International Safe Abortion Day: Events Around the World

28 September 2016 STATEMENT BY UN HUMAN RIGHTS EXPERTS“Unsafe abortion is still killing tens of thousands of women around the world” – UN rights experts warn”by Alda Facio, Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice; Dainius Pûras, Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; and Juan E. Méndez, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.GENEVA (27 September 2016) – Speaking ahead of the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion, a group of United Nations human rights experts called on States across the world to repeal restrictive abortion laws and policies, and all punitive measures and discriminatory barriers to access safe reproductive health services.The experts also expressed their support for the call of several non-governmental organisations to make 28 September an official UN day for safe abortion worldwide, to urge Governments to decriminalise abortion and provide reproductive health services in a legal, safe and affordable manner.FULL STATEMENT******************AFRICAUGANDA image016National stakeholder meeting on unsafe abortion 2014Coalition to Stop Maternal Mortality Due to Unsafe Abortion (CSMMUA)The Coalition to Stop Maternal Mortality Due to Unsafe Abortion (CSMMUA) is a multi-disciplinary Ugandan civil society coalition founded in July 2012. The Secretariat is maintained by the Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD). This year we shall mainly have a social media campaign that includes a few strategic Op Eds in the newspaper and some advocacy messages released on some of our social media platforms. We shall also be supporting our partners from Uganda Network of Young people living with HIV/AIDS(UNYPA) that will be having a community dialogue in the Kampala slum of Kawaala that will include, among other things, testimonies and sharing of stories of abortion experiences by teenagers, health workers and others.CAMEROONWomen for a Change (Wfac) image004image002Wfac, founded in 2009, is an independent, young women-led organisation working for women’s sexual and reproductive health rights, leadership and development. They will be having a strategy meeting with some 20 key college authorities & discipline teachers to map out best approaches in addressing issues around adolescent SRHR and also ensuring comprehensive sexuality education be part of the school policy. They will be tweeting from @WfacCmr & @ZoFem, and sharing updates on their Facebook page. They produced a video called My Story, My Choice for 28 May this year which was accepted at the ArtCity Short Film Festival and will be aired on 4-8 October. And they have also just launched a new Zine at #WfacZine.NIGERIAimage006image008Generation for Women and Youth Network (GIWYN)Generation for Women and Youth Network (GIWYN), the National Coalition for Safe Abortion and other organizations will celebrate the Sept 28 Campaign in three states in Nigeria. We have produced a video posted to Facebook on Sept 9 to kickstart the Campaign. We have also organised a Forum for Reproductive Justice Activists to create a space to introduce them to this year’s themes. The WGNRR Colouring Book was introduced to activists to paint and express themselves on the subject of ending abortion stigma and gender stereotypes as root causes of unsafe abortion. The Forum was a safe platform for interaction between younger older people, including policymakers, civil society and human right organisations, to talk about changing negative attitudes of people and society, and ending abortion stigma and discrimination against women who choose to have an abortion. We will also promote the Ms Rosy Toll Free Hotline. And we participated in the MAMA Media Campaign to mark September 28 and distributed our policy brief.TANZANIAimage010Governance Links Tanzania Governance Links Tanzania will hold a dialogue with media groups on 28 September to reflect on “Common but different roles of social actors in abortion stigma reduction – Building a community of the willing “.