Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights envisions a world where everyone has the information and resources they need to make decisions over their sexual and reproductive health, including access to safe abortion. Today, September 28, is International Safe Abortion Day, a day to stand together and make one clear demand–access to safe abortion now!
For decades, activists have worked tirelessly to ensure people in Canada can access safe abortion care—and we’re still at it! Although Canada has enshrined abortion within our healthcare system since abortion was decriminalized over 30 years ago, there are still many barriers to abortion across the country. Abortion can be hard or even impossible to access, especially for people who are migrant workers, international students, who are unhoused or precariously housed, living in rural or remote areas, or who can’t afford to pay for the uncovered costs of travel, childcare, or time off work.
But, we can’t fight for safe abortion access here at home without advocating for a more just and equitable world for all. In fact, an estimated 35 million unsafe abortions take place globally every year, usually as a result of anti-abortion laws and policies that restrict safe abortion services.
That’s why Action Canada advocates for sexual and reproductive health and rights on the global stage at the Human Rights Council (HRC). We’re a member of the Sexual Rights Initiative (SRI), a coalition of national & regional organizations based in Canada, Poland, India, Egypt, and Argentina that work together to advance human rights related to sexuality at the United Nations. With the SRI we:
- Deliver statements and recommendations on sexual and reproductive health and rights, including abortion, sex workers rights, racial discrimination in healthcare, and more.
- Support civil society organizations around the world in participating in human rights processes, such as the Universal Periodic Review, where every country is reviewed on its human rights record.
- Co-host panels and informational events about SRHR topics during Human Rights Council sessions.
Together, we can build a more just and equal world and ensure sexual and reproductive health and rights for everyone, everywhere. Let’s work towards a future where everyone has control over their sexuality, reproduction, and gender–including access to safe abortion.