Every ten minutes a woman dies because of an unsafe abortion.
More than 20 million women all around the world end their pregnancy in unsafe conditions each year because abortion is illegal in their country. These unsafe abortions cause the death of around 50,000 women a year; and 8 million more suffer temporary or definitive disabilities.
Prohibition of abortion does not produce any discouraging effect on voluntary terminations of pregnancy, as the World Health Organisation often reminded.
As medical doctors, we know and are directly facing the dangers and severe complications affecting millions of women. Therefore, we call for universal access to contraception and safe, legal abortion.
We commit today for every woman and every girl’s right to decide whether and when to have children without risking their lives.
In New York on 22nd September, during the General Assembly of the United Nations, an extraordinary session will be held about the follow-up to the ‘Programme of Action’ agreed upon 20 years ago in Cairo. It marked a decisive turning point in the recognition of sexual and reproductive rights.
On this occasion, we call on every State to take the necessary measures to eliminate the barriers impeding women to choose freely whether to have a child or not. Access to modern methods of contraception must be improved in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies and access to medical termination of pregnancy must be legalised.
We, doctors, as our 331 French colleagues in 1973, want contraception to be accessible for everyone everywhere in the world and we want freedom to choose abortion. The decision must belong entirely to women.The extraordinary session in New York on 22nd September will be an opportunity to commit again to the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) ‘Programme of Action’ held in Cairo in September 1994. In the Egyptian capital, Heads of States and governments agreed on these objectives among others for the beginning of the 21st century: universal access to family planning and to sexual and reproductive health services, gender equality, women’s empowerment and equal access to education.[gravityform id=”20″ title=”false” description=”false” ajax=”false”]