******************ASIAMALAYSIAimage026Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW)Denial of access to safe and legal abortion is a form of institutional violence against women. Join us as we discuss the importance of access to safe and legal abortion and its relationship with violence against women. ARROW has joined the New Tactics in Human Rights community for an online conversation on Violence against Women: Advocating for Legal Reform, as a Conversation Leader. ARROW will be facilitating a discussion on Wednesday the 28th of September as part of the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion. Go to and register to start talking, or engage through our Facebook event. Our discussion will examine how and why the systemic denial of sexual and reproductive health services, including access to safe and legal abortion, is a form of institutional violence against women. We will also be joining a #Sept28 Twitter Chat hosted by CREA from 3.30 – 4.30 pm (GMT+5:30).NEPAL image028@BeyondBeijingCommittee Invitation to Candlelight Vigil Beyond Beijing Committee (BBC)The Beyond Beijing Committee (BBC) will be celebrating September 28, Safe Abortion Day, with various programmes and activities. On 25 September, the Reproductive Health Rights Working Group (RHRWG), which is comprised of NGOs and INGOs, including Ipas and Center for Reproductive Rights, and in which Beyond Beijing Committee is an active member, organised a meeting for the preparation for Safe Abortion Day.We decided to take this day as an opportunity to bring the government – Ministry of Health and Population and its Family Health Division and the National Women’s Commission – into the action. We will celebrate it together with government to make them accountable for the reproductive health rights of women. The meeting decided to publish a bulletin and a flyer, to hold a candlelight vigil on 28 September at the Mandala in memory of women who died due to unsafe abortion, and hold a press conference on 29 September at Yak Palace. On 30 September we will have our main event/celebration at the Yellow Pagoda Hotel at 16: 00. To attend the main event we are planning to invite the secretary of the National Women’s Commission, Hon’ble Ranju Thakur, Hon’ble Arju , Hon’ Kanyan Shrestha.At the village level and district level, Beyond Beijing Committee initiates an “End abortion stigma” campaign at our project sites, together with our partners. The “End abortion stigma” campaign will also be posted on our Facebook page. We will also encourage women who have had an abortion to break the silence and form a circle of women who have had an abortion and collect their stories.In Nepal this year, the government has allocated some funding for free abortion services, which needs to become a de-facto reality for those who need it, especially in the remote, rural areas where the most disadvantaged people live. “Implement, implement and implement the policy” is our lobbying call.May Safe Abortion Day End Abortion Stigma!!PHILIPPINESWGNRR/LOVE MATTERSWe have produced a series of videos as part of our global campaign “Step Into Our Stories, Step Into Our Shoes” for access to safe and legal abortion. They are by Love Matters in partnership with WGNRR. We invite you to share these videos if you support access to safe and legal abortion as a human right. Let’s challenge abortion stigma and gender stereotypes! See:  #StepintoOurShoes #Sept28INDIAimage036‘Voice Your Abortion. Defeat Stigma, a platform for women from all walks of life to share their abortion stories and experiences will be hosting a Twitter chat in collaboration with Feminism In India about abortion storytelling and using it as a medium to end abortion stigma. Institute of Public Health, BhubaneswarWe are organising some small events, comprised of the following:1) Public awareness drive through distribution of flyers and display of posters (Ipas is a partner).2) Capturing reactions of passers-by to ‘What are your thoughts on abortion?’ and later editing into a video compilation to be uploaded in YouTube.3) A session with public health students and faculty where abortion-related video clips will be shown followed by discussion.4) ‘Power walk’ activity to deepen understanding on differential access to abortion services.5) Shoe-a-thon.INDONESIASAMSARAimage040Samsara are tweeting and sharing images on #StepIntoOurShoes and on 28 September will have a live Facebook-chat: “Let’s talk about youth sexuality, join us tomorrow! We will live on Facebook so ask your questions! #AbortionIsNotCrime #Sept28“. THAILANDimage044ProVoice Video: Thai nurse says it clearly: “It’s the women’s right!” for 28th September, International day for SAFE ABORTIONPAKISTAN image046Wake Up Call InternationalWake-up Call will be celebrating  September 28 Safe Abortion Day by holding a session with media. Through this session, we  would like the opportunity to sensitise journalists (print & electronic media) on women’s reproductive health & rights, with special focus on “Role of Media for Safe Abortion and Promotion of Post-Abortion Contraception”.