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

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,  and Nepal. Experience has shown, however, that these liberalized laws cannot be taken for granted. Anti-choice forces are highly organized almost everywhere, and advocates must be vigilant in preventing setbacks such as those that have occurred recently in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Indonesia from happening elsewhere.

To that end, this new IWHC information brief highlights four messages about safe abortion and presents a selection of advocacy “tools”- resources with information, evidence and ideas for strategic action that can be accessed online. Advocates at every level-local communities, state and national levels, and international forums- are encouraged to use this brief to convince policy makers and health care providers that ensuring every woman’s access to safe services for preventing and terminating unwanted pregnancies is an urgent public health priority and a basic human right [link leads to PDF].

The four messages contained in the brief are crucial components of any advocates’ efforts to ensure greater access to safe abortion services for women:

  • Access to safe abortion is a woman’s right;
  • Restrictive laws do not reduce the number of abortions and have negative health, social and economic consequences;
  • Policies and practices that impede access to safe abortion where legal terminations are available must be eliminated; and
  • Where restrictive laws are in force, safe alternatives to legal abortion must be supported in recognition of the right of all women to make free and responsible decisions about their bodies and their lives.

Click here to download the brief in full, and learn more about how you can best advocate for increased global access to this important human right.

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