Tomorrow, reproductive rights advocates and activists around the world will commemorate International Safe Abortion Day. (For more information about the background and history of this day, please visit our post from last year.)
This year’s theme is “Abortion is Healthcare”, utilizing the hashtag #MyAbortionMyHealth. Specifically, this theme is meant to call attention to the fact that the world already possesses the ability to provide safe abortion care yet this care remains inaccessible to far too many. It is also meant to address the impact of the stigmatization of abortion itself. You can read their thoughts on all this in their open letter here.
According to the International Safe Abortion Day website: “the theme ‘Abortion is healthcare’ is especially appropriate this year because of three upcoming international meetings, which are addressing healthcare, sustainable development and sexual and reproductive health and reproduction rights”.
The first meeting, which took place at the United Nations General Assembly on September 23, was named Universal Health Coverage. At this meeting, abortion was discussed alongside topics such as climate change under the theme “Moving Together to Build a Healthier World”.
The second meeting, which also took place at the United Nations General Assembly, took place the following two days. This meeting was called Sustainable Development Goals with the theme: “Review Progress in the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals”. Both of these meetings hosted political activists and made waves with various impassioned speeches given to the assembly.
The third meeting, ICPD+25, is set to take place in Nairobi from November 12 through 14. This meeting’s theme is “Accelerating the Promise”, and, with time until that meeting, 28 September has posted many call-to-actions that reproductive rights advocates can participate in. One of these events takes place September 27, as a Tweet-a-thon. Reproductive rights advocates and activists are invited to tweet to their political leaders about their “local and national situations” and to use this year’s hashtag.
To be expected, many world leaders have already responded to these agendas with anti-abortion views. Eighteen countries including the United States, Russia, and Egypt; have released a joint statement. In their statement, they claim there is no “international consensus” on abortion rights and that terms like “sexual and reproductive health” should not be used in UN documents because they are “ambiguous” and can “undermine the family”.
Furthermore, this statement boldly claimed that there is “no international right to abortion”. This sentiment is detrimental to the overall wellbeing of women around the world. The further stigmatization of abortion not only contributes to lack of abortion providers, but also decreased quality of care for women who abortion complications. The continual disparagement
of a vital healthcare procedure not only puts lives at immediate risk, but slows the progression of sexual healthcare as a whole.
To learn more about International Safe Abortion day, visit their website here.