Advocating for Safe Abortion Project


FIGO’s Advocating for Safe Abortion Project aims to raise the

capacity of ten National Member Societies to be national

leaders on sexual and reproductive health and rights and safe abortion.


Project contact:

Jessica Morris, Senior Project Manager


The Importance of Safe Abortion

FIGO regards reproductive choice, including access to safe abortion
services, as a basic and non-negotiable tool for ensuring the human
rights of every woman, not just in one region or country, but globally.


When safe abortion isn’t an option, women seeking to exercise their reproductive choice can be faced with untrained providers, often operating in unsanitary environments, or even attempting to self-induce an abortion.

Lack of access to safe abortion results in 45% of all abortions globally being unsafe. Unsafe abortion remains a catastrophic public health problem accounting for up to 13 percent of maternal mortality worldwide, with hundreds of thousands of survivors living with long-term complications, including infertility and chronic pain.

What we do

FIGO is working with ten National Member Societies to raise their capacity to lead advocacy on safe abortion to the extent permitted by law in their respective countries. National societies of obstetrics and gynaecology are in a unique position to be national sexual and reproductive health and rights advocates due to being respected for their technical expertise and close relationships with other partners including the Ministry of Health.

Project Objectives

The project’s aims include:

  1. Strengthening the management and organisation of ten National Member Societies and raising their capacity to be national leaders on sexual and reproductive health and rights and safe abortion
  2. Establishing coordinated and vibrant national networks of associations that are supportive of safe abortion for collective advocacy efforts
  3. Creating increased acceptance of safe abortion among health workers, policy makers and the general population
  4. Ensuring that the policy environment is conducive and providing guidance to health workers on providing services to the full extent of the law without fearing legal implications
  5. Ensuring a process for data generation and use for improved monitoring, planning for services, and ensuring advocacy efforts are evidence-based

FIGO will support the 10 societies to deliver their project as well as engage in international advocacy efforts. The expected overall long-term impact of the project will be to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity from unsafe abortion, due to women having increased access to safe abortion services.

Project details

The Advocating for Safe Abortion Project will run for three years from 2019-2022. Countries involved are: Benin, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Panama, Peru, Uganda and Zambia.

The Project is based on a comprehensive needs assessment of the current situation in each country and the capacity of the national society. 

The Advocating for Safe Abortion Project builds on a previous project – the Prevention of Unsafe Abortion Initiative, which ran from 2007.

The impact of safe abortion

Empowering Member Societies. Safe abortion services for all women. The Global Gag Rule.


Latest news


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