On the occasion of International Safe Abortion Day, the Human Rights and Gender Ambassadors and Envoys of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Lithuania, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden have released the following statement today (28 September):
Today marks International Safe Abortion Day. We, the European Human Rights and Gender Ambassadors and Envoys, stand up for the rights of women and girls, in all their diversity, to make decisions about their own bodies and lives. Access to safe, timely and affordable abortion services is key for the realization of bodily autonomy, gender equality, human rights and universal health coverage for all.
Unsafe abortion is a significant yet preventable cause of maternal mortality and morbidity. According to WHO, over 25 million unsafe abortions occur each year, which result in an almost entirely preventable 39.000 maternal deaths. Women and girls in already vulnerable situations are affected the most.
This year on International Safe Abortion Day, we highlight the power of collective action and social movements. We support young people taking leadership in these movements, creating space and employing innovative advocacy strategies to champion access to safe abortion and sexual and reproductive justice. As Human Rights and Gender Ambassadors and Envoys, we urge for support and empowerment of these movements through equal access to opportunities, resources, platforms and comprehensive sexual education. In times of significant pushbacks against the rights of women and girls, particularly when it comes to access to safe abortion, we underline the need, more than ever, to fight disinformation, victim blaming and gender stereotypes in this regard.
We stress that it is time to fulfill the rights of all women and girls, particularly access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, to make decisions about their own bodies and lives and to have access to safe and legal abortion care and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services everywhere.