Safe Abortion Care in Humanitarian Settings

Safe Abortion Care in Humanitarian Settings

Posted on October, 1 2018
by Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights

More than 60 million people—that’s almost the population of the entire UK, of France or of Thailand—are living in crisis settings or are displaced due to conflict, natural disaster, or other human rights abuses.

Action Canada collaborated with Ipas to draft that policy brief on safe abortion care in humanitarian settings.

Download the PDF.

Continued: https://www.actioncanadashr.org/safe-abortion-care-in-humanitarian-settings/

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IAWG ANNUAL MEETING 2017 – Advocates make progress on access to safe abortion in humanitarian crises

IAWG ANNUAL MEETING 2017 – Advocates make progress on access to safe abortion in humanitarian crises
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Jan 10, 2017

Advocates campaigning for refugees to have access to safe abortion in humanitarian settings say they have made major progress at a recent high-level meeting – but that “political sensitivities” among countries and some United Nations agencies are holding back efforts to get the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health services to those who need them.

In early November 2017, representatives from the Inter-Agency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crises (IAWG), which includes UN agencies and civil society groups, met in Athens to discuss revising the field manual for aid workers providing reproductive health services in the initial phase of a humanitarian crisis, called the Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) for Reproductive Health, which is part of the Inter-Agency Field Manual on Reproductive Health in Humanitarian Settings (IAFM). Intended changes included expanding the range of contraceptive options recommended and including safe abortion as an objective for the first time.

Continued at source: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/iawg-annual-meeting-2017-advocates-make-progress-on-access-to-safe-abortion-in-humanitarian-crises/

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Advocates make progress on access to safe abortion in humanitarian crises

Advocates make progress on access to safe abortion in humanitarian crises

By Sophie Edwards
29 November 2017

LONDON — Advocates campaigning for refugees to have access to safe abortion in humanitarian settings say they have made major progress at a recent high-level meeting — but they added that “political sensitivities” among countries and some United Nations agencies are holding back efforts to get the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health services to those who need them.

Some experts also warned that pushing the abortion agenda could derail efforts to reach refugees in some settings and distract from more immediately urgent obstetric needs.

Continued at source: https://www.devex.com/news/advocates-make-progress-on-access-to-safe-abortion-in-humanitarian-crises-91554

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Canada: In the world’s worst crises, access to sexual and reproductive health and rights is paramount

In the world’s worst crises, access to sexual and reproductive health and rights is paramount

As countries prepare to meet in London for the Family Planning 2020 conference on July 11, Canada has a unique opportunity to remind the international community that promoting sexual and reproductive rights during humanitarian crises saves lives — just like clean water, shelter and food.

By: Gillian Barth, Sandeep Prasad
July 7, 2017

Every day, some 2,000 refugees pour into northwestern Uganda from South Sudan. Fearing conflict, over 600,000 refugees — mostly women and children — have migrated this past year alone. South Sudan is the fastest-growing refugee crisis, but the pattern is not isolated to the world’s youngest country.

In Yemen, more than half of women’s demand for contraception is unmet. Along with the reality of contraceptive failure, this led to over 550,000 unintended pregnancies in 2016. Women who want access to contraceptive and safe abortion services don’t have such a choice.

As the international community scrambles to meet basic needs like water, shelter, food and sanitation, access to sexual and reproductive health and rights — including abortion — are often treated as low priority. The consequences are grave.

Continued at source: Open Canada: https://www.opencanada.org/features/worlds-worst-crises-access-sexual-and-reproductive-health-and-rights-paramount/

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No control, no choice: lack of access to reproductive healthcare in rebel-held Southern Kordofan, Sudan

No control, no choice: lack of access to reproductive healthcare in rebel-held Southern Kordofan, Sudan
June 5, 2017

In December 2016, two Human Rights Watch researchers interviewed 90 people in rebel-held areas of Heiban, Delami and Um Dorein counties, including 25 in-depth interviews with women and girls about their access to reproductive healthcare. Researchers also spoke with witnesses and victims of abuse, local rebel authorities, and humanitarian aid workers. This research builds on findings from five earlier Human Rights Watch investigations in the Nuba Mountains region, hilly areas of Sudan’s Kordofan area where communities from different Nuba tribes live, between 2011 and 2015.

In the photograph above, Mukuma Hamad, a volunteer health worker, holds a container of folic acid, the only assistance she can give pregnant women who visit the lone health clinic in Hadara village, in rebel-controlled Southern Kordofan. Most of the women we interviewed did not know what a condom was and had not heard about other options for contraception. NGO workers, health workers and authorities told Human Rights Watch that condoms are rarely available in markets despite an increase in gonorrhea and syphilis cases over the past two years and high percentages of pregnant women testing positive for hepatitis B. Women and girls are unable to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections or control their fertility.

Most pregnant women must rely on local birth attendants who have no formal training, or trained midwives who have not been able to acquire new or sterile equipment since the conflict began. Women and girls experiencing complications during labor may have to travel for days, often on dangerous routes, including across frontlines, to get emergency obstetric care.

Family planning is not available except in rare instances. The rebel SPLM/A-North administration provides the bulk of health care through a network of some 175 clinics, but these do not distribute contraception, including condoms. One agency provides three-month injectable contraception but restrictions imposed on them by the local rebels require patients’ husbands to give permission before they can provide the contraception to women.

[Access to safe abortion is not mentioned.]

SOURCE: Human Rights Watch, 23 May 2017; Photo: © 2016 Skye Wheeler/ Human Rights Watch

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Source: International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/no-control-no-choice-lack-of-access-to-reproductive-healthcare-in-rebel-held-southern-kordofan-sudan/

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The Growing Challenge of Meeting the Reproductive Health Needs of Women in Humanitarian Situations

The Growing Challenge of Meeting the Reproductive Health Needs of Women in Humanitarian Situations
Recent Progress Is Threatened by Rising Nationalism in the United States and Europe

February 13, 2017
News Release

About one in four of the 129 million people around the world in need of humanitarian assistance are women and adolescent girls of reproductive age. Women and girls are at particular risk when a region or country’s social, health and other support systems collapse, exposing them to sexual violence, unwanted pregnancy, unsafe abortion, STIs (including HIV), and maternal illness and death. And yet, sexual and reproductive health services in humanitarian settings continue to lag far behind the enormous need, argues a new analysis in the Guttmacher Policy Review.

“Humanitarian agencies have made substantial advances in issuing sexual and reproductive health guidance in crisis settings. But implementation of these policies and standards has often fallen far short of what is needed,” says Sneha Barot, author of the new analysis. “Fundamentally, the same barriers that can interfere with access to sexual and reproductive health care under normal circumstances are often magnified during emergencies.”

Continued at source: Guttmacher Institute: https://www.guttmacher.org/news-release/2017/growing-challenge-meeting-reproductive-health-needs-women-humanitarian-situations

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