SafeHands Featured in Parliamentary Report

On 7 March 2018, the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Population Development and Reproductive Health launched a report on safe abortion entitled “Who Decides? We Trust Women” in the House of Commons. The report features one of SafeHands’ photographs taken in Bangladesh and provides recommendations to improve maternal mortality from unsafe abortions in the UK and globally.

The report emphasises that restrictive abortion laws do not decrease abortion rates. Instead, in countries with restrictive abortion laws, women are forced to turn to unsafe procedures, which are associated with higher maternal mortality and morbidity. In developing countries, between 8 - 18% of maternal mortality is due to unsafe abortions.

The APPG recommends that the UK decrease barriers - such as requiring two signatures from physicians – to access medical abortion, and that the UK decriminalise abortion in Northern Ireland. Currently, women in Northern Ireland that undergo abortions and those that assist them may face life imprisonment.

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At the global level, the report recommends access to safe abortion be available within the fullest extent of national laws;  support be offered to countries who seek to expand access to safe abortion; and increased funding for sexual and reproductive health and rights.

At SafeHands, we support the recommendations of the report for the right of women to be able to choose if and when to have a child. SafeHands worked closely with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in the production of Leading Safe Choices: Moving Mountains, filmed in Tanzania and South Africa.

Read the full report here

Nancy Durell Mckenna