Latin America and the Caribbean
Argentina - Asociación Civil por el Derecho a Decidir – CDD Argentina
In Argentina, the law on abortion is heavily restrictive, only allowing abortion in cases of risk to the life or health of the woman or in cases of rape. Despite a recent defeat to extend the law to allow abortion in more circumstances, the current law does, in theory, allow for legal abortion for a number of women who might suffer physical or mental ill health if forced to continue a pregnancy. However, these exceptions are only rarely implemented and the most vulnerable women are often denied legal abortion care.
In order to ensure that more women can access their right to safe legal abortion, Catholics for the Right to Decide Argentina (CDD Argentina) is working as part of a wider campaign advocating for changes to the law and for the implementation of the current laws. With this project, they will work with the general abortion campaign in the country while specifically amplifying and strengthening networks of young advocates campaigning in four Northern provinces of the country. They also plan to work with a network of lawyers and doctors to create a “feminist guard” who will provide legal and technical support to ensure that women who are legally entitled to safe abortion care can access their rights.
BRAZIL - ANIS – INSTITUTE OF BIOETHICS
Public debate on abortion in Brazil has been historically limited by religious based political conservatism. In a context in which religious fundamentalism gains momentum in politics, traditional feminist strategies to resist this, either by denying it or by challenging it relying mainly on evidence-based arguments, have proven not to be enough to advance abortion rights as human rights.
This project aims to propose a comprehensive new methodology to counteract anti-choice claims, not by denying them, but by inaugurating a counter-frame on abortion rights, in legal and communication terms, with a clear moral and narrative stance against the reproductive coercion of women. This new frame will facilitate the coalition with a diverse range of human rights organizations, beyond those of traditional feminism, in the advocacy struggle for decriminalizing abortion in Brazil.
CHILE - FUNDACIÓN COLECTIVO ALQUIMIA FONDO PARA MUJERES
Despite successful advocacy on the part of civil society organisations having achieved a proposed change to the draconian Chilean abortion law that banned the procedure under all circumstances, there are still legal hurdles to overcome before the new law is implemented. Even with a positive legal change, many women will continue to undergo unsafe abortions in the country and abortion remains a highly stigmatised issue which is regularly attacked by a well-funded and vocal anti-choice movement.
Fondo Alquimia hopes to contribute to reducing the social stigma related to abortion, and in this way to change institutional norms and practices that punish the reproductive autonomy of women while strengthening the sustainability and safety of feminist groups and networks in Chile.
COLOMBIA - THIS PROJECT HAS ASKED TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS
Despite a 2006 Constitutional Court ruling in Colombia that decriminalised abortion in three exceptions (including when the pregnancy poses a risk to the woman’s health), informal estimates suggest that less than 10% of abortions are carried out legally. This project addresses the lack of knowledge and incorrect information that persists on abortion among poor marginalised communities, while also challenging the gender inequalities which act as barriers to abortion, particularly among young marginalised women in Cali (the largest city in the southwest of Colombia and home to the largest number of internally displaced people in the region).
The project will mobilise, train and support adolescents and young people, with a focus on young women, to act as sexual and reproductive health and rights activists in their communities (families, neighbourhoods, schools, universities). The young people will sensitise, raise awareness, educate on sexual health and rights, with a focus on abortion legislation, as well as identify and refer women in need of abortions to the organisations' own clinics where they will receive care free-of-charge.
GUATEMALA - ASOCIACIÓN CIVIL, COLECTIVO PARA LA PARTICIPACIÓN DE LA INFANCIA Y JUVENTUD (COPIJ)
The eastern region of Guatemala has high rates of unwanted early pregnancies and access to reproductive health programs is limited, especially to emergency contraception and contraceptive methods for adolescents and youth.
Colectivo Joven is a youth cantered organisation which, with this project aims to work directly with adolescents and young people in the municipality of Jalapa, providing comprehensive sexuality education focused on sexual and reproductive health and rights. They will also work with public health personnel, with whom there will be a process of education about the taboos that exist in relation to abortion, to break the barriers of providing therapeutic abortion, which is legally permissible.
HAÏTI- INITIATIVE POUR UN DÉVELOPPEMENT EQUITABLE EN HAÏTI (IDEH)
Socially-based gender inequality in Haiti means that few women in Haiti really have the power to negotiate their sexuality and reproductive choices. Sexuality in general, contraception and abortion in particular, remain a taboo subjects in the family and at school. As a result, women and girls often end up in situations of unwanted pregnancy where abortion becomes the only recourse. However as safe abortion is not easily available, many women are injured or die from unsafe abortion. Girls and women with disabilities are particularly vulnerable as they are generally considered to be asexual; their sexual health needs forgotten.
IDEH plans to improve access to contraception and integrate training programs into the education system. Ensure that girls and women with disabilities in Port-au-Prince, Hinche and Gonaïves, have greater control of their sexuality and advocate for the decriminalization of abortion and the inclusion of women with disabilities into the sexual and reproductive health discourse.
MEXICO - Balance Promoción para el Desarrollo y Juventud (BPDJ)
Mexico City legalised abortion on demand within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy in 2007. However, 11 years after this reform, changes in other states have not followed but inequality between Mexico City and the rest of the country has increased. If a woman in another state does not have accurate information about the existing abortion law, information on how to use abortion pills, the means to pay for private medical care and/or travel to Mexico City, she will be forced to have a clandestine, possibly unsafe abortion that can put her health and life at risk. In addition, there is also a risk of legal persecution.
The project run by Balance Promoción para el Desarrollo y Juventud (BPDJ) seeks to make reproductive justice a reality by increasing access to information and counseling for women seeking abortion across the country while also training a number of voluntary abortion doulas to provide comprehensive accompaniment to vulnerable women in need. Working with their own small grants programme, the Maria Fund, the project will help to strengthen the skills and tools used by Maria Fun ambassadors who undertake various actions to advocate for safe abortion in their states.
MEXICO - THIS PROJECT HAS ASKED TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS
This project is focussed on advocating for access to safe abortion for women in the Mexican state of Campeche. Through strategic litigation for the promotion of sexual and reproductive rights of women, training health professionals and public servants in abortion as a right and ensuring access to safe abortion for ethnic minority women from the border region of Campeche and Quintana Roo by proving accompaniment to safe abortion providers.
Perú - Centro de la Mujer Peruana Flora Tristán (Flora Tristán)
The Center for the Peruvian Woman Flora Tristán has a vision of their country as a democratic society without discrimination or exclusion of any kind where women fully exercise their rights and citizenship. Despite recent successes from previous SAAF-funded activity to get the issue of abortion rights more discussed in political discourse, the law is still highly restrictive.
Under this SAAF project Flora Tristán plan to continue with this campaign. Holding public actions and working with opinion and political leaders to advance the campaign to legalise abortion in cases of rape and foetal abnormalities. They will do this by working directly with smaller advocacy and youth groups in Lima and Cusco, supporting them to promote sexual and reproductive rights and strengthening their campaigns on the decriminalization of abortion. They also intend to work with young people in the two cities to change people’s attitudes to abortion, intending that by the end of the project, the public will be more supportive to the call for decriminalization of abortion, hoping for a change in the law within the coming years.