******************EUROPEPOLAND image056On a wall in Poland: In view of the most recent events we recommend WomenHelpWomen.And remember: In Slovakia the clinics are the cheapest and Berlin is the closest.image058 image060 image06225 September, Black ProtestASTRA and Federation for Women and Family Planning Thousands of participants across Poland took to the streets on 25 September against the bill advanced by the ruling party, which would criminalise all abortions. The gatherings took place in Poland’s ten biggest cities and also in other major cities worldwide under the slogan #CzarnyProtest (Black Protest), put forward and organized by Dziewuchy dziewuchom (Wenches to Wenches), a feminist organization which opposes the strengthening of the current abortion regulations. On Twitter, the hashtags #blackprotest #czarnyprostest are among the top trending ones in support of protesters against the abortion law.Groups in Poland have called a national women’s strike on 3 October to voice their opposition to a the bill intended to criminalise all abortions as well as sexuality education and antenatal screening. The idea of a strike is inspired directly by Icelandic women, who went on strike in 1975, but in this instance it is in reaction to the Polish government’s attempts to further tighten the already very restrictive law on abortion.This is a completely grassroots initiative – people are discussing possible activities and potential moves via internet, planning protests across Poland but also in other cities (e.g. Reykjavik, Paris, London, and many more).How can YOU support? Please show your solidarity with Polish women fighting for their basic human rights in the middle of Europe in the 21st century by posting photos of yourself in black clothes with hashtags #solidaritywithpolishwomen, #czarnyprotest, #blackprotest. IRELANDimage068What an amazing turn out! The solidarity felt in the crowds and from passersby was unbelievable!@_Mollaayyimage070Ulster Northern Ireland contingent in DublinOn 24 September, tens of thousands marched in Dublin calling for repeal of the 8th amendment to the Irish Constitution.IRELAND image072Parents for Choice in Pregnancy and Childbirth has made a video with the REPEAL project about the issues that Ireland’s abortion law creates for women who are keeping their babies as well as for those trying to access abortions. @parentsforchoiceIrelandNORTHERN IRELANDimage074Two KathysAlliance for Choice Belfast NIA well as participating in the Dublin March for Choice on 24 September, Alliance for Choice Belfast have made a short film Two Kathys and are holding a workshop entitled “So you want to talk about abortion?” for activists or those interested in challenging the anti-choice narrative, on 28th September.Likewise we are happy to share everyone else’s work in solidarity!NETHERLANDSWomen Help Women, an international group linking activists, organisations and researchers around the world to increase the availability of reproductive health choices, is collecting statements from women around the globe about why they risk imprisonment to help women access the abortion pills they need to preserve their rights and autonomy.******************LATIN AMERICACOLOMBIAimage094 image092 image096 image098 image102 image100La Mesa por la Vida y la Salud de las Mujeres will carry banners in the street which, in honour of the peace agreement being signed, will have slogans that say, for example: “Yes to peace! No to violence! It starts with our bodies! Women must decide! Total decriminalisation of abortion!”. The six posters above will also be placed in the main stations of the public transport system.PERU image104CLADEM Peru, Demus-Estudio para la Defensa de los Derechos de la Mujer, Centro de la Mujer Flora Tristan, Movimiento Manuela Ramos, Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir PeruOn 28 September the #AudienciaPúblicaMujeres (Public Hearing for Women) will take place , organized by Congresswomen Marisa Glave and Indira Huilca with the support of the above civil society organizations, where a draft law that decriminalises abortion in cases of rape will be presented.We invite all the organizations,collectives, groups and individuals who have been involved in the campaign Dejala Decidir (Let Her Decide) to attend. Peru has a new opportunity to recognise #DerechoADecidir of women. The fight to decriminalise abortion on grounds of rape continues. image106Demus poster: More than 6,000 women are raped each year in Peru. No to forced pregnancy.image108Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir Peru#EnBreve has initiated #CafeFeminista on 23 September on the theme of “Written on the Body: politicisation of trans women of San Juan de Lurigancho” in a conversation with Maria Alejandra Leguizamón Schija, a feminist theologian from CotefepCLACAI (Latin American Campaign against Unsafe Abortion) is re-launching their video “Poder Elegir” (The Right to Choose) on social media, made with well-known singers and musicians, which makes visible in a clear and sensitive way the violence that governments of the Latin American region exercise against women because of the prohibition of access to