Policy makers in the United States continue to dictate “what’s best” for women’s health with zero regard for the women themselves. Meanwhile, the world’s women pay the price with their freedom and their lives.
Forty-one years after Roe v. Wade, we’re losing ground on the right to abortion, and what’s more, we’re exporting our regressive policies elsewhere.
The latest in global sexual and reproductive health news
Roe v. Wade Anniversary Calls for Redoubling of Support for Women’s Rights to Safe, Legal Abortion Worldwide
"Any primary health clinic that doesn't provide abortions is a missed opportunity," said Demet Güral, a physician and vice-president of programmes at Pathfinder International.
Even if women have access to contraception, there are always failure rates, says Güral, and it is essential they can access safe abortion if needed.
"Especially for youth; most are not married, they have a future. How can you talk about family planning for youth and not talk about abortion?
El Salvador Court's Decision to Deny Mother Life-Saving Abortion Unacceptable Violation of Human Rights
"Our main agenda item (at Women Deliver) is to focus on the countries in which we work. To ensure that the unmet need for family planning is something that's being addressed and learning how we can partner with others working in the same area. And also making sure we're highlighting young people." -Purnima Mane
Pathfinder has enabled six existing rural community health centers to provide additional sexual and reproductive health services, therefore preventing the necessity of long distance travel—for some. Perhaps the most impressive part of their work is the way Pathfinder ensures services are suited to youth.
Pathfinder by the Numbers in 2012: Over 5.6 Million Visits for Contraceptive Services, Nearly 3 Million Visits for Antenatal and Postpartum Care
What Mason found most remarkable about this year's winners is how well they all understand YouTube as a social platform.
"The videos are social, shareable, informative, entertaining and surprising. Multiple finalists collaborated with YouTube channels and creators to reach an even wider audience. Finally, the winners had a clear call to action outlining how to make a difference," she said.
Pathfinder Celebrates 40 Years of Roe v. Wade; Challenges for Access to Safe, Legal Abortion Worldwide Remain
Sarah O., a young mother in Ghana, is one woman who faced an impossible decision about her body and health. Already struggling to support six children, Sarah learned she was pregnant with a seventh. She traveled to a local clinic where she sought the advice and counsel of one of the nurses on staff, in confidence. The nurse did not think Sarah should end the pregnancy. When she was unable to convince Sarah to raise another child, the nurse told Sarah to carry the pregnancy to term and then she or one of the other nurses would adopt the child. Sarah left the clinic and returned home. A few days later, the staff at the clinic learned that Sarah had died from sepsis after attempting to terminate the pregnancy herself. This sad loss might have been avoided if Sarah had received appropriate counseling, nonjudgmental care, and had genuine access to her full range of options.
Pathfinder International Celebrates 39th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Calls Attention to Need for Increased Family Planning and Safe Abortions Worldwide
Various social trends can have an effect on abortion rates, the Lancet report states, though they are difficult to gather local data on, including more women entering the labor force, a rise in the age when women marry, or more sexual activity outside of marriage. The halt in the decline in the rate of global abortions could also be a result of stagnating levels of funding for international family planning, says Cathy Solter, Senior Fellow at Pathfinder International, a nonprofit focused on maternal health and education in developing countries.
The workshop, which attracted participants from the Upper West and Upper East Regions, treated topics such as, comprehensive abortion care, adult learning skills and youth-friendly abortion services, management of complications as well as overview and guiding principles including legal perspectives.
Dr. Akpablie explained that the NGO had increased its Comprehensive Abortion Care (CAC) services to those who really needed it, reaching out to young women, counseling and guiding them to make their own choices regarding their Reproductive Health.