Access to safe and legal abortion is a pressing health and rights issue in Asia. Approximately 40 percent of abortions performed in 2008 in Asia were unsafe; in South Central Asia, Southeastern Asia and Western Asia, the percentage of those that were unsafe reached 60 to 65 percent. An estimated 17,000 women died from unsafe abortions in 2008. The Asia Safe Abortion Partnership (ASAP) is a network of activists, providers, and researchers working to advocate for improved access to safe abortion.
In Asia, a significant proportion of the population is under 25 years of age, and there is a great need for young people to participate in and lead efforts to protect and advance sexual and reproductive rights. Most pressing is the challenge of building a new generation of advocates for safe and legal abortion. IWHC supports ASAP’s Youth Advocacy Institute, which aims to create a new generation of youth who will promote, protect and expand sexual and reproductive rights of women and men in Asia, and help to build a youth community within ASAP which will help the network understand and effectively support youth issues.