FIGO  – FIGO calls for the total decriminalisation of safe abortion 

(La FIGO appelle à la dépénalisation totale de l’avortement sécurisé)
(La FIGO exige la despenalización total del aborto seguro)  

On behalf of FIGO’s Committee on Safe Abortion, I am sharing with you a FIGO Statement, published on 12 March 2022, regarding the decriminalisation of safe abortion.

The newly released WHO guidelines on abortion, endorsed by FIGO upon their publication, echo our position and highlight the importance of removing medically unnecessary policy barriers to safe abortion.

The full statement can be viewed on the FIGO website and is available in English, French and Spanish.

The first paragraph from the full statement on the website: 

Decriminalisation of abortion refers to the removal of specific criminal sanctions against abortion from the law. This does not mean that the provision of abortion care is not carefully regulated. It means that the law, related policies and regulations are changed so that no one is punished for providing safe abortion or for having an abortion. In practice, decriminalisation means that the police and the legal system are not involved in the investigation or prosecution of safe abortions. Instead, abortion care is treated like any other essential health issue in medicine, for which the standard of care is based on best practice guidelines, training and delivery. By contrast, in those countries where abortion law has only been liberalised – not fully decriminalised – even safe abortions that follow best practice guidelines may be subject to prosecution.