safe abortions.BRAZILuntitled year, Mujer y Salud en Uruguay (MYSU) is involved in organising the 9th National Day of Action for Sexual and Reproductive Rights (la 9na Jornada Nacional por la Salud y los Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos) on 30 September in Montevideo. These national get-togethers, which have been held since 2012, bring together more than 70 organisations and networks and some 250 people from all over the country. They are an open space, interactive, diverse, and planned so that people can find out more about the work of the different activist groups involved and discuss the challenges and priorities for achieving sexual and reproductive rights as human rights. The overarching theme this year is “Social forces as agents for change” (Las Fuerzas Sociales como Agentes de Cambio). The priority issues on the agenda are: sexual and gender-based violence, led by Red Uruguaya contra la Violencia Doméstica y Sexual; abortion and sexual and reproductive health, led by MYSU; young people, led by the Comité de los Derechos del Niño Uruguay; sexual diversity, led by the Unión Trans del Uruguay; and HIV/AIDS, led by the Asociación de Ayuda al Sero Positivo. The day will end with a March for Diversity.MORE DETAILS (en español)HONDURASSomos Muchasimage112We invite you to our event on 28 September where we will talk about the proposal of Somos Muchas for the decriminalisation of abortion on three grounds in the new Penal Code. We’ll also have music and the poetry of Karla Lara and Anarella Vélez Osejo.MIDDLE EASTEGYPTuntitled untitled1As part of the campaign, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights and the global alliance Realizing Sexual and Reproductive Justice (RESURJ) are again calling on the Egyptian legislator to amend legal provisions on abortion to guarantee women’s access to safe abortion in cases where pregnancy constitutes a threat to the woman’s life or health or if the pregnancy is the result of rape.We note that when it comes to abortion, Egypt is one of the most restrictive countries in the world. Egyptian law does not permit abortion on any grounds, and it does not allow survivors of rape or incest to exercise their right to terminate unwanted pregnancies resulting from rape. The law also punishes women who intentionally abort a pregnancy with imprisonment. We believe it is time to reconsider the provisions in the Penal Code on abortion. Women in Egypt are living under an outdated law, adopted in the 1930s in an attempt to mimic French law at the time. While similar laws restricting abortion have been amended in most countries, the law in Egypt remains unchanged.We also note that the sole exception in the law is in the physicians’ Code of Ethics, which permits doctors to conduct an abortion in the case of threats to the mother’s life or her health. This exception, however, represents only a moral, not a legal duty. These legal provisions constitute a serious restriction of women’s right to access safe abortion in many cases and a grave violation of their right to life, health, sexual integrity, and privacy, as well as their right to make decisions about their bodies.We therefore call upon the Egyptian government to:

  • Repeal Article 262 of the Penal Code that levies penalties on women who have illegal abortions.
  • Make women’s right to access abortion in life- or health-threatening cases a right guaranteed by law by amending the Penal Code to permit women to seek abortions and require doctors to provide this medical service in defined cases.
  • Amend the law to permit survivors of rape and incest to access safe, legal abortion.

NORTH AMERICAUSAimage114CRR Facebook cover photoCenter for Reproductive Rights

  • Facebook and Twitter posts throughout the day highlighting harsh abortion laws around the world, e.g. El Salvador, Chile, Kenya, Ireland, Philippines, etc. including social media share graphics we’ve created on these countries and cases.
  • Our partners in the Philippines, PINSAN, will be holding an event at a public hospital in Manila, at which they’ll share the stories of women who have had abortions, as well as holding a demonstration in an area where unsafe abortions are often obtained. We’ll share coverage of those event, and videos/graphics for social media they’ve created with women’s stories.
  • We’ll share our “Abortion is Not a Crime. It’s a Right.” graphic, which we may link to a call to action people can add their names to on September 28th.
  • Co-sponsoring and speaking with SRI, IPAS and others at a Human Rights Council side event on safe abortion.
  • Re-tweeting and supporting Campaign members’ activities.

Send your reports, up to 500 words, with visuals and weblinks to: info@safeabortionwomensright.orguntitled#Sept28UNDay!!