YANAA – Young Activist Network for Abortion Advocacy 2022 Annual Report (Summary)

Main activities
Two ‘Youth Talk Abortion’ Online Trainings, one at basic level and one at advanced level. The focus of the trainings was on building a human rights perspective of the participants and strengthening their capacities for abortion advocacy. In total, ten sessions were conducted with five experienced speakers in each and a total of 109 participants. The topics of the first training were: Safe abortion as a human rights issue; Debunking abortion myths; Barriers to young people’s access to abortion; Adolescents’ access to abortion; and Safe abortion movement building. The topics of the second training were: Decriminalising abortion; UN-based advocacy for safe abortion; Adolescents’ access to safe abortion; Interlinkages between climate change and SRHR; Reproductive justice framework for safe abortion.

We also organised a 75-minute roundtable discussion for members as a webinar on 7 June 2022 with participants from India, Philippines, USA, Ecuador and Italy, reported in a special Campaign newsletter on 1 August 2022. YANAA has a YouTube channel for all these videos. The four main discussion topics were: the key challenges young people face in your country/region; use of the internet and social media in your activism; impact of overturning Roe v. Wade on young people’s rights or your work on abortion; messages for young activists.

We received a positive response from the participants to all these events, especially for having created a space for young activists to learn and exchange knowledge with each other from different country/regional contexts. We hope to organise more of these in 2023.

For International Safe Abortion Day, we collaborated with and participated in meetings of the 28 September International Working Group. The themes for 2022 were proposed by ICWRSA and YANAA: “Safe abortion in uncertain times” with the main hashtag #SafeAbortionRegardless, and a youth-centered sub-theme: “Young activism and social media as an important space for youth activism”.

YANAA collaborated with Women First Digital to create posters on the theme of “Social Media for Safe Abortion”. YANAA provided the content and Women First Digital provided the technical design skills for the posters. These were disseminated on both of our Instagram and Twitter pages. Themes:
– Building a safe online space for abortion rights #SafeSpacesForSafeAbortion
– Silencing and censorship of safe abortion content by social media companies #SocialMediaForAbortionRights
– Privacy of abortion seekers and abortion advocates: #InternetForAbortionRights
– Misinformation and disinformation on abortion #ChallengeMisinformation

YANAA also collaborated with the YP Foundation for a Twitter Storm with other organisations, including Hidden Pockets, Point of View, Pratigya Campaign, Love Matters, TARSHI, and the Safe Abortion Action Fund.

Attending conferences in 2022
Shruti Arora, YANAA coordinator, participated in two conferences, She Decides+5 and International Conference for Family Planning (ICFP). At the ICFP, YANAA hosted a dinner meeting with seven members from Philippines, Nepal, India and USA. We also attended the Safe Abortion Advocacy Initiative Global South Engagement meeting before the ICFP, and networked with MAMA Network, WGNRR and ARROW during the main conference to discuss the possibility of collaborative activities. We also had a meeting with CLACAI to explore collaboration with ICWRSA and YANAA Global with YANAA LAC.

Communication channels 
In discussions with the ICWRSA Coordinator, YANAA committee members and YANAA network members, it was agreed to use the following communication channels:
-The Campaign newsletters and website for information related to YANAA
-G-mail for internal communication with advisors, steering committee
-Google group for our members
-YouTube channel for disseminating videos, e.g. of training sessions
-WhatsApp group for the participants of the training workshops
– Social media: ICWRSA Twitter and YANAA Instagram (@YANAANetwork) and Twitter (@yanaanetwork) for disseminating ICWRSA reports and requests for solidarity; sharing of new articles and reports; calls for participation in trainings; activity updates; and amplifying the work of our network members.
– Zoom for online committee and advisory meetings.

Plans for the future
We would like to continue focusing on advocacy for decriminalisation of abortion in countries at national, regional, international and UN level, and adolescent and youth-friendly abortion laws and services.

YANAA now has 176 members from 39 countries.

SOURCE: Shruti Arora, YANAA Coordinator, E-mails and reports to two donors, December 2022