|Safe Abortion Collaboration|
At the five-year review of the implementation of the International Conference on Population and Development’s Programme of Action (ICPD Plus Five, 1999), IWHC and our international colleagues were instrumental in working with governments to strengthen their commitment to implementing key elements of the initiative. The resulting document set much more specific and forceful objectives than its predecessor on reproductive health services, contraception, emergency obstetric care, HIV/AIDS and other STIs, and unsafe abortion.
Specifically with respect to abortion, the 179 governments present at ICPD Plus Five reached consensus on the following language: "In circumstances where abortion is not against the law, health systems should train and equip health-service providers and should take other measures to ensure that such abortion is safe and accessible. Additional measures should be taken to safeguard women's health."
To promote and facilitate implementation of this groundbreaking agreement, IWHC made key contributions to the design and development of a technical and policy guidance on safe abortion released by the World Health Organization (WHO). Published in June 2003, Safe Abortion: Technical and Policy Guidance for Health Systems covers clinical concerns, health system requirements, and legal and policy aspects of access to safe, legal abortion. WHO is translating the guidance into all official UN languages, and IWHC has supported its translation into Portuguese and Polish for use in Brazil, Mozambique, and Poland.
In cooperation with WHO, other international organizations, and our colleagues in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, we are currently helping to introduce the guidance to service providers, policymakers, and advocates in a range of countries and regions.
>>More about IWHC's commitment to expanding access to safe abortion