Parliamentary Network E-News

Volume 14
No. 1
February, 2020

FIGO Advancing Abortion in Ten African Countries, Panama and Peru

The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) is supporting Member Societies in Benin, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Panama, Peru, Uganda and Zambia in efforts to increase access to abortion.
FIGO reports that new research in these countries reveals the 'challenges and opportunities' and report laments pro-life advocacy in the countries and the Trump administration' s global pro-life health policy. It states, "In some countries opposing actors were powerful, with the capacity to mobilize public opposition, while pro safe abortion actors were not always outspoken or unified. Respondents in Benin, Zambia, Kenya, Uganda, Panama, and Peru mentioned that international political developments also influenced local politics. The reinstatement of the global gag rule for example had not only enforced the fear of losing United States funding, but also strengthened the opposing actors."
The research focused on widely-held beliefs that abortion is morally wrong which FIGO labeled "stigma around abortion" acknowledging that it "is a global phenomenon and was mentioned to be present in all countries at the individual, community, organizational, and political level, including among healthcare providers..."
FIGO continued, "Stigma was sometimes described as a stronger barrier to safe abortion care than the legal and political context. The social construction of stigma varied across countries, though it was generally based on social and gender perceptions, underscored by cultural and religious norms."
"Abortion stigma remains a common and crosscutting issue and is present at all levels from individual to community and national level. The various views and barriers to constructively discuss abortion among their members affects the potential role of ObGyn societies in safe abortion advocacy, as they often struggle to raise an institutional voice on abortion."
FIGO recommends that all its 132 national member organizations work to counter "the stigma of abortion" and first hold an internal discussion on how to work to advance access to abortion and how to interact with civil society, other medical bodies and the political environment.
In the ten targeted countries, FIGO believes that ob-gyn member associations in these countries who have strong research skills and "experience engaging as technical advisors on safe abortion" who could help develop national abortion guidelines. FIGO will support the 10 National Member Societies until 2022.

Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues
Advancing global respect and dignity for life through law and policy.

In This Double Issue

US: Pro-Life Strong 47 Years after Legalization of Abortion on Demand
March for Life
President Trump and the Trump Administration
US Congress
States: A Battleground for Abortion Laws
US Supreme Court
Defending Life
Ireland: Pro-Life Lawmakers Re-elected
Focus on the United Nations
UN Women: Advancing Abortion in the Name of Equality 
International Pressure for Abortion
Ipas: Promoting Access to Abortion in Kenya and Nigeria
Doctors Without Borders Provides Online Abortion Instructions 
FIGO Advancing Abortion in Ten African Countries, Panama and Peru
European Funding for Abortion, Fears Over US Pro-Life Administration
SheDecides Recognizes MPs Promoting Abortion
Legislative News
Mexico: Abortion bill defeated in State of Hidalgo
EU: Workshop for European Parliament Staff Focuses on Strategies to Promote Reproductive Rights
EU: Nordic MEPs Send Trump Letter Protesting Mexico City Policy
India: Proposed Bill Will Expand Access to Abortion
Isle of Man: Parliament Kills Assisted Suicide Measure
Judicial News
Colombia: Challenge to Legal Abortion
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