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Putting women and girls first—standing up for comprehensive abortion care during COVID-19

A woman’s ability to decide if and when she has a child is her fundamental human right, and that right rests on her ability to obtain modern contraception and comprehensive abortion care. On this International Safe Abortion Day, Pathfinder pledges to continue supporting women to exercise this right—a right that is increasingly at risk during COVID-19.

Inhibiting access to comprehensive abortion care can be fatal for women and girls. Almost 70,000 women and girls die and 7 million are admitted to hospitals each year after undergoing unsafe abortion procedures—most in countries with restrictive abortion laws.

The shaming and blaming of women who have abortions in all cultures is an impediment to their seeking out the necessary post-abortion medical care to save their lives. At Pathfinder, we partner with governments to make the right decisions—those that put women and girls first and allow them to access the lifesaving health care they need.

Through our trusted relationships with local civil society organizations and ministries of health, we continue to help countries abide by their commitments to the Maputo Protocol. We must ensure that laws and systems are set up to protect the health of women and girls while we respond to COVID-19.

The health and lives of so many women and girls depend on it.