Statements from International Leaders and Members’ Activities

Statements from International Leaders

Safe abortions for all women who need them – not just the rich, say UN experts

GENEVA (27 September 2016) – Speaking ahead of International Safe Abortion Day, a group of United Nations human rights experts* has called on States across the world to repeal laws that criminalize and unduly restrict abortion and policies based on outdated stereotypes, to release all women in prison on abortion charges and to counter all stigma against abortion. The experts also called for 28 September to become an official UN day for safe abortion worldwide, to help encourage Governments to decriminalize abortion and provide reproductive health services in a legal, safe and affordable manner. Their full statement is as follows:

“Women’s ability to make free choices for themselves and their families should not be privileges reserved for the rich, but should be the right of every woman and girl around the world. The same is true of the right to health and to freedom from discrimination.

Too many women around the world still continue to suffer from discriminatory laws that restrict their access to adequate health care and limit their abilities to make the best choices for themselves and their families.

To mark this year’s International Safe Abortion Day, we urge all States to end the criminalization of abortion and to ensure that all women are able to access all necessary health services, including sexual and reproductive health care, in a manner that is safe, affordable and consistent with their human rights.

We urge States to ensure that their laws, policies and practices are built on their human rights obligations and on the recognition of women’s dignity and autonomy.

At the moment, many factors contribute to women being denied essential health services for the termination of pregnancies and post-abortion care. These include criminalization, reduced availability of services, stigmatization, deterrence and derogatory attitudes of health-care professionals. These factors push millions of women into unsafe abortions and leave them without essential treatment for their recovery.

Denying women access to necessary health care is inherently discriminatory and a violation of their human rights. This discrimination is compounded for many women in vulnerable situations, including girls and adolescents who may face additional restrictions on their access to care, and women living in poverty who may lack the resources to access safe abortions.

Restrictions on access to safe abortion are the result of societal attitudes that stigmatize women and subject their bodies to other people’s political, cultural, religious and economic purposes. Criminalization of abortion further perpetuates stigma and discrimination, and infringes women’s dignity and bodily integrity.

The mental and physical suffering that women endure when they are denied the procedure, or the stigma they face for seeking it, are further violations of their human rights.

Over the course of the past 30 years, the Safe Abortion Day movement has spread from Latin America and the Caribbean and is now marked around the world, helping to persuade Governments to decriminalize the termination of pregnancy, end the stigma and discrimination around the practice, and provide services in a legal, safe and affordable manner.

We join our voices to the strong and brave ones of many non-governmental organizations calling for safe abortion worldwide. And we request that 28 September be made a UN official international day on safe abortion.”

Many international and regional human rights instruments have affirmed that ensuring women’s human rights requires access to safe abortion and post-abortion services and care, including the CEDAW Convention, the Convención de Belém do Pará and the Maputo Protocol of 2005. The 2016 CESCR General Comment No. 22 also calls for guaranteeing women and girls access to safe abortion services and quality post-abortion care to prevent maternal mortality and morbidity.

(*) The UN experts: Kamala Chandrakirana, Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice; Dubravka Šimonović, Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences; Dainius Pūras, Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

SOURCE: Full statement, 27 September 2017


‘Provision of safe, legal abortion is essential to fulfilling the global commitment to the Sustainable Development Goal of universal access to sexual and reproductive health (target 3.7)’ – Joint News Release

“Increased efforts are needed, especially in developing regions, to ensure access to contraception and safe abortion,” says Dr Bela Ganatra, lead author of the study and a scientist in the WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research.
“When women and girls cannot access effective contraception and safe abortion services, there are serious consequences for their own health and that of their families. This should not happen. But despite recent advances in technology and evidence, too many unsafe abortions still occur, and too many women continue to suffer and die.”
“Like many other common medical procedures, abortion is very safe when done in accordance with recommended medical guidelines and that is important to bear in mind,” says Dr Gilda Sedgh, co-author of the study and principal research scientist, Guttmacher Institute.
“In the high-income countries of North America and Western and Northern Europe, where abortion is broadly legal and health systems are strong, the incidence of unsafe abortions is the lowest globally.”
Unsafe abortion occurs when a pregnancy is terminated either by persons lacking the necessary skills/information or in an environment that does not conform to minimal medical standards, or both.
To prevent unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions, countries must make supportive policies and financial commitments to provide comprehensive sexuality education; a wide range of contraceptive methods, including emergency contraception; accurate family planning counselling; and access to safe, legal abortion.
Provision of safe, legal abortion is essential to fulfilling the global commitment to the Sustainable Development Goal of universal access to sexual and reproductive health (target 3.7). WHO provides global technical and policy guidance on the use of contraception to prevent unintended pregnancy, on safe abortion, and the treatment of complications from unsafe abortion.

