Loading

28 September fund grassroots advocacy to #Makeunsafeabortionhistory

Access to safe abortion choices and post-abortion care is a fundamental human right.

Around the world, billions of people are denied the choice to have a safe abortion due to legal restrictions, medical regulations and widespread stigma - especially in the Global South.

  • Regardless of legal status, the abortion rate across countries remains equal. Estimates from 2010 to 2014 showed that around 45% of all abortions were unsafe, the majority taking place in developing countries
  • Around 7 million women are admitted to hospitals every year in developing countries as a result of unsafe abortion
  • 23,000 women die every year from unsafe abortion and between 4.7% – 13.2% of maternal deaths can be attributed to unsafe abortion*

Funding safe abortion advocacy makes sense. According to data from the World Health Organization, the annual cost of treating major complications from unsafe abortion is estimated at USD 553 million. Improving access to safe abortion services would cut the cost burden of unsafe abortion on global healthcare systems by 10-fold.

AmplifyChange grantees remove barriers to safe abortion in some of the most challenging contexts.

Grassroots civil society organisations (CSOs) offer the best solution for achieving lasting change and impact within their communities. They demonstrate that local, southern-led activism can change laws, strengthen health systems, transform social norms, and make abortion safe, dignified and available for all. Their work ranges from campaigning to remove legal and policy barriers, supporting the expansion of post abortion care, sharing information about safely using medical abortion, and providing access to telemedicine and hotlines. In short, their work saves lives.

Since 2015, we have supported 137 organisations across 42 countries, totalling £27,462,180. The majority of organisations supported are small-to-medium civil society groups.

We are one of the largest investors in safe abortion advocacy in the Global South, where laws and stigma are especially restrictive. Our grantees are changing the debate and addressing abortion stigma – but the demand and urgent need for funding is greater than the supply

Local CSOs are overlooked for funding

Rather than funding being channelled into new initiatives, we would like to see donors supporting organisations who have already established networks or made an impact on improving policies and support for safe abortion within their communities.

How can I help?

AmplifyChange is a platform for civil society groups to access funding and support for sexual and reproductive health and rights advocacy, including safe abortion. Our priorities for the future to make unsafe abortion history are

  • Focusing on local CSOs already doing work: Continue flexible funding to support grassroots abortion work in restrictive settings
  • Build stronger civil society networks: Strengthening linking and learning opportunities between organisations, including digital platforms, creates more resilient movements for change.
  • Strengthening safe abortion advocacy at scale: Building partnerships with emerging and key leaders in abortion rights advocacy and funding to encourage more resilient movements

For more information on how you can support AmplifyChange grantees’ safe abortion advocacy work, please contact us enquire@amplifychange.org

These organisations need funding to #makeunsafeabortionhistory.

Watch the films below to find out why.

Generation Initiative for Women and Youth Network (GIWYN)

Generation Initiative for Women and Youth Network (GIWYN) is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation based in Nigeria.

GIWYN’s work is based on the principle that every woman and youth has the right to the highest standard of living, safe reproductive choices, high quality health care, and an enabling environment that promotes their fundamental human, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

GIWYN established the MS Rosy Hotline and is a founding member of the MAMA Network, a regional collective of SRHR hotline providers. The Network is active across Africa, sharing evidence-based and stigma-free information about self-managed medical abortion and SRHR directly with women at the community level. The hotlines share best practices and training support between members.

GIWYN are a leader in the National Coalition for Reproductive Justice in Nigeria to improve access to SRHR, especially access to safe abortion. They lead community trainings in Nigeria and Cameroon on safe abortion.

"Funding grassroots civil society organizations will strengthen their capacity to promote health equality, empower poor and vulnerable women to exercise their rights, make meaningful decisions about their bodies (such as the right to choose when and if to have children or not), and radically improve women’s health and wellbeing."

-SYBIL NMEZI, GENERATION INITIATIVE FOR WOMEN AND YOUTH NETWORK

The Centre for Solutions Journalism (CSJ)

The Centre for Solutions Journalism (CSJ) is a non-profit human rights media organisation based in Malawi. Their mission is to promote enjoyment of human rights amongst Malawians from all backgrounds. CSJ promotes human rights through media advocacy, civic education, community outreach programmes and stakeholder engagement.

CSJ advocates for the right to safe abortion access in Malawi in partnership with other members of the Coalition for the Prevention of Unsafe Abortion. Over the past year, CSJ has mobilised a network of pro-choice religious leaders to act as allies in advocating for the adoption of the Termination of Pregnancy (ToP) Act. As an influential media partner, CSJ produces newspaper articles and broadcast television programs aimed at educating the public about the ToP bill, as well as sharing the views of religious allies.

