The need for abortion to be a part of Universal Health Coverage

International Safe Abortion Day came to light in support of women across the world for the right to safe and legal abortion practices.

Written by Sushmita Panda / Debanjana Choudhuri
September 28, 2022

As technology advances, healthcare laws, particularly concerning women are becoming regressive world over. And way things are moving, with increased restrictions to women accessing a basic right to health like that of access to safe abortions is becoming a Herculean task.

It is time that abortions are treated as a critical healthcare service which should be made available to every woman in a timely fashion and in a dignified, non-judgmental environment.


Q&A: How MSF provides abortion care now

September 28, 2022

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) provides safe abortion care at many of its projects around the world and is working to expand access to these services to more people. While the legal and cultural landscape around safe abortion care continues to change, the clear medical need for it does not. As we mark International Safe Abortion Day on September 28, here is an update on our work and perspective on abortion care now.

What are the medical impacts of criminalizing abortion, based on MSF's experience around the world?
MSF has seen that regardless of legal restrictions, when safe abortion care is not accessible, women and girls* will often turn to dangerous methods to end an unwanted pregnancy.


Uganda rejects UN definition of abortion as a human right

Monday, September 26, 2022

Uganda has joined several other African countries to oppose the contentious United Nations Human Rights Committee’s definition of abortion as a human right.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines abortion as termination of pregnancy prior to 20 weeks gestation.


Canada – Joly raises abortion, sexual violence in closing UN speech

'We will fight for your full meaningful participation in all walks of life,' said Joly

Dylan Robertson · The Canadian Press
Sep 26, 2022

As the United Nations General Assembly comes to a close, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly is urging countries to uphold women's rights and abortion access while rooting out sexual violence.

In a speech today in New York, Joly said Canada's priorities in international relations include being a champion for women's rights around the world.


These US Abortion Restrictions Threaten Reproductive Health Everywhere

It’s imperative that advocates not limit their advocacy to the United States but expand it to countries around the world affected by US restrictions.

By Aruna Uprety, Nira Singh Shrestha, Astha Sharma, Giriraj Mani Pokharel and Sumesh Shiwakoty
Septe 23, 2022

The US Supreme Court’s recent decision overturning Roe v. Wade has sparked debate in the United States about how to protect reproductive freedom. President Biden proposed ending the Senate filibuster rule in order for Congress to pass legislation legalizing abortion rights, and he signed an executive order to “protect access to reproductive healthcare services.” In some states, legislators have enacted new laws that expanded abortion rights. However, what is missing in this debate is similar discourse and concrete actions by Democrats to protect reproductive rights not only in the United States but also in less-developed countries, which are directly affected by Republican attacks on US funding for reproductive health around the world.


The US abortion decision is already having global impacts

OPINION: The reversal of Roe v. Wade is a tragedy not just for the United States, but for women everywhere

By TK Sundari Ravindran, Pascale Allotey, Sofia Gruskin

The past decades have brought modest improvements to women’s reproductive health around the world. Over the last 30 years, global rates of unintended pregnancies have thankfully declined by almost 20 percent, presumably in part because of better access to education and contraceptives. In 1973, the US Supreme Court, ruling in Roe v. Wade, declared an American woman’s right to an abortion to be fundamental and constitutionally protected. This landmark decision helped inspire many countries around the world to enshrine the individual right to bodily autonomy in law or expand access to abortion services — including Canada and India. Many women have been able to access safe abortions and post-abortion care.

Then the 2022 US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.


UN racism body calls for U.S. to do more on abortion access

By Emma Farge
August 30, 2022

GENEVA (Reuters) - A UN committee on Tuesday condemned the overturning of the constitutional right to abortion in the United States, saying it was hitting racial and ethnic minorities hardest and asked Washington to take mitigation measures.

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial
Discrimination said it was "deeply concerned" that the U.S. Supreme
Court decision in June that ended the nationwide right to abortion had a
"disparate impact on the sexual and reproductive health and rights of
racial and ethnic minorities, particularly those with low incomes."


Urgent action required to address ‘plague’ of sexual, gender-based violence – Report

In 2022, 274 million people will need humanitarian assistance and protection.

August 27, 2022

A toxic combination of global conflict, COVID-19 and climate change is exacerbating sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) against vulnerable women, children and adolescents worldwide, including in West Africa.

In a jointly authored commentary published today, three leading advocates for women’s health and rights – the Rt Hon. Helen Clark, PMNCH Board Chair and former Prime Minister of New Zealand; Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of Chile; and H.E. José Manuel Albares, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Spain – call for urgent multi-lateral action to tackle what they have described as a ‘plague’ of rape, or other violent physical or mental abuse, targeting vulnerable women, children and adolescents, especially those living in humanitarian settings.


How Overruling Roe is Already Risking Women’s Lives

Sian Norris
25 August 2022

It’s two months since the US Supreme Court ended the nationwide right to abortion, and the horror stories are already piling up. Worse is yet to come, reports Sian Norris

It’s now two months since the US Supreme Court decided on Dobbs v Jackson’s Women’s Health Organisation – a case on abortion rights that ultimately overruled Roe v Wade, the 1973 decision that allowed for nationwide access to safe and legal terminations. The Dobbs decision was written by the conservative Justice Samuel Alito, and allows for abortion laws to be made at a state, rather than federal level.

Within the first two months, nine states have implemented bans on abortion – some, like Missouri, within 24 hours. It, along with Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and South Dakota have outlawed abortion in all cases, including when the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest.


Global implications of overturning Roe v Wade

US decision must not derail international trend towards liberalisation of abortion law

BMJ 2022; 378 doi: (Published 18 August 2022)

Susheela Singh, Gilda Sedgh

Given the United States’ extensive global influence—including on sexual and
reproductive health programmes—how might the recent US Supreme Court decision
overturning the federal right to abortion1 affect the global trend towards expanding
access to safe and legal abortion? This important question is considered from
different perspectives and for different geographies by three linked articles
(doi:10.1136/bmj.o1844, doi:10.1136/bmj.o1908, doi:10.1136/bmj.o1945).234
Although the reverberations of the Supreme Court decision are just beginning to
play out, it is crucial to raise awareness of the potential for negative
consequences outside the US—and to explore ways of averting such effects.