Assessing capacity and entry points for advocacy
In order for FIGO to provide the right level and content of capacity building to the national societies, we had to first thoroughly understand the current situation, both in the country and in terms of capacity of the national society to lead advocacy efforts. Phase I involved a comprehensive needs assessment, below are the key findings:
- The countries have diverse legal frameworks, ranging from restrictive to fully liberalised (abortion on demand)
- There is a lack of accurate national data on abortion prevalence and its contribution to maternal mortality
- Pro-safe abortion actors were strong but not always outspoken or unified, while in some countries opposing actors were very powerful.
- The preferred terminology to address safe abortion differs in each country. In some, there is a preference for more sensitive terminology, such as Comprehensive Abortion Care (CAC) or ‘preventing unsafe abortion’
- National societies of obstetrics and gynaecology are by definition a heterogeneous group of medical professionals and within all societies, there is a diverse range of opinions on abortion.
- Societies have credibility as technical experts and on the subject of safe abortion. All societies have individuals who are extensively engaged as advisors on safe abortion, e.g. in the development of national guidelines.