"Funding grassroots civil society is crucial for ending unsafe abortion. Law reforms come as a result of demands made by people in the communities. We appeal to donors to continue funding small organisations. Their support makes a huge positive impact on the lives of many people."

-BRIAN LIGOMEKA, THE CENTER FOR SOLUTIONS JOURNALISM

Réseau d'Afrique Centrale pour la Santé Reproductive des Femmes (GCG)

Le Réseau D'Afrique Centrale pour la Santé Reproductive des Femmes (GCG) advances access to reproductive rights for women and girls in Gabon and Cameroon

Since 2008, GCG has been involved in reducing maternal mortality by training providers in post-abortion care in rural areas (across 3 borders of Gabon, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea) as well as in major cities (Douala, Ebolowa, Libreville, Lambaréné). They promote the importance of sexual agency, encouraging women and youth to take a stand for their rights. Their work strengthens access to reproductive health and rights through discussion groups, radio animations and school visits. They specialise in collecting data on the ground to raise awareness about the realities of young women's and girls' reproductive health choices.

"Funding for grassroots civil society organisations is critical to ending unsafe abortion because it enables us to provide concrete and immediate solutions to make a difference and save lives. Legal reform is slow and laws in our context do not guarantee access to services. We find direct mobilisation of grassroots organisations more engaging and sustainable."

- AIMEE PATRICIA NDEMBI, LE RÉSEAU D'AFRIQUE CENTRALE POUR LA SANTÉ REPRODUCTIVE DES FEMMES (GCG)

Nifin'Akanga

Nifin'Akanga is a pro-choice feminist movement working against eliminating all forms of violence against women, advocating first and foremost for the decriminalisation of abortion in Madagascar.

The legislation in force in Madagascar prohibits abortion under any circumstances. Women are forced to have illegal abortions in unsafe conditions, leading to disastrous consequences for their health. The penalisation of abortion constitutes a violence against women.

Nifin'Akanga advocates for the decriminalisation of abortion, particularly for therapeutic or medical reasons, in cases of rape or incest. This advocacy work is accompanied by actions of awareness raising and information for behaviour change to stop the stigmatisation of women who seek abortion services. These two actions are done together because they are the first step in the fight for access to safe abortion.

Nifin'Akanga recently conducted a study on the reality of clandestine abortion practices in Madagascar to highlight the impacts of the restriction on access to safe abortion on Malagasy women and girls.

Nifin'Akanga advocates for:

  • Systemic change via legislative amendment or creation, so that abortion is legal in Madagascar by 2023
  • Change in society, which should be protective of women and not perpetrators of violence in all its forms

For the full version of this documentary and more information on Nifin'Akanga's work, visit their YouTube channel.

"In Madagascar, Nifin'Akanga is the only feminist movement working for the decriminalisation of abortion. Donor funding will help strengthen the gains and accelerate the progress already made by the movement to change the law."

-NIFIN'AKANGA, MADAGASCAR

The Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law - Sierra Leone (CARL-SL)

The Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law - Sierra Leone (CARL-SL) is an independent local organisation of human rights and civil society activists committed to promoting human rights through accountability and effective administration of the rule of law.

CARL is an active and leading player in the nationwide advocacy efforts for ensuring the realisation of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) among vulnerable sections of the population in Sierra Leone. CARL is the secretariat for the main SRHR advocacy coalition in Sierra Leone, the People’s Alliance for Reproductive Health Advocacy (PARHA). PARHA is currently leading the campaign on the proposed “Safe Motherhood and Reproductive Health (SMRH) Bill", which decriminalises abortion.

"Grassroot organisations represent the best hope of driving legal reforms for increased access to sexual and reproductive health rights, including safe abortion. In addition to their ability to mobilise communities and traditional leaders, they are also able to engage at the national level with policy and law makers. We have come a long way in our collective efforts to get a safe abortion law, and the cost of withdrawing support from local groups would be extremely huge, especially for women and girls. The government has responded to the call of grassroots organisations, public expressing its commitment to move forward with the Safe Motherhood bill (making provision for safe abortion). Grassroot organisations will need resources to continue working with the government on this, whilst at the same time engaging the various actors whose support - or at least non-opposition - is needed to pass the bill into law."

-IBRAHIM TOMMY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR ACCOUNTABILITY AND RULE OF LAW (CARL) - SIERRA LEONE

This page was created in support of our grantees for 28 September International Safe Abortion Day by AmplifyChange. We are a fund to break the silence on sexual and reproductive health and rights. To find out more, visit amplifychange.org or contact us enquire@amplifychange.org