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 ACTION ALERT

#AbortionStigma and Young People



Countdown to #Sept28: 19 days to go!
 
3 Easy Ways to Get Involved in September 28
1. Speak out against #AbortionStigma through the September 28 Virtual Mural 2.0 .

Take example from the Nepalese youth activists who submitted a short video clip on #AbortionStigma.


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2. Sign up for the September 28 Thunderclap
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3. Endorse the September 28 Manifesto
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And for ideas on ways in which you can mobilize and advocate at your local level, check out our video compiling September 28 actions in 2013, as well as this year’s TOOLKIT!
Abortion Stigma and Young People
At 1.8 billion, young people aged 10-24 are currently the largest youth generation in human history, 90% of whom live in developing countries.[1] Many of these married or unmarried young people are engaged in sexual activity, whether forced or consensual. Access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services has thus been increasingly recognized as critical for the health and overall wellbeing of young people. However, despite international commitments[2] and recommendations of human rights bodies,[3] young people still face a myriad of barriers in accessing SRH services, including access to safe abortion.

Many barriers to SRH services stem from the stigma associated with young people’s sexuality, as being sexually active before a certain age or outside marriage in many countries is often frowned upon, criticized, or even condemned. As such, the fear of shame, discrimination and public exposure often stops young people from accessing SRH services. Furthermore, young people in different countries have reported being turned away from such services, humiliated and shamed by healthcare providers for engaging and/or thinking of engaging in sexual activity, and being accused of “immorality” and eroding “traditional” values.
[4][5]

The stigma
surrounding young people’s sexuality, moreover, often intersects with the stigma surrounding abortion itself, placing young people at a markedly increased risk of human rights violations, ill health and even death. As a result of having little or no access to SRH information and services, young people experience unintended or unwanted pregnancies, as well as a heightened risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV.  Because of the intersecting stigmas surrounding both youth sexuality and abortion, in turn, when faced with an unintended pregnancy adolescent girls and young women are more likely than adults to delay undertaking an abortion, resort to unskilled persons to perform it, use dangerous methods, or put off accessing health services when complications arise.[6]

The stigmas surrounding youth sexuality and abortion are further exacerbated by legislators issuing laws and regulations requiring parental and/or spousal consent for youth to access SRH services, including abortion, placing such services even further out of reach for young people. As a result, every year 3 million adolescents girls and young women aged 15-19 have unsafe abortions, which account for 40% of all unsafe abortions worldwide, making unsafe abortion a major contributor to mortality rates and long-term health problems among young people. [7][8]

Forced pregnancy violates young people’s human rights and places their physical and mental health and wellbeing at great risk. Governments can and must take action to challenge and address the stigma surrounding young people’s access to safe abortion, and fulfill the right of all young people to have access to confidential, sensitive, and high-quality information and services for pregnancy termination, free of marital and/or parental consent requirements.

That young people in the 21st century continue to be forced to needlessly jeopardize their health, wellbeing and lives is deplorable and unjustifiable.  As such, join us this September 28 in calling on governments, legal institutions and UN agencies to eradicate stigma and misinformation surrounding abortion and young people’s sexuality, and fully ensure young people’s
human right to safe abortion!

 
Resources
  • Report to the Commission on Human Rights of the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (2004), Main focus: The rights to sexual and reproductive health, E/CN.4/2004/49.
  • Committee on the Rights of the Child, General comment No. 15 (2013) on the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health (art. 24), CRC/C/GC/15.
Join September 28 Action in
Latin America and the Caribbean!
ARGENTINA
On September 11th, in honour of September 28, el Centro de Estudios de Estado y Sociedad (CEDES) in partnership with el Grupo de Estudios sobre Sexualidades (GES) Instituto de Investigacion Gino Germani - UBA, will be presenting Mabel Bellucci's Historia de una desobediencia. Aborto y feminismo: Capital Intelectual, a 2014 publication exploring the struggles for the right to abortion in Argentina, from the 1970s until now. For more info in Spanish,
CLICK HERE.

Get inspired by CEDES and GES-IIGG-UBA and create your own September 28 activity! Speak out against abortion stigma and demand access to safe and legal abortion!
PLEASE SHARE YOUR INITIATIVES WITH US!!!
To report your planned or implemented action,
please go to

http://www.september28.org/contact-us/
Take on #TacoOrBeerChallenge!
The challenge is very simple and fun! You just have to eat some tacos and/or have a beer and donate for organisations/clinics helping individuals to access safe abortion.

Post pictures of you implementing this challenge on your social networks with a hashtag #TacoOrBeerChallenge or #DesafíodeTacoOCerveza. You can also challenge someone else to do the same and help to ensure women's access to safe and legal abortion!
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#TacoOrBeerChallenge is an initiative created by an American journalist Andrea Grimes. Although it is not a part of the September 28 Campaign, we highlight this initiative as a great example of an action in support of access to safe and legal abortion and encourage you take part in it.
Diverse Actions, Different Places, One Demand:

Access to Safe & Legal Abortion NOW!


www.september28.org
 

September 28 Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion forms part of the campaign activities undertaken by  International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion, that aims to build an international movement to promote universal access to safe, legal abortion as a women’s health and human rights issue. As part of the International Campaign Advisory Group, WGNRR leads the coordination of September 28 annual campaigning activities, conducted by Campaign and WGNRR members, as well as allies around the world. September 28 has been a regional campaign for decriminalisation of abortion in Latin America and Caribbean for nearly twenty years before being taken on by SRHR activists all over the world as a Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion in 2011.
[1] UNFPA (2013), Adolescent and Youth Demographics: A Brief Overview, retrieved 2 September 2014.
[2] Please see Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 24, ICPD Programme of Action, para 7.41-7.48.
[3] Please see Report to the Commission on Human Rights of the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health (2004), Main focus: The rights to sexual and reproductive health, E/CN.4/2004/49, Para. 39. Committee on the Rights of the Child, General comment No. 15 (2013) on the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health (art. 24), CRC/C/GC/15.
[4] Please see the story of Samuel, who upon accessing Kividea, a youth-serving organization in Tanzania, shared his experience in being unable to access SRH information and services.
[5] Please see the 2013 PostAbortion Care (PAC) Consortium video, Youth Voices on Post-Abortion Care, sharing young people’s perspectives from Nepal, Senegal, Zambia, Nigeria and Kenya on family planning, unintended pregnancy, postabortion care, and comprehensive health services for youth.
[6] The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) has showed concern by the fact that “[...] various factors, including limited availability of contraceptives, poor reproductive health education and the requirement of parental consent have resulted in an increasing number of illegal abortions among girls.” United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations: Kyrgyzstan, 24th Sess., para. 45, U.N.Doc.CRC/C/15/Add.127 (2000).
[8] WHO (2012), Adolescent Pregnancy, Fact sheet N°364, retrieved 3 September 2014.
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