Latin America and the Caribbean

 
 
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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.

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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.


COLOMBIA - THIS PROJECT HAS ASKED TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS

This project will end in March 2018

Following on from successful activities run under the previous project, this organisation is aiming to continue to train and improve the quality of their network of sexual and reproductive healthcare providers while ensuring that they are aware of their legal rights through legal accompaniment. They also intend to design improved strategies for reducing abortion stigma and increased support for women in situations of unwanted pregnancy in Latin America.

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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.


Guatemala - centro de Investigación Epidemiológica en Salud Sexual y Reproductiva  

This project will end in March 2018

Guatemala has a highly restrictive abortion law which leads to high levels of unsafe abortion and consequent complications. In the department of San Marcos, 60% of maternal deaths are related to haemorage in the early stages of preganancy, many cases of which will be linked to unsafe abortion. 

A pilot study conducted in the first period of SAAF funding highlighted that CIESAR could successfully reduce these cases through the introduction and training on the use of a modern safe method of post-abortion care using safe methods, counselling and provision of effective contraception. These results motivated program managers and local authorities to implement the strategy throughout the health system of the Department of San Marcos. 

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HAÏTI- INITIATIVE POUR UN DÉVELOPPEMENT EQUITABLE EN HAÏTI (IHAP)

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 - 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. 

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Mexico - Balance Promoción para el Desarrollo y Juventud AC

This project will end in March 2018

While abortion is legally available in Mexico city it is still highly restricted in the rest of the country. Through the Fondo MARIA, BPDJ are seeking to increase access to safe abortion for vulnerable women by providing information and support to women around the country while also campaigning to relax abortion legislation outside of Mexico City.


 Peru - Asociacion Familia Sana

This project will end in March 2018

Working directly within the indigenous population in Cajamarca in Peru, the previous SAAF funded project OUR BODIES, OUR LIVES contributed to a decrease of maternal deaths in Cajamarca from 36 cases in 2014 to 28 cases in 2016. This was due in part to an increased uptake of both post-abortion care and long-acting contraception at the AFS run clinics.

Following these successes AFS’s project has been reinforcing the provision of contraceptive and abortion-related care, forming a group of urban youth leaders who are responsible for sharing information on contraceptives and sexual and reproductive health and rights with their peers and the community and also referring young people to the clinic for contraception and abortion-related care. 

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Peru - Centro de la Mujer Peruana Flora Tristán

This project will end in March 2018

Continuing on from actions taken using previous SAAF funding Flora Tristán are campaigning to change the law to allow for abortion in cases of rape in Peru. This project aims to increase the favourable public opinion gained from campaigns under previous SAAF funding and incorporate another case for abortion in the discussion about decriminalisation (malformations of the fetus incompatible with life). This is happening in a context of new political actors and pending debate in Congress. 

By incorporating this new case for abortion, Flora Tristán is repositioning the debate and expanding it within the framework of the right to decide. To this end, communication strategies aimed at citizens are being implemented, young activists are being trained and advocacy actions have been held with political actors and opinion leaders.


Peru - Centro de Promoción y Defensa de los Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos - PROMSEX

This project will end in March 2018

Continuing on from activities previously funded by SAAF, Promsex are campaigning for a liberalisation of the abortion law in Peru. The main objectives of the current project are to deepen the evidence-base and strengthen advocacy actions in order to decriminalize abortion in cases of sexual violence, artificial insemination or non-consensual egg transfer and malformations incompatible with life.

They are also advocating for an expansion of the current law that allows for therapeutic abortion up to 22 weeks’ gestation to extend beyond that time for cases where women are at great risk. They intend to do this through working with the Peruvian Network of Professionals for Access to Safe Abortion and the National Maternal and Perinatal Institute to prepare a technical guide on third trimester abortion.

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Uruguay – Mujer y Salud en Uruguay

This project will end in March 2018

Despite Uruguay relaxing their abortion law in 2012, conscientious objection by most gynaecologists, the stigma of abortion, obstacles in accessing services, insufficient number of trained staff and lack of support for foreign women were some problems identified by MYSU under their previous SAAF-funded work monitoring legal abortion services in public and private health institutions.

With the evidence obtained, agreements are being sought with political decision-makers and coordinated efforts with social organizations to overcome the problems identified and improve the healthcare provided to women to adequately address their needs.