Looking back on the successes of the International Safe Abortion Day 2021

10 December 2021
FIGO Advocating for Safe Abortion Project

For International Safe Abortion Day (ISAD), marked on 28 September, the 10 national member societies FIGO supports through its Advocating for Safe Abortion Project developed educational activities and awareness-raising campaigns in their countries and communities.

“International Safe Abortion Day is about making what is often ignored – the preventable pandemic of unsafe abortions -  visible. As a committed health care community we come together to demonstrate what solutions must be implemented. Together with our partners, we raise our voices to dismantle abortion-related stigma which is the enemy of women/girls’ right to claim access to safe abortion – time-sensitive essential health care.  This year from Latin America to Africa we are proud to share the efforts of our OBGYN member societies, and all that they are doing to stand up for women/girls’ health care and human rights.”
– Jessica Morris, Senior Project Manager, Advocating for Safe Abortion Project, FIGO

Continued: https://www.figo.org/news/looking-back-successes-international-safe-abortion-day-2021

Côte d’Ivoire – Midwives: A Critical Key to Ensuring Women and Girls’ Health Globally

5 July 2021
FIGO Advocating for Safe Abortion Project|

OBGYNs and midwives are part of an essential ecosystem of health workers that provide crucial health care in delivering women and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) globally. In lower-middle-income countries where health care facilities outside of capitals can be few and dispersed, midwives in particular are counted on to ensure that women, girls, and newborns receive appropriate care, support and counselling. Professor Boni Serge, President of the Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Côte d’Ivoire (SOGOCI), shared with us the important leadership role midwives have in Côte d’Ivoire.

Midwives are critical in the fight to reduce preventable maternal deaths and disability
Data from 2016 showed that, with a population of over 20 million, there are not enough health care workers in this coastal West African country (WHO, 2016). More recent data show that while there are more than 6,000 midwives spread across the Ivorian territory, there are only just over 440 OBGYNs. In addition, there is an unequal geographical distribution of these OBGYNs, with the majority of them located in the Ivorian economic capital of Abidjan.

Continued: https://www.figo.org/news/midwives-critical-key-ensuring-women-and-girls-health-globally

Côte d’Ivoire – Fear of an explosion of unwanted pregnancy

July 22, 2020

International Campaign for Safe Abortion

Dr Sosthène Dougrou, regional director for Francophone Africa of Ipas, has
expressed fears of an increase in unwanted pregnancies in Côte d'Ivoire in view
of the drop in usage of sexual and reproductive health services for
contraception during the Covid-19 pandemic. ​​He
was speaking during a meeting in Abidjan of a group of civil society
organisations, whose aim was to create a community partnership to urge the
government to implement the Maputo Protocol.

He said there has not yet been an in-depth study, but attendance rates at
health services have greatly decreased due to difficulties getting there and
because the emphasis is on preparing for Covid-19 cases. He called on the state
to keep an eye on contraceptive needs and for concrete action to address sexual
and reproductive health care, especially for family planning and safe abortion.
Each year in Côte d'Ivoire, between 210,000 women and 290,000 women have
abortions, of whom many die.

SOURCE: http://apanews.net/index.php/news/acces-aux-contraceptifscovid-19-crainte-dexplosion-de-grossesses-non-desirees-en-cote-divoire/,
by APA Abidjan, 3 July 2020, in Revue de presse internationale, MFPF, 16 July
2020 (en français)

Uganda to conduct a study on abortion rates

Uganda to conduct a study on abortion rates
Findings will highlight deficiencies in safe abortion and post-abortion care services.

By Carol Natukunda
3rd August 2018

KAMPALA - Uganda is participating in cross-country studies on abortion and post-abortion care in Africa and Asia. Researchers seek to find out women’s knowledge of abortion methods and sources, the incidence of induced abortion, how women terminate pregnancies, and the extent of unsafe abortion.

In addition to direct questions on abortion, the female survey module includes questions about the respondents’ two closest friends and their experiences with abortion.

