This week the Namibian Parliament is having public hearings to discuss the liberalisation of abortion laws in Namibia. This is the first petition tabled to the parliament since independence on the issues of abortion and sterilisation. The hearings started on Monday 18 October and are scheduled to last until Friday 22 October.
The Voices for Choices and Rights Coalition (VCRC), of whom we are part, recommended that the Parliament of the Republic of Namibia decriminalise access to safe abortion procedures as a human right, by repealing the ‘Abortion and Sterilization Act of 1975’.
We ask you, our esteemed colleagues, to amplify the conversation and show your support.
WAYS IN WHICH YOU CAN HELP:
- SIGN THE PETITION: https://www.change.org/p/honorable-dr-kalumbi-shangula-minister-of-health-and-social-services-legalize-abortion-in-namibia Both Namibian nationals and non-nationals can sign!
- Use social media to stand up and speak out, in solidarity with Namibian feminists, and in particular the young advocates who have been so important in reaching this crucial step.
- Share the coverage of the hearings on @vcrc_namibia and @equalnamibia (Instagram and Twitter), or the key quotes from the hearings that will be shared from @shedecidesgfi channels
- When you share, use #LegalizeAbortionNA #ProChoiceMovement #AbortionPublicHearings and tag @vcrc_namibia @equalnamibia @powerpadgirls to show your solidarity
- A template message that can be shared on your social media channels: “This week, the Namibian Parliament is holding the first public hearings on abortion in more than 20 years. We support all the activists and allies demanding that the Abortion Act is repealed and replaced to guarantee the right to decide and end #abortion stigma. #LegalizeAbortionNA
- By mobilising the support of your embassies and country offices, through their own social channels, showing that the world’s attention is on Namibia.
- By using your press engagements to raise awareness about these hearings, and their importance in Namibia’s road to liberalise abortion laws.
The Voices for Choices and Rights Coalition (VCRC) is the leading coalition of reproductive justice organisations, activists, and individuals in Namibia. It was established to stand in solidarity and to support the reproductive justice movement in Namibia after a petition was launched with the aim to call for abortion law reform, as well as the protection and prioritisation of women’s health, women’s rights and gender diverse persons’ reproductive status in Namibia.
The purpose of the VCRC is to bring together a multi-agency and multidisciplinary group of entities and individuals working together to promote, consolidate and collaborate in a unified response to issues relating to abortion law reform, sexual and gender diverse reproductive health and rights, women’s health and women’s reproductive healthcare.
We stand together, in cooperation and solidarity.
SOURCES: E-mail from Bience Gawanas & Sylvia Hamata, VCRC, 18 October 2021, and VCRC website