Forced Sterilization and Discrimination in Chile

Two years ago, I met Francisca, a young woman from a rural town in Chile.  When she was 20, she and her husband got the very welcome news that they would be having their first child. But that excitement quickly turned into concern when Francisca found out she was HIV-positive during a routine pre-natal test.

What impact do multiple concurrent sexual partnerships have on HIV transmission?

While there is no doubt that gender inequalities, especially the economic and social disempowerment of women and girls, have a significant effect on the character of many sexual relationships in the region, using a reduction in the number of [multiple, concurrent partnerships] as an indicator for HIV prevention addresses only the symptom and not the…

The Bigger Picture: Homophobia and Transphobia Around the World

For the past month, Americans have been engaged in a national discussion of sexuality among young people, bullying, suicide, and support structures to improve young people’s lives. These conversations are important components of the struggle to destigmatize and decriminalize sexuality so that everyone’s human rights are respected. However it is only one piece of the…

Lives on the Line: Unsafe Abortion Around the World

Akimbo has devoted this entire week to global access to safe abortion, and we’re hoping the attention helps stir conversation and build support for greater access for all women. To wrap up, let’s take a look at the risks women are facing around the globe when they seek to terminate a pregnancy. Asia and…

Ten Facts About Abortion

  • October 22, 2010

Our colleagues from Ipas have just released a new publication, Ten Facts About Abortion, which is chock full of information and statistics from around the world. Our “Ten Fact About Abortion” manual serves as a quick reference guide for pro-choice advocates. The guide offers factual evidence debunking ten widely disseminated abortion myths, and…

Abortion in India: Legal, But Not Always Safe

Even though abortion is legal in almost all countries to save a woman's life and in three-fifths of countries to protect her physical and mental health, safe abortion services are often not provided by public health systems or are of poor quality.

Since 1971 abortion has been permitted in India for a broad variety of reasons. Throughout the country, women who can afford health care in private hospitals have fairly good access to sexual and reproductive health care services, including abortion. But in rural and poverty-stricken areas, where people rely on public health care facilities called Primary Health Centers, access is more limited, to devastating effect. In India, rates for maternal mortality are highest among poor rural women. India has the largest number of deaths from unsafe abortions in the world.

IWHC’s latest video features Rajesh Chaturvedi who works with the organization Gramin Punarnirman Sansthan (GPS) in Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in India. GPS is a member of CommonHealth, one of our partners in India. Over the last few years, GPS has focused on advocacy around obtaining better reproductive health care services in the Azamgarh District of Uttar Pradesh. On a program visit to India, IWHC’s then-Program Officer Khushbu Srivastava met Rajesh. He was generous enough to tell her this very personal true story about the insufficiency of the health care system in India in dealing with abortion.

In the 21st century there is no reason for a woman to die or suffer the traumas of an unsafe abortion. Access to safe abortion is about more than policy – communities and those who provide them with health care must be committed to achieving true access.

For more information, check out the following resources:

Abortion With Self-Administered Misoprostol: A Guide For Women
Promoting Women’s Access to Safe Abortion: Tools For Advocates
Access to Safe Abortion is a Human Right

A full transcript of the video is after the jump.

Act Now for Global Sexual And Reproductive Health

The International Women’s Health Coalition and our colleagues around the world know that information about and access to contraception and safe abortion services is fundamental to a woman’s right to control her body, to self-determination, and to maintain her health.  But more must be done to ensure that women have access to the sexual and…

Little-Known Medication Offers Safe and Accessible Alternative to Surgical Abortion

Access to safe abortion has changed over the past several decades – not just because of the ever-shifting global legal and funding landscapes, but also because of health technologies. For thousands of years, women have used herbal remedies to end unwanted pregnancies, but more recently medicines developed in labs provide a non-surgical safe abortion option.

Video: An Adolescent’s Fight for Safe Abortion

Imagine the unthinkable: A 13-year-old girl in Peru loses her father, and while still grieving his death is raped by a man close to her family. She realizes she’s pregnant, climbs to the roof of a local building, and jumps. The fall doesn’t kill her, but leaves her with a paralyzing spinal injury. Doctors say…

Promoting Women’s Access To Safe Abortion: Tools For Advocates

  • October 18, 2010

Abortion is legal on broad grounds or without restriction as to reason in almost all developed countries and in some developing countries [links lead to PDFs], such as Cambodia, China, Cuba, Guyana, India, Mongolia, South Africa, Tunisia, Turkey and Vietnam. Important reforms [link leads to PDF] have been recently achieved in Colombia, Ethiopia, Mexico, …