In recognition of International Safe Abortion Day (Sept 28), Amnesty International has released its updated institutional policy on abortion. We are also pleased to announce that the International Federation of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (FIGO) has endorsed the policy. To support  the roll-out of Amnesty International’s updated abortion policy, we have produced a press release, an explanatory note, ‘key messages’ and a Q & A about the policy. 

Amnesty International’s updated policy recognizes access to safe abortion as an essential component of a fair and equal society, and as integral to realising the full range of human rights. It further recognizes abortion, provided in a manner that respects human rights, autonomy, and dignity, as the right of anyone who can become pregnant. Amnesty International is calling for full decriminalization of abortion (removal of abortion from criminal and other punitive laws and policies and stop punishment of women, girls and all pregnant people, healthcare providers and others for obtaining, assisting with or providing abortion services), universal access to safe abortion, as early as possible and as late as necessary, and for provision of post-abortion care and evidence-based abortion-related information, among other things.  

Amnesty International’s policy update was undertaken, in part, to account for the significant evolution of international legal norms and standards around abortion in the past decade, and to better place the organization to challenge the full range of human rights violations due to criminalization of abortion, to advocate for removal of all barriers to safe abortion and to promote reproductive, gender and economic justice.  

The organization is hopeful that its updated abortion policy and supporting policy materials will be a useful resource for activists/advocates across movements.