Continued: https://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1482722/uganda-conduct-study-abortion-rates

CÔTE D’IVOIRE – Ivoire Soir.net publishes an exclusive story: text of a draft bill on sexual and reproductive health, including abortion

CÔTE D’IVOIRE – Ivoire Soir.net publishes an exclusive story: text of a draft bill on sexual and reproductive health, including abortion

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
July 31, 2018


Under the Penal Code of Côte d’Ivoire, Law No. 81-640, 31 July 1981, abortion is prohibited except to save the life of the pregnant woman, if it is seriously endangered. Although this implies that it is an emergency situation, the attending physician must consult two additional physicians, who must certify that her life can only be saved by a surgical/therapeutic abortion. If only one other physician resides in the local area, the attending physician need only consult with this physician. If the treating physician is the only physician locally, s/he must certify on her/his honour that the life of the woman can only be saved by an abortion. The Penal Code also prohibits promotion of abortion by means of public discussion or advertisement or by distribution or sale of substances or objects. But it no longer contains similar restrictions on contraception that were enacted by the French colonial government in 1920.

Continued: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/cote-divoire-ivoire-soir-net-publishes-an-exclusive-story-text-of-a-draft-bill-on-sexual-and-reproductive-health-including-abortion

Ivory Coast: “After my Friend Died from Complications of an Unasfe Abortion, I Knew I had to do Something” -Ephrasie N’tchin

Coulibaly N'tchin Ephrasie of Ivory Coast

03 August 2016

Coulibaly N'tchin Ephrasie is a 25 year-old student from the West African country of Ivory Coast. Ephrasie is deeply passionate about Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), and is an active member of IPPFAR’s Youth Action Movement (YAM). She comes from Bandama Valley District of Bouaké in the central part of Ivory Coast, and is undertaking a degree course in Geology and Science in Humanitarian and International Business Management.

Ephrasie is currently a youth intern at the IPPF Africa Regional Office in Nairobi, Kenya. The objective of the 2016 youth internship program is to promote adolescents and young people as key agents for social change through leadership and innovative approaches for increased access to Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE). Here is some brief information on this emerging young leader.

Tell us more about yourself and how you joined IPPFAR’s Youth Action Movement (YAM)

I began advocating for the rights of teenagers when I was a member of the Children’s Parliament in my country. I worked as Regional President for the Bandama Valley and member of the national team that drafted the “White Paper” in 2008 for the institutionalization of children's parliament.

My first contact with the IPPFAR Member Association in my country -Association Ivoirienne pour le Bien-Etre Familial (Ivorian Association for Family Welfare-AIBEF) was in 2006 through a contest at my high school called “Fidel and Abstinia”. Fidel and Abstinia is an initiative designed to educate students about teenage pregnancies, and responsible behaviour.

In 2008, I became chairperson of the school health club in Bouaké. I was then contacted by the Bouaké regional antenna that was implementing the SHIFT project, and went on to hold the positions of Regional President twice, the position of National Vice-President and then national president.

Also Read: Popular Radio Presenter and YAM Member's Motivation for SRHR Work Inspired by Family Loss

Where does your passion for youth Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) come from?

My passion for the SRHR of adolescents and young people was heightened by an unfortunate event in 2012. I had a close friend who sadly died from complications of an unsafe abortion. This, coupled with the various reproductive health challenges that women face, inspired me to take action with hope of creating change in my community and wider society.

I continue to participate in various SRHR advocacy programs, the latest project being one that advocates for the empowerment of girls and rural women.

What sparked your interest in the IPPF Africa Region internship program?

I got interested in it because as a student, it offered me the opportunity and privilege to work in an international organization and learn about the different workings of such an institution. This is a great chance for me and any other young person –one that truly cannot be missed!

My expectations of the program are that it will enhance my project writing and management skills, and that I will be able to mobilize the necessary resources for successful project implementation, and that I will be able to develop projects that will effect change in my community.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years I see myself leading a mining business in Africa and at the same time an influential figure in Africa regarding advocacy for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.

Also Read: Meet Adama Dicko, the Youth Action Movement Africa Region Chairperson

Source: International Planned Parenthood Federation