Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Expand access to safe abortion

London, Oct. 23, 2007 (NAN): Expanding access to safe abortion around the world formed the agenda for the opening ceremony of the Global Abortion Conference today in London.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that not less than 800 delegates, made of public health experts, government representatives and women's health advocates from 60 countries around the world are at the global meeting.

Mr Dana Hovig, Chief Executive of Marie Stopes International (MSI) who opened the conference said that the purpose of the global meeting was to build a momentum around the appalling toll on women's health and lives caused by unsafe abortion.

The organisers of the Conference, MSI, Ipas and Abortion Rights, all NGos working to promote women's reproductive health and rights, called for increased access to safe abortion services, recognised women's
right to self-determination in exercising their reproductive choices, and encouraged efforts to secure legal reform.

Christine McCafferty, a member of the British Parliament, chair of the All Party Group on Population, Development and Reproductive Health, who chaired the opening ceremony, said that the unsafe abortion.
was a tragedy.

``The tragedy of unsafe abortion is still greater given that we have the technology to prevent almost all of the these deaths resulting from unsafe abortion. we cannot sweep it under the carpet.''

Hovig told NAN that attention to the need for governments and donors to significantly increase their investment in making comprehensive sex education, contraception and safe abortion more widely accessible.

``All around the world especially in the poorest countries, unsafe abortion kills women and girls solely because they lack access to safe abortion care, of all the causes of maternal mortality, unsafe abortion is the easiest to prevent.

``It is time for governments and donors to step up and make resources available,'' the MSI Chief Executive said.

Ipas President, Elizabeth Maguire, told NAN that the continuing death toll and injury from unsafe abortion
was a moral outrage and a gross violation of women's basic human rights.

``How many more poor women and girls must suffer or die before we start taking action?'' she asked.


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