Joint civil society statement on Abortion at the 51st session of the Human Rights Council

A frame with a textured background. text: full decriminalisation. no legal restrictions. safe abortion for all. sign the HRC 51 joint civil society statement on abortion

Thank you, President. 

We recognise International Safe Abortion Day, and we celebrate civil society and feminist movements around the world for their courageous advocacy and activism that has resulted in the liberalisation of abortion laws in more than 58 countries since 1994.  We remind states that being forced to keep an unintended pregnancy amounts to torture and is in contravention to the letter and spirit of the Vienna Declaration. 

The trend of decriminalisation, provision of access to self-managed abortions and removing unnecessary legal restrictions to abortion services should continue until all persons can secure their right to bodily autonomy without discrimination. Any regression, such as recently experienced in the US, is an outlier and should be strongly condemned by the international community. 

We welcome the 2022 WHO Abortion Care Guideline that recommends the full decriminalisation of abortion, universal access to abortion and self-management options. Many states continue to undermine the fulfilment of human rights by denying bodily autonomy, criminalising abortion, lacking clear standards and guidelines on safe abortion, imposing third-party authorisation and denying lifesaving health services.

The human rights framework can only remain relevant if the right to bodily autonomy is ensured for all. It is the only way forward to make the ideas of Vienna a reality today.

Thank you. 


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