September 28

Background on the September 28: Global Campaign for the Decriminalisation of Abortion

 

September 28th marks the Latin American and Caribbean Campaign for the Decriminalization of Abortion. In an effort to address the public health crisis of unsafe abortion in Latin American, the September 28th Campaign was formed in 1990 at the Fifth Latin American and Caribbean Feminist Meeting, held in Argentina. This date was chosen in commemoration of the abolition of slavery in Brazil which is now remembered as the day of the "free womb" demanding for safe and legal abortion for all women. Although abortion is permitted under a limited set of circumstances such as rape and incest in many countries in this region, millions of women continue to suffer from unsafe abortion, risking their health and their lives.


Although the September 28 campaign originated and has a long history in Latin America and the Caribbean, it has enormous international relevance due to the fact that the majority of countries in the Developing South have equally restrictive abortion laws as in LAC region and in the light of the rising conservatism jeopardising access to safe and legal abortion in countries where abortion is currently legal.  Women’s access to abortion around the world is becoming increasingly restricted- violating their sexual and reproductive health rights and with great cost to their health as well as the health of their families and communities.

 

In the light of these local, national, regional, and international challenges the September 28  Campaign for the Decriminalisation of Abortion in Latin America and the Caribbean is critically important. This is why Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR), as an international network of over 300 grassroots organisations, networks and individuals around the world, worked in solidarity with, and at the request of, Latin American and the Caribbean organisers to support a global campaign for the decriminalisation of abortion worldwide. September 28: Global Campaign for the Decriminalisation of abortion is intended to be a multiyear campaign that will gradually expand year after year, involving members and partners around the world to advocate for reproductive justice and the decriminalisation of abortion.

 

 

 

September 28: Global Campaign for the Decriminalisation of Abortion

Today, September 28, marks the launch of the International Day of Action for September 28: Global Campaign for the Decriminalisation of Abortion.  September 28th, known as the Latin American and Caribbean Day of Action for the Decriminalisation Abortion, continues to be a day of vibrant activism in the region with women's organisations and their allies coming together to demand access to safe, legal, and affordable abortion free of stigmatisation and criminalisation.  The campaign was formed at the Fifth Latin American and Caribbean Feminist Meeting held in Argentina in 1990.  September 28th was chosen for the campaign as it was the day that slavery became illegal in Brazil, with many refering to it as the day of the "free womb."  Although abortion is permitted under a limited set of restrictions by most countries in the region, such as in cases of rape and incest, millions of women continue to undergo unsafe, illegal abortions with great risk to their lives. 

This year the September 28th Latin American and Caribbean Campaign is being joined by WGNRR members, partners, and networks in several countries across the world as part of the September 28: Global Campaign for the Decriminalisation of Abortion. Today, SRHR networks and organisations in Poland, Tanzania, Nigeria, Malaysia, Pakistan, Nepal, and Japan are mobilising in their communities and building awareness about the impact of restrictive abortion laws, lack of adequate abortion services, and barriers to accessing those services- all of which are violations of their human rights.

We invite the international community of SRHR activists to join the September 28: Global Campaign for the Decriminalisation of Abortion by sending solidarity letters to six countries that are in need of international support.  Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic continue to uphold the complete ban on abortion in any circumstances, even if it is necessary to save the life of the woman. Currently in Colombia 99% of abortions performed in the country remain illegal and occur in unsafe conditions despite Colombia's 2006 Constitutional Court ruling that legalised abortion in certain circumstances. Poland already has some of the strictest abortion restrictions in Europe and continues to run the risk of instigating a complete ban on abortion in all circumstances due to increasing conservative pressure. 

Show your solidarity and support with local, national, regional, and international struggles for reproductive justice:

1) Sign the solidarity letters for Poland and Latin America and the Carribean –  the letters are intended to the heads of states and the affiliated embassies/consulates of Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Dominican Republic and Colombia; the other is for the head of state and affiliated embassies/consulates of Poland.

2) Send the letters to the representatives of the six countries in separate emails. Dowload  the list of embassies and governments’ contact details. If the countries does not have diplomatic representation in your county, please use the general government/head of state email address mentioned at the top of each list for each country.

3) Please send a copy (cc) of your support signature to sept28global@wgnrr.org

Let us continue sending letters to governments whose countries have the most restrictive abortion laws for the NEXT FIVE DAYS to show our support for sexual and reproductive rights to be recognised and upheld as universal, indivisible human rights!

Recognise Reproductive Rights, Mobilise for Reproductive Justice!

Please circulate this call widely amounst your networks, allies, and communities.  We appreciate your support.