Since 2017, SRI has led the mobilization of civil society groups on International Safe Abortion Day at the UN Human Rights Council in support of a joint statement on abortion. While there has been steady improvement in the recognition of abortion as a right in resolutions, it continues to be viewed by many states as a ‘contested’ or ‘sensitive’ issue. The gains made at the Council are largely due to consistent advocacy by civil society organisations and advocates. In addition to engaging in the resolution-making process, feminist civil society groups have also used the Council agenda to deliver statements calling for universal access to abortion.
A core group comprising Center for Reproductive Rights, the Association for Women’s Rights in Development, CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Ipas, the International Service for Human Rights, the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, the Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women, MSI Reproductive Choices and the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education collaborate to draft the statement.
The statement is available in multiple languages and is shared widely with SRHR networks for endorsement. Every year the number, geographic spread and range of organisations signing on increases -from 285 organisations in 2017 to 425 organisations and 459 individuals in 2022.