Sexual and reproductive health organisations and advocates in over 50 countries will be mobilising on September 28 for the Global Day of Action for Access to Safe and Legal Abortion- a global mobilisation that seeks to decriminalise abortion, provide access to safe and affordable abortion services and end stigma and discrimination towards women who choose to have an abortion.

Originally a campaign in Latin America and the Caribbean for the past 20 years, September 28 became a global day of action starting in 2012 in recognition of the fact that access to safe and legal abortion continues to be denied to women around the world. Unsafe abortion is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality, accounting to 47,000 deaths every year or 13% of maternal deaths worldwide. Five million women are hospitalised each year for treatment of abortion-related complications. Nearly half of all abortions worldwide are unsafe, 98% of which occure in developing countries where poor women have the least resources and access to family planning, including safe abortion. All efforts to curb the high rates of maternal mortality (MDG5) will remain fruitless without addressing unsafe abortion. Highly restrictive abortion laws will not stop it, but will only force women to seek unsafe underground practices, putting their health and their lives at risk.

The theme for this year, as stated in the September 28 Manifesto Our Bodies, Our Future!, calls for an end to discrimination of women and girls, demands government to provide the right to safe and legal abortion, and pushes for the recognition of abortion rights within the post2015 development agenda. Signatures are currently being gathered from organisations and individuals to support the demands in the Manifesto.

WGNRR, one of the leading networks for the campaign, also launched a “selfie” campaign that encouraged SRHR organisations and advocates to submit their photos with the same message- why abortion should be safe and legal in their country. This selfie campaign culminated in a virtual mural that was launched today- a collage of photos and messages from all over the world that expresses peoples’ thoughts and feelings on abortion in a visual manner. The virtual mural and the gallery of photos are up on the  website and will be used in the various mobilisations- from a flash mob in Nepal to street demonstrations in Brazil.

There will also be a tweetathon using the hashtags #sept28 and #safeabortion.

Recognition of September 28 as a global campaign is an important step in consolidation and strengthening of the global movement for reproductive rights and justice. The mobilisation of women and supporters from all over the world on September 28 sends a strong message to both governments and society, of the strength and unity of a global movement that will stop at nothing to ensure that all women in the world live in dignity and enjoy their reproductive freedom.

To view the Virtual Mural project, click here

To sign on to the Manifesto, click here

To join the tweetathon, DM/Tweet @WGNRR

To access an overview of mobilisations, click here

The September 28 Global Day of Action is spearheaded by the Latin American Campaign for Decriminalisation of Abortion September 28, WGNRR , International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion, Asia Safe Abortion Partnership, ASTRA,  Ipas  and their regional and global partners. For more information, please get in touch with and check out


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