On September 28, advocates mobilized in over 50 countries for the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion. A flash mob in Indonesia, a pro-choice picnic in New Zealand, and a silent march in Kenya are examples of the variety of events organized by sexual and reproductive rights organizations and women’s advocacy groups around the world. They demanded an end to discrimination of women and girls, an end to stigma around abortion, and they called on governments to “uphold, protect, and fulfill women’s right to safe and legal abortion.”
According to the September 28 Campaign, statistics show that 47,000 women die each year from unsafe abortion, accounting for 13% of maternal deaths worldwide.The majority of deaths, 98% according to the Guttmacher Institute, occur in developing countries where modern family planning methods are the least accessible.
“What is needed is the political will on the part of the governments to ensure the right of women to decide on all aspects of their reproductive health, including the right to choose whether to continue or end pregnancy,” said Kathy Mulville, Executive Director of Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR), according to the campaign’s press release.
The September 28 mobilization also demanded the inclusion of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in the United Nation’s post-2015 goals. However, activists believe SRHR should go beyond maternal healthcare and reproductive health to cover a wider range of issues, such as access to contraceptives, sexual orientation and gender identity, and abortion rights, among others.