A Declaration in Support of A Global Campaign for Safe Abortion Access
The need to integrate safe abortion care within family planning programs and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights has been a recurring theme in the 2011 International Conference on Family Planning.
Despite commitments from ICPD, CEDAW, UN Millennium Development Goals 5 and 5(b) and international women’s conferences, women around the world continue to suffer death and disability due to unsafe abortion. Approximately 22 million unsafe abortions take place globally, contributing to high rates of maternal mortality and morbidity. Each one of these deaths and disabilities is unacceptable and preventable.
Many of these tragic deaths and disabilities can be prevented with the provision of comprehensive, safe abortion care. Abortion care and family planning services are intertwined; they are integral components of comprehensive women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. These services should be provided to all women irrespective of age, marital status, color, ethnicity, religion, gender and sexual orientation, socio-economic status and where they live and work.
Young women account for almost half of the estimated unsafe abortion-related deaths. Changing demographics will result in a significantly larger proportion of the population being under 25 years 0old. We need to take immediate action to save young women’s lives so they are able to achieve their true potential and assume rightful leadership in social and economic development.
To respect and fulfill women’s rights and facilitate all women’s access to comprehensive abortion care including family planning services, states are called to decriminalize abortion as per the Beijing Platform for Action and the recent statement to the UN General Assembly by the Special Rapporteur for Health of the UN Human Rights Council.