The Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion is 28 September. The Day is a key component of the International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion, which is intended to promote universal access to safe and legal abortion as a health issue and human right.
We support the Campaign because safe and legal abortion has many benefits — it decreases women’s chances of death or disability due to pregnancy- or childbirth-related complications; reduces the likelihood of women having dangerous, illegal abortions, which often result in death; and increases women’s ability to work outside of the home, pursue education and participate in public life.
Unintended pregnancies generally occur among young women who lack financial, psychological and relationship resources. Unintended children thus often suffer in terms of health, education and future prospects and are more likely to engage in criminal and other antisocial behaviour.
The cost of an abortion is significantly lower than the cost of providing prenatal and antenatal medical care as well as the lifetime costs of caring for children. Illegal abortions generally are especially costly because they are unsafe and very often result in medical complications. In developing countries in which abortion is illegal postabortion medical care costs governments approximately US $800 million each year.
Every extra person increases our carbon footprint and demand for natural resources. Reducing the number of unintended children born can help to reduce resource depletion, abate carbon emissions and limit environmental degradation.
Simon Ross, chief executive of Population Matters, commented, “The campaign for universal access to safe and legal abortion is important because criminalised abortion limits women’s right to self-determination and threatens women’s health. It also harms society and the environment, as both suffer when women cannot decide whether and when they have children.”
There are many ways in which you can help to ensure that women throughout the world have access to safe and legal abortion. We urge you to do so.