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Global Day for Action for Safe and Legal Abortion

13 Aug 2013

The issue of abortion rights has been perennially fraught with numerous conflicts, ranging from outright opposition or criminalisation, to sex-selective or eugenic abortions, to using it as a means of family planning or population control. Abortion has different meanings for women, depending on race, class, social , religious and cultural setting, state policy, infrastructure availability, decision-making within the household and so on. What does reproductive choice mean for women in the Southern countries ? Do all women have the right and access to safe abortion and does the right to abortion guarantee the enjoyment of all reproductive rights ? In fact, can reproductive rights even exist in the absence of economic, social, cultural and political rights ?(ref ISD, Gupte Manisha, 2004)

The rise of conservative politics all over the world has grave consequences for reproductive and sexual rights of all people, especially those of women living in poverty or under fundamentalist regimes. Respecting the diversity of women's experiences related to abortion is essential if we want rights and dignity for all women.Finding some common ground for advocacy and action is the challenge that we need to take up at this moment. 

Given that the 28th September, which is the Global Day for Action for Safe and Legal Abortion, is not very far, and given the state of access to legal and safe abortion across countries and regions, we feel this is an important issue / campaign to mobilise around and take forward. Annually more than 47,000 women die due to unsafe abortions and over 5 million women suffer temporary or permanent disabilities.  World over, there are only 59 countries in total where women can get abortions legally if they choose not to remain trapped in an unwanted / unplanned pregnancy. (Sources:;  "World Abortion Policies 2013",United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division; When Abortion Was Illegal: Untold Stories by Dorothy Fadiman)

Some of the groups that are  actively involved in the 28th September campaign are Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR), International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion, Campaña 28de Setiembre Dia Por La Despenalizacion Del Aborto en America Latina y el Caribe (September 28th, Day of Campaign for Decriminalisation of Abortion in Latin America and the Caribbean). For more information, please visit the website

Since Marevic H. Parcon from WGNRR is part of this Gender Health Justice group, it would be wonderful if you would like to be  a part of this campaign and share about  any action / campaigns that you are already engaged with in your own countries / regions and share any ideas, events that are being and can be planned around the 28th September.

Contact: gender [at]

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