Women and girls worldwide are entitled to bodily autonomy and freedom, without discrimination. Yet we continue to see the human right to safe and legal abortion imperiled by anti-rights actors from country to country, and repeatedly attacked at the international level.
In Poland, activists today face the imminent possibility of a near-total ban on abortion. In El Salvador, conservative actors now aim to increase the penalty for abortion to 30-50 years. In Northern Ireland, women who miscarry may be threatened with criminalization. In a five year span up until January 2016, over 280 restrictions on abortion were enacted in the United States. And at the Human Rights Committee and other UN spaces, regressive coalitions are pushing to co-opt the right to life to further anti-abortion politics.
Today, September 28th, marks the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion. This day marks the struggle of activists worldwide for the human right to safe and legal abortion.
Today, we come together to declare that our bodies, health, and choices are our own, and cannot be held back by the oppressive fundamentalisms and discourses that seek to lay claim to us.
Join the Observatory on the Universality of Rights (OURs) in celebrating September 28th, standing in solidarity with activists fighting for our human right to bodily autonomy and freedom for all women across the world.
Selection of Resources
This September 28, OURs highlights a selection of resources for activists working to further safe and legal abortion and on rights related to gender and sexuality worldwide.
Please share these with your networks, and let us know of your key resources! Tweet in solidarity using the hashtags #StepIntoOurShoes and #RightsAreUniversal.
- Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights: September 28th Report (2013)
- Sexual Rights Initiative: The Decriminalization of Abortion: A Human Rights Imperative
- Center for Reproductive Rights: Whose Right to Life? Women’s Rights and Prenatal Protections under Human Rights Law and Comparative Law
- AWID: Mass Prosecution for Abortion: Violation of the Reproductive Rights of Women in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil
- Ipas: Protecting Women’s Access to Safe Abortion Care – A Guide to Understanding the Human Rights to Privacy and Confidentiality
- Ipas: Advancing the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Adolescent Girls and Young Women: A Focus on Safe Abortion in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
- Ipas: A Practical Guide to Partnering with Police to Improve Abortion Access
- ARROW: A Call for Action towards Context-Specific Rights-Based Continuum of Quality Care
- Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir: Aborto: Aspectos sociales, eticos y religiosos
- International Campaign for Women’s Rights to Safe Abortion: How to Talk About Abortion: A Guide to Rights-Based Messaging
- International Campaign for Women’s Rights to Safe Abortion: Supporting Independent Use of Abortion Medicines: Fighting Stigma One Email at a Time
- Post-2015 Women’s Coalition: Influences of Religious Fundamentalisms on Sexual & Reproductive Health and Rights of Women
- Planned Parenthood: The Medical and Social Benefits Of Abortion Access
- Center for Reproductive Rights: Treaty Monitoring Bodies on Reproductive Rights
- ARROW: Young and Vulnerable – The Reality of Unsafe Abortion among Adolescent and Young Women
Events & Actions
The Sexual Rights Initiative will host a panel on the Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion at the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council to highlight the importance of the right to abortion and promote global policy changes. Find more information on the event here.
The Coalition of African Lesbians is hosting a week-long conversation on bodily freedoms and integrity with respect to abortion. Find out more about their week and their designated discussion topics here.
ARROW will be facilitating an online discussion today examining how and why the systemic denial of sexual and reproductive health services, including access to safe and legal abortion, is a form of institutional violence. Find out more here.