SOURCE: Full news release, GENEVA, 28 September 2017


Joint Statement on Access to Safe and Legal Abortion Globally

This oral statement was presented by the Sexual Rights Initiative and others to the Human Rights Council 36th Session, during General Debate, Item 8, on 25 September 2017. It has been signed by almost 300 international, regional and national networks and groups working for abortion rights around the world, many who are in consultative status with ECOSOC and many others who are not.

FULL TEXT (in English/French/Spanish) AND LIST OF SIGNATORIES:


The Mifepristone Coalition stands behind access to safe abortion for women everywhere. In particular, we call for the removal of politically motivated and medically unnecessary restrictions on mifepristone. These restrictions do not make medical abortion safer, but instead place a burden on women by creating barriers to access and increasing cost.


“Abortion is a fundamental element of the rights of women; it is fundamental to the provision of effective and adequate reproductive rights, alongside access to sex education and contraception and fertility treatment.

Abortion is about political, social and economic equality, it is about the quality of life for women, children and men.

Restricting safe and legal abortion can drive women into the hands of backstreet, illegal abortionists, and the fear and desperation that drove women to seek them.

Abortion is and should be recognised as a matter of health, and should not be subject to criminal restraints.”


“Every year about 300.000 women die while giving birth. Most of them die from severe bleeding, sepsis, obstructed labour and the consequences of unsafe abortion! In developing countries around 7 million women are admitted to hospital as a result of unsafe abortion every single year. These facts present clear evidence that we need free access to safe abortions and contraceptives worldwide. It is a fundamental human rights issue to provide information about and access to contraceptives and abortions services for every single women.”


“We join friends and colleagues around the world to mark September 28th, International Safe Abortion Day. Abortion-related morbidity and mortality remain high due to restricted access, stigma, misinformation and lack of good services. Our work to improve access to safe abortion remains a top priority for Gynuity starting with involvement in seminal early research leading to mifepristone’s approval in the U.S. We have decades of experience bringing medical abortion technology to women in many other countries, including technical input to international and national clinical guidelines. Our ongoing work includes service delivery innovations and support to governments and health systems to make evidence-based care available and within reach of all women. Our “Spotlight on…” feature focuses on second trimester abortion services which are often highly stigmatized and challenging for health systems. In addition to recognition of International Safe Abortion Day, we hope you will join us to celebrate the 17th anniversary of mifepristone registration in the United States. We appreciate your interest in our work and look forward to sharing more news in the months ahead.”



En el Día Internacional del Aborto Legal y Seguro, la Asociación de Clínicas Acreditadas para la IVE señala los elementos imprescindibles para que la prestación sanitaria de aborto siga siendo un recurso seguro y de calidad para las mujeres españolas. Para ACAI las pautas básicas para asegurar un …



“It’s Safe Abortion Day. Make #Abortion safe! Bans make women to turn to dangerous methods. #Sept28 @Safe_Abortion”

SOURCE: TWITTER, 28 September 2017


متوفر بالعربية

The Egyptian government should sign the Maputo

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights and the feminist global alliance Realizing Sexual and Reproductive Justice (RESURJ) call on the Egyptian government to amend the abortion law and to ratify the protocol on the rights of women in Africa. The Maputo Protocol of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights guarantees safe medical abortions for women whose lives or health are endangered by the continuation of the pregnancy, and where the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest (Article 14, Paragraph 2C).

EIPR and RESURJ note that Egypt has not signed the protocol, adopted by the African Union General Assembly in 2003. Apart from Egypt, the only other members of the African Union that have neither signed nor ratified the protocol are Tunisia and Botswana. The two thus renew their call for the Egyptian parliament to amend the law in order 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 or incest.



International Safe Abortion Day, 28 September, follows closely on International Contraception Day, 26 September. These are two of the days in the calendar each year when we celebrate women’s right to decide whether and when to have children. Today, we call on international and national leaders to acknowledge the importance of laws, policies, information and services for girls and women which support these rights – the right to use contraception to prevent unwanted pregnancy, and the right to safe abortion when it is too late for contraception. We remind them that provision of safe, legal abortion is essential to fulfilling the global commitment to the Sustainable Development Goal of universal access to sexual and reproductive health (Target 3.7).” We urge them to work with advocates for women’s health and rights, parliamentarians, health care providers and others to make these rights a reality for all those who need them.


Lanzan campaña a favor del aborto terapéutico en Costa Rica

La Asociación Ciudadana ACCEDER lanza campaña para que Costa Rica garantice por fin el acceso al aborto terapéutico, a la cual se suman Peras del Olmo, Acción Respeto, Asociación Demográfica Costarricense, Community, Hijas de la Negrita, Piropos o Acoso y la ilustradora Stephanie Chaves, con el apoyo del TC-637 y la Escuela de Ciencias de la Comunicación Colectiva de la Universidad de Costa Rica.


