Abortion Remains an Unresolved Issue: ICPD25 Meeting next Month
By Osamu Kusumoto
Osamu Kusumoto is Secretary General and Executive Director of Asian Population and Development Association (APDA)
TOKYO, Japan, Oct 9 2019 (IPS) - Currently, the topic of abortion as human rights leaves the world bustling. When the state of Alabama1 in the United States enacted a very strict ban on abortion, it shocked the world. This prompted so-called conservative movements, led by female business owners, to make a full-scale advertisement in the New York Times claiming abortion is a human right2 ; hence the global debate between pro-life and pro-choice.
This discussion is a remnant of the debate at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in 1994. Twenty Five years into the ICPD and the struggle between opposing views persists, causing the continued disruption in the accessibility of women to reproductive health. This is especially true in developing countries.
25 Years of Progress on Women’s Health Is in Danger
Because of course it is.
Words: Serra Sippel
Pictures: UN Women
Date: September 25th, 2019
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), and without missing a beat the Trump Administration has pounced on yet another opportunity to renege on US global commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights.
In the lead-up to the United Nations General Assembly high-level meeting on universal health coverage, which took place on September 23, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary Alex Azar of the US Department of Health and Human Services sent a joint letter to governments asking that they join the US in rejecting longstanding global commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender equality.
OPEN LETTER to UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Heads of UN agencies & national leaders
RE: International Safe Abortion Day, 28 September 2019
24 September 2019
Dear Secretary-General Guterres, international & national leaders,
We write to you as leaders of the United Nations and its agencies, and through our members to national leaders, to invite you to make a public statement from your own office/agency in support of International Safe Abortion Day, 28 September 2019. We also ask that the United Nations makes it an official UN Day.
International Safe Abortion Day has been celebrated since 1990, initially in Latin America. The date was chosen in commemoration of the abolition of slavery in Brazil. It was declared an international day in 2011. In 2012, events and activities took place in some 50 countries, rising within a few years to 60-65 countries across all continents. A growing number of national leaders and human rights bodies now recognise the day and speak out in support of its goals. Journalists are giving it more media space with every year that passes, drawing prominent national figures into the discussion.
Safe And Legal Abortion: Conceive Choice, Terminate Myths
The YP Foundation in Health and Life, Sexual Health, Staff Picks
Sept 10, 2019
By Souvik Pyne
Abortion is a word that holds the massive weight of social pressure. Many people also believe that abortion in India is illegal. However, under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971 (MTP), abortion services can be availed. But despite their being a law in place, it hasn’t been easy for abortion-seekers to access safe and legal abortion services due to the taboo around it.
Safe abortion to terminate an unwanted pregnancy is an important reproductive health need for individuals seeking it of all ages, educational levels, racial and ethnic groups, social and economic classes and religions. The need to make safe abortion services available has also been upheld in many international platforms and intergovernmental agreements on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
A human health project
Empowering women to make reproductive choices and opt for quality family planning services can help India not only address the fertility challenge but fulfill the ICPD pledge
Friday, 12 July 2019
Ever since 1989, July 11 is observed as the World Population Day to draw attention to issues surrounding human population. The urgent need to provide an enabling environment to facilitate women’s autonomy in reproductive decisions was underlined five years later in 1994 at the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). Here, for the first time, an international agreement, recognising the right to sexual and reproductive health, was signed by 179 countries, including India.
Twenty five years have passed since the historic ICPD Programme of Action. Although India has taken several measures to provide universal access to reproductive health services, including contraceptives, has it really delivered on its promise to give women the right to choose when, if and how many children to have?
Prof Fathalla, still fighting for women’s health and rights
Professor Mahmoud F. Fathalla, FIGO Past President 1994-1997, has spent his career documenting, researching and advocating for women’s health and rights. Here, he reflects on the changes, challenges and vision for FIGO’s future.
"Across the decades of my career, I have seen how international approaches to critical issues of women’s health - particularly reproductive health and choice - have changed.
The first United Nations International Conference on Population (ICPD), convened in Bucharest in 1974, upheld the slogan that family planning is the solution. Ten years later, the second ICPD in Mexico City put forward that development is the solution, development is the best contraceptive pill. The third conference, in Cairo in 1994, when I became president of FIGO, recognised these and more. It upheld the importance of family planning, the importance of development, but affirmed a greater truth: women are the solution.
It is time that Jamaica decriminalises abortion
By Staff Writer
Mar 6, 2019
We, the undersigned social justice and women’s organisations and individual advocates, note the parliamentary consultations on the law on abortion in Jamaica.
Within CARICOM, Barbados (1983) and Guyana (1995) have led the way with legislation that decriminalizes the termination of pregnancy. Belize, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have expanded the exceptions that allow for abortion under the criminal law.
Despite Progress, Over 200 Million Women Still Waiting for Modern Contraception
By Thalif Deen
OTTAWA, Canada, Oct 23 2018 (IPS) - The international community will be commemorating two milestones in the history of population and development next year: the 50th anniversary of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the 25th anniversary of a Programme of Action (PoA) adopted at the1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo.
“Let’s use these important benchmarks to launch accelerated action – together. Starting here in Ottawa,” UNFPA Executive Director Dr Natalia Kanem told a gathering of over 150 parliamentarians from more than 60 countries who were meeting in the Canadian capital to review the progress made in several key socio-economic issues on the UN agenda, including reproductive health, maternal and infant mortality, family planning, female genital mutilation (FGM), child marriage, women’s empowerment and gender equality.
From Counting To Ensuring Everyone Counts
October 6, 2018
Dereje Wordofa with Samira Bawumia
At first glance, one may think the Ussher Fort Polyclinic only serves the purpose of a health facility for the people of Jamestown; providing basic healthcare needs for residents in its catchment areas.
But the health facility does a little more than just providing healthcare services.
The facility houses a skills training centre where teenage mothers and girls who have dropped out of school acquire dressmaking skills in a two-year programme being sponsored by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
A Time to Lead: A Roadmap for Progress on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Worldwide
Jesseca Boyer, Guttmacher Institute
First published online: September 24, 2018
- Gaps in sexual and reproductive health and rights take an enormous toll on individuals, families, communities and economies around the world.
- Addressing these gaps requires a holistic approach that encompasses the right of all individuals to make decisions about their bodies and lives—free of stigma, discrimination and coercion—and to have access to essential sexual and reproductive health interventions.
- The Guttmacher-Lancet Commission on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights provides a groundbreaking definition of sexual and reproductive health and rights and describes an essential package of interventions, together offering a pathway for countries around the world to support the needs of all people.
- The Trump administration’s ideologically motivated agenda both at home and abroad cedes decades of U.S. leadership in advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights.