Global Day of Action for Legal and Safe Abortion

Global Action Day for Access to Legal and Safe Abortion also known as the Day for Decriminalization and Legalization of Abortion is celebrated on September 28 of each year convened by women’s groups and the feminist movement to demand their governments decriminalize the Abortion and facilitate access to abortion in order to prevent millions of women in the world from continuing to die from unsafe abortion .

The initiative began in 1990 on the V Latin American and Caribbean Feminist and the call has been extended internationally been undertaken by international and local networks in many countries in Europe , one Africa , Asia and Nortemérica . 2 According to data from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), eight per cent of the world’s women’s deaths are due to unsafe abortions . 3


On May 28, 1987, the organizations attending the Fifth International Meeting on Women and Health held in San José, Costa Rica, including the Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Health Network (RSMLAC) , the World Network of Women for Reproductive Rights and dozens Of people dedicated to the topic of health and women, approved to institute the International Day of Action for Women’s Health 4 as a reminder to address the multiple causes of illness and death that affect women. It was also decided to launch a campaign denouncing maternal mortality and morbidity. 5 In 1988 , the Campaign for the Prevention of Morbidity and Maternal Mortality, coordinated by the World Network of Women for Reproductive Rights, RMMDR, and the Health Network, was commemorated for the first time on May 28 . 6

It was estimated that each year die more than half a million women mostly in developing countries from causes related to pregnancy , childbirth , postpartum and abortion unsafe , really shocking -denuncia Health Network – which was not addressed with political will by governments And responsible agencies. Among the priorities was to seek mechanisms to reduce the number of deaths, many of them due to unsafe abortions . 7


1990 V Latin American Feminist Encounter

The decision to declare September 28 as the Day for the Right to Abortion of Women in Latin America and the Caribbean later known as the Day of Global Action for Legal and Safe Abortion was taken at the V Latin American and Caribbean Feminist Meeting held In San Bernardo , Argentina , from November 18 to 24, 1990, at the Workshop on Abortion, organized by the Commission for the Right to Abortion in Argentina and by Catholics for the Right to Decide in Uruguay and with the participation of feminists from Bolivia , Brazil , Colombia , Chile , El Salvador , Guatemala , Mexico , Nicaragua , Paraguay and Peru, 8 taking into account that complications caused by unsafe and clandestine abortion constitute the first cause of mortality among women in many countries of the region. 1

The proposal of the day was presented by the Brazilian delegation in commemoration of the 28 of September of 1871 day that was enacted in Brazil the Freedom of Bellies why all children born of slave women born was considered free from Of that day of approval of the law. Referring to Fig.



In a meeting promoted by the Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Health Network and coordinated by Catholics for the Right to Decide (CDD), the Regional Coordination was created: 1993 – 1994 Catholics for the Right to Decide (Uruguay) 8


Coordination: GIRE (Mexico)


Colombia 2009. Manfest for the right to decide

Coordination: CIDEM (Bolivia)

2000 – 2002

Coordination: National Feminist Health Network (Brazil)

2003 – 2005

Coordination: Center for Peruvian Women “Flora Tristan” (Peru)

2006 – 2009

Coordination: Autonomous Movement of Women (Nicaragua)


After more than a decade in which the protest activities focused on Latin America and the Caribbean from 2009 the campaign began to spread throughout Europe. In Spain women’s organizations chose September 28 to claim a change in the abortion law that was finally achieved and later as a day of struggle to avoid a modification and cuts in it. 10 In Africa campaigns in countries like Ghana were also initiated. 2


The Campaign is made up of organized women from 19 countries and 5 Regional Networks.

Among the objectives are: 8

  • Strengthening research, analysis and theoretical debate
  • Strengthen networks of feminist and women’s organizations to improve coordination
  • To promote new alliances that allow to join sectors to the fight against religious fundamentalisms, from the identification of common interests in the areas of health, democratic institutions, secularism, sexual diversity, human rights and other issues.
  • Make more use of international jurisprudence on sexual rights and reproductive rights.
  • Feminist organizations and networks should draw the attention of cooperation agencies
  • Progress of the regional movement in the definition of longer-term strategies


In 2011, the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WPRWR), a historic international organization created in 1984 to defend women’s sexual and reproductive rights, is taking over and embracing the campaign. eleven


Special mention was made of the death in the Dominican Republic of Rosaura Almonte, known as Esperancita , a pregnant teenager whom the Dominican State denied the therapeutic abortion she urgently needed, since she suffered from leukemia. At the same time, the health system of that country uselessly delayed its treatment of chemotherapy to protect the product of gestation, which made the disease progressively accelerate until the known outcome. 12 13

The call was held in: 14

  • Latin America and the Caribbean: Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Chile, Uruguay and Haiti
  • Africa: Cameroon, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe
  • Asia: India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan
  • Middle East: Lebanon
  • Europe: Russia, Poland, Macedonia, Ukraine, Armenia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and Great Britain.
  • Australia / NZ: Australia and New Zealand
  • North America: Canada and the US


Increased international participation. fifteen

The French organization Osez le féminisme launches the campaign to collect signatures addressed to the Secretary General of the UN to request recognition of the right to abortion as a universal right. 16 in the frame of the campaign 28S My body is main 17


Angeles Álvarez political and feminist Spanish in the manifestation for the Day of Legal and Safe Abortion. Madrid September 28, 2014

Campaign of civil society organizations with a petition to the European Parliament to ensure respect for human rights standards on the subject of the right to safe and legal abortion. 18


With the support of international organizations and the work of local African women’s organizations the celebration was extended to countries such as Mozambique , Tanzania , Democratic Republic of Congo . 19 In France, the Minister of Social Affairs, Health and Women’s Rights announced a national abortion information telephone number and an information campaign for the day. twenty

Facts about unsafe abortion

See also: Unsafe abortion

In 2012, the World Health Organization warned of unsafe abortion in developing countries: 21

  • Complications of miscarriage are one of the major causes of maternal death following bleeding or fatal infections.
  • Abortions by untrained staff or in settings without the minimum medical and hygiene resources endanger the lives and health of thousands of women each year, the UN agency said.
  • The incidence of unsafe abortions is much higher in countries where the practice is illegal because this restriction leads women to resort to clandestine instances.
  • In Latin America , 95% of abortions are unsafe , a proportion that did not change between 1995 and 2008. Almost all safe procedures took place in Cuba , where abortion is legal and women can freely choose abortion.
  • According to the WHO, until 2008, the global abortion rate was 28 per thousand women, a figure that has remained virtually unchanged since 2003. The percentage of unsafe abortions increased by 5%, to 49%, in the period 1995-2008, a period during which the number of abortions in developing countries increased from 78% to 86%.

Other data:

Legal status of abortion in the world (2013)
  • Every day 55,000 unsafe abortions take place worldwide, 95 percent in developing countries, which are responsible for one in eight maternal deaths. (2002) Source: REPEM. 22
  • Worldwide, for every seven births, an unsafe abortion is performed. Induced abortion-clandestinely and unsafe conditions-is responsible for one in three maternal deaths in the region and approximately 800,000 hospitalizations per year.
  • International organizations in defense of human rights point out that access to safe and legal abortion can save lives and facilitate the equality of women. Women’s decisions on abortion do not only relate to their bodies in abstract terms but, in broader terms, are related to their human rights inherent to their status as a person, their dignity and privacy adds Human Rights Watch . 2. 3
  • There are different levels of abortion penalty in the world, but it has been shown that the existence of more or less abortions is not related to the penalty, since there are countries where abortion is totally permitted and abortions are minimal proportion.
  • According to analysis by the World Health Organization, the risk of maternal death is four times higher in adolescents under 16 years of age than in women between the ages of 20 and 30. Other physical and mental health problems are also significantly higher among young girls with early and unwanted pregnancies. 24


  1. ↑ Jump to:a b «September 28: Global Day of Action for Legal, Safe and Free Abortion» . . Consulted the 23 of August of 2016 .
  2. ↑ Jump to:a b «Global Day of access to legal abortion launched» . Ghana News Agency (in English) . September 28, 2015 . Accessed August 24, 2016 .
  3. Back to top↑ “Progress of Latin American governments is not reflected in the right to abortion” . . Consulted the 23 of August of 2016 .
  4. Back to top↑ Valenzuela, Monserrat Salas; Franco, José Luis Torres (January 1, 2004). Sexual and reproductive health in the Federal District: an exercise of responsibility between the government and civil society . Plaza and Valdes. ISBN 9789707223288 . Accessed August 24, 2016 .
  5. Back to top↑ “International Day of Action for Women’s Health 2014” . Pan American Health Organization . Accessed August 25, 2016 .
  6. Back to top↑ «May 28: International Day of Action for Women’s Health -» . . Accessed August 24, 2016 .
  7. Back to top↑ «May 28. International Day of Action for Women’s Health. 1987 – 2007 Two decades of struggle for the health of women » . . Accessed August 24, 2016 .
  8. ↑ Jump to:a b c «SEPTEMBER 28 CAMPAIGN» . Sexual and Reproductive Rights Health Forum (in Spanish from Spain) . February 11, 2011 . Accessed August 24, 2016 .
  9. Back to top↑ «Campaign for the Decriminalization of Abortion in Latin America and the Caribbean. (Campaign September 28) . National Network of Women . Consulted the 23 of August of 2016 .
  10. Back to top↑ Country, Editions The (September 28, 2014). “Thousands of people celebrate the withdrawal of the abortion law and the farewell of Gallardón .” Accessed August 24, 2016 .
  11. Back to top↑ «September 28 Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion | WGNRR ‘ . . Accessed August 24, 2016 .
  12. Back to top↑ «RSMLAC DECLARATION – SOLIDARITY CASE HOPE» . . Accessed August 24, 2016 .
  13. Back to top↑ Español, By CNN on (August 17, 2012). «Pregnant Dominican girl dies amid debate on abortion» . CNNEspañ . Accessed August 24, 2016 .
  14. Back to top↑ «Report from 2012 – Safe Abortion: Women’s Right» . . Accessed August 25, 2016 .
  15. Back to top↑ “International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion 2013” . Safe Abortion Womens Right (in English) . 2013 . Accessed August 25, 2016 .
  16. Back to top↑ «Pour la légalisation universelle de l’avortement» . Avaaz . Accessed August 25, 2016 .
  17. Back to top↑ «My Body Is Mine (MBIM) | Center Hubertine Auclert . . Accessed August 25, 2016 .
  18. Back to top↑ «Parlement Européen: Veuillez assure l’accès à l’avortement légal et sûr pour chaque femme dans l’UE» . (in French) . Retrieved on August 24, 2016 .
  19. Back to top↑ Pathfinder Joins Global Day of Action for Access to Safe, Legal Abortion . . Accessed August 24, 2016 .
  20. Back to top↑ «Journée mondiale pour le droit à l’avortement le 28 septembre: Marisol TOURAINE annonce de la création d’une national d’information sur l’IVG et lance une campagne de communication – Ministère des Familles, de l’Enfance et Des Droits des femmes » . . Accessed August 24, 2016 .
  21. Back to top↑ United Nations News Service. «UN News Center – WHO warns on rising unsafe abortions in developing countries». United Nations News Service . Accessed August 24, 2016 .
  22. Back to top↑ «Democracy and abortion» . . Accessed August 24, 2016 .
  23. Back to top↑ Human Rights Watch (2005). “International Law of Human Rights and Abortion in Latin America” . Accessed August 25, 2016 .
  24. Back to top↑ Spain, Amnesty International. “Draconian abortion laws kill women .” . Accessed August 24, 2016 .