how? If not, what would you campaign for instead?
- The legal landscape, what kind of law reform you are working for and want to achieve nationally?
- An essay on eliminating upper time limits for abortion and/or gatekeepers and other barriers.
- The progressive and restrictive roles of national courts in upholding/failing to uphold abortion rights.
- Using strategic litigation to challenge restrictive abortion laws.
- Convincing parliamentarians to take abortion out of the penal code.
- Research on trials and imprisonment for abortion, miscarriage (homicide) or infanticide (see existing Campaign reports on Argentina, Mexico, Kenya, Senegal and Malaysia).
- How countries deal with unwanted pregnancies following child sexual abuse: the role of the courts, medical professionals, parents and the girl herself.
- Understanding the diversity of anti-abortion views and activities.
- Analysing anti-abortion use of false and misleading information and how to counter it effectively.
- Violence and death threats by the anti-abortion movement.
For examples of papers published by Campaign members and others in 2017-18, see:
- Health & Human Rights Journal: Special Section on Abortion and Human Rights, June 2017
- Contraception: Medical Abortion Special Issue, February 2018
EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST in submitting a paper should be sent by 15 December 2018 to:
Marge Berer, International Coordinator, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
– Names, position organisation and country of all co-authors.
– An abstract in Word of no more than 300 words summarising the main points in the paper, e.g. background, main aims of the paper, findings, analysis, recommendations and/or implications for the future.
– Corresponding author’s name and email.
We will contact you with further details and the submission date for full papers by 31 January 2019.