Implementing ICPD Recommendations for Safe and Accessible Abortion: Results of a Global Survey

Leila Hessini, Ipas
Lucia Rayas, Independent Consultant
Charlotte H. Smith, Ipas
Daniela Draghici, Ipas

At the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), the international community recognized unsafe abortion as a major public health concern, and, for the first time, governments at the highest levels agreed on a recommendation that where abortion is legal, it should be safe. In 1999, at a UN Special Session, they extended this recommendation, calling on health systems to ensure that abortion is safe and accessible to the extent the law allows. This paper presents the findings of a survey of over 60 key informants from about 20 countries across four regions - Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe - on the implementation of these recommendations. In-depth interviews were conducted with officials of governments and international organizations, and representatives of NGOs and professional associations concerned with health and women's legal and human rights. Issues addressed in the interviews include changes in national policies and in access to safe abortion services, postabortion care, and contraception.

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Presented in Session 135: Abortion I