Virada Pela Legalização do Aborto

The 24-hour online journey to talk about abortion prepared by feminist activists in Brazil for the 28th of September. It’s the second year this event is taking place. In the previous year, feminists were very successfull to tag “abortion” on facebook on this day. Here is the link to the event:

We are also delighted to share our most up-to-date version of Zine Útero Livre with safe and ethical information on abortion. It was inspired by manuals from other countries in Latin America, but also in workshops held with women on the subject of abortion. Its distribution is being done in women’s organizations in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and also during our workshops. Please, help us to share it! Link to Zine Útero Livre:

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Join the Cacerolazo for Abortion Rights

At 1pm in your time zone, and join us in making noise against the Global Gag Rule. Gag yourself with a piece of fabric as a reference to the Global Gag Rule, while using a pot or pan to make noise and demonstrate your resistance to any attempted restrictions on abortion services.


Press Release: Safe Abortion Access: Resistance, Persistence and Our Bodies!

The Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition (SRJC), together with its partners and allies, recognise September 28, the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion. We join our international partners the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) and International Safe Abortion Campaign who are also engaging in a range of activities.


Beyond Beijing Committee

Celebrating Safe Abortion Day with National Youth Council (NYC) on 22nd Sept 2017 in New York City, and…

Beyond Beijing Committee celebrated Safe Abortion Day, marking the 11th amendment of the civil code of Nepal which made abortion legal. And commemorated those women who lost their lives due to unsafe abortions #safeabortion #srhr4all #womenrights #sep28


Campaña Nacional por el Derecho al Aborto Legal Seguro y Gratuito

Durante esta semana y la siguiente, las diferentes regionales de la Campaña estarán llevando a cabo actividades preparándose para la gran marcha federal del viernes 29 en CABA. Acercate a participar de las actividades de tu ciudad:

Actividades en todo el país: Comodoro Rivadavia, Córdoba, Río Cuarto, Jujuy, La Pampa, Mendoza, Necochea, Santa Fe, Salta, Provincia de Buenos Aires Noroeste, Puerto Madryn, y Rosario


PHOTO: Tokyo

Space Allies

We are planning to hold a feminist concert, in which we will pledge to act for decriminalisation of abortion all over the world on September 28th GMT, that is 29th on Japan. We will send some photos or an article after the concert.


REDAAS, an Argentinian network of health service providers promoting access to legal and safe abortion is launching four gifs over the next four days on Facebook, for Sept 28th:

Gif 1:
Gif 2:
Gif 3:
Gif 4:

They are also promoting their Facebook fan page as they’ve just launched it, please share it:



En la previa al #UnGritoGlobal

27 de septiembre acción en redes sociales de relatos sobre experiencias de acompañamientos de abortos.



Statement of Solidarity – please sign by 28 September!



Trust for Indigenous Culture and Health (TICAH)
+ Aunty Jane Helpline

Join us on Thursday, September 28 from 3 pm – 4 pm on Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion to discuss the importance of the need for standards and guidelines for accessing safe abortion to keep Kenyan women and girls safe. We’ll be using the hashtag #KeepWanjikuSafe, as well as #Sept28.



The people of NZ have waited 40 years…

ALRANZ are sponsoring Dame Margaret Sparrow’s book launch on 28 September for her book: Risking Their Lives.

ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa calls upon the New Zealand government to heed the will of the people of New Zealand and decriminalise abortion.

Abortion is available in New Zealand only if two certifying consultants agree a pregnant person’s situation falls under the grounds set out in the Crimes Act. Getting those two life-changing approvals requires pregnant people to spend on average 25 days getting the required tests, counselling, and going as supplicants to certifying consultants, in a monumental box-ticking exercise seemingly designed to make accessing abortion as difficult, degrading, and punishing as possible.

People have the right to decide for themselves whether or not they will carry a pregnancy and give birth. People have a right to decide what happens to their own bodies. People have a right to choose their fate. Women are people. Reproductive rights are human rights. The people of New Zealand have waited 40 years for the abortion bureaucracy to be reformed. They have waited long enough.




International Safe Abortion Day Watchdog

To mark September 28, the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion, Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights is proud to launch our 2017 International Safe Abortion Day Watchdog!

This year, we join the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights’ Global Campaign, “Resist and Persist” because we believe that these actions are crucial in standing up against the rollback on abortion and reproductive rights. When we resist as a collective, we persist as a worldwide intersectional movement.

The Watchdog is authored, edited, and designed entirely by young people. In it, you will find photographs, essays, research, infographics, artwork, and poetry from all around the world, including: Pakistan, the Philippines, Venezuela, Ecuador, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Colombia, Turkey, Canada, Egypt, and Chile.

We hope you enjoy and learn from this edition of the Watchdog and we especially hope you will feel moved to act and speak up for the rights of young people in honor of International Safe Abortion Day – and every day. By sharing, liking, and discussing this Watchdog, you can help us challenge abortion stigma, and resist and persist against attacks on our reproductive rights. Thank you for reading!

Access the Watchdog here:


“Why 28 September matters for women’s rights” for International Safe Abortion Day