As the US Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade, global health care organisations call on all governments to defend access to safe and quality abortion care

Ensuring access to safe, quality abortion is an imperative. Abortion is recognised as essential health care that must be provided by governments. Access to safe abortion is also a human right. Attacks against reproductive freedom are attacks on democracy and international human rights standards, on individual freedoms and the right to privacy, and they set back progress towards gender equality.  

The United States Supreme Court decision to dismantle Roe v Wade and roll back 50 years of access to safe abortion care is a catastrophic blow to the lives of millions of women, girls and pregnant people who now face the prospect of being forced to continue pregnancies. It is a decision that will cost lives for years to come.

The US joins just a handful of countries that have actively reduced access to abortion care in recent years. This is out of step with the global community’s commitment to advance human rights and fails to take into account the overwhelming global medical evidence that supports abortion as essential health care.1

Around the world,2 progress is being made to remove restrictions to care for example Latin America’s ‘green wave’ (Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Chile) in Africa (Benin, Mozambique, Kenya), Asia and the Pacific (Thailand, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand) and Europe (France, Ireland, England). Governments are responding to feminist grassroots movements and acting upon evidence-based findings and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines that draw on clinical and technological advancements, including telemedicine and self-management of abortion care, in order to guarantee their populations’ rights to essential health care. 

As organisations dedicated to providing and supporting health care, we know that restrictive laws do not reduce the need for abortion care. Rather, such laws increase inequities in access; nurture an environment of fear, stigmatisation and criminalisation; and put women, girls and pregnant people at risk.

Abortion laws not based on scientific evidence harm health care workers. Countries with total bans or highly restrictive abortion law prevent and criminalise the provision of essential health care services and support to those that require abortion care. Many individuals supporting abortion care experience abuse, threats and even violence. In the United States, such incidents are commonplace and have even resulted in the murder of health care professionals. Further isolating these dedicated health care workers with restrictive laws will put them at even greater risk.

Lack of access to safe abortion care is one of the leading causes of preventable maternal death and disability. Each year 47,000 women in the world die as a result of unsafe abortion1,3 and an estimated five million are hospitalised for the treatment of serious complications such as bleeding or infection.4

Supporting safe and high-quality abortion care is a demonstration of a government’s commitment to reproductive and social justice. Abortion care is an integral part of comprehensive health care provision – the need for this care will not go away. Limiting access to abortion care takes the greatest toll on the lives of women, girls and pregnant people; those living in poverty; those with marginalised racial, ethnic identities; adolescents; and those living in rural areas. A denial of abortion care further exacerbates their historical discrimination and mistreatment, and places them at the greatest risk of preventable maternal death and disability. 

As national, regional and global health care organisations, we urge all governments to take immediate action to: 

  • Create and protect legal and regulatory environments that support health care professionals to provide access to safe and affordable abortion care. Access to abortion care should be protected and supported as an inalienable reproductive right.
  • Decriminalise abortion care and regulate it like any other health care provision. Decriminalising abortion refers to the removal of specific criminal and/or civil sanctions against abortion from the law, so that no one is punished for having, providing or supporting access to abortion. 
  • Utilise the full benefit of the safety and efficacy of abortion medication, as well as the advancement of technology, to allow telemedicine and self-management access to abortion, as recommended by the WHO Abortion Care Guideline.
  • Invest in robust health systems that are human rights-centred for abortion care information, counselling and services. Prioritise training on abortion care as an essential part of professional development for health care professionals – integrate it into lifelong learning to ensure health services are universally available. Such approaches should be linked to reproductive and social justice movements, and should include actions that address the needs and rights of communities that have been historically discriminated against. 




3. WHO. Unsafe abortion: global and regional estimates of the incidence of unsafe abortion and associated mortality in 2008. Sixth Edition. 2011. p 27. 10

4. Singh S, Hospital admissions resulting from unsafe abortion: estimates from 13 developing countries, Lancet, 2006, 368(955):1887–1892.

Signatories (12:00 UTC+1 on 22 July 2022)

Join the global list of organisational signatories 

(Please note the list of signatories is being updated on a regular basis, names do not appear automatically.)


International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) 

World Association of Trainees in Obstetrics & Gynecology (WATOG)  

International Planned Parenthood Federation 

MSI Reproductive Choices 


Association Marocaine De Planification Familiale, Morocco 

Associação Moçambicana de Obstetras e Ginecologista, Mozambique 

Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Uganda, Uganda 

Association Togolaise pour le Bien-Etre Familial (ATBEF), Togo 

Awasho Health Center, Ethiopia 

Botswana Nurses Union, Botswana 

Centre of Excellence in Reproductive Innovation (CERHI), Nigeria 

Coalition des organisations de jeunes pour l'avortement sécurisé au Bénin, Bénin 

Community Association of Women and Children with Disabilities (CAWCD), Uganda 

College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of South Africa, South Africa 

The Colleges of Medicine of South Africa, South Africa 

Ethiopian Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ESOG), Ethiopia 

Generation Initiative for Women and Youth Network, Nigeria 

HKSAI, Kenya 

Integrated Women and Children's Development Activities (IWCDA), Uganda 

International Centre Reproductive Health, Kenya 

Ipfundo nyaro, Rwanda 

IUCN Biodiversity & Family Planning Task Force, Uganda 

Kenya Obstetrical and Gynecological Society, Kenya 

KMET, Kenya 

Lady Mermaid's Bureau, Uganda 

Lending Hands Initiative, Kenya 

MABIA-Ghana, Ghana 

Midwives Association of Zambia, Zambia 

PAC-Net Women's Health and Youth Development Initiative, Nigeria 

People's Alliance for Reproductive Health Advocacy (PARHA), Sierra Leone 

People's Health Movement (PHM), South Africa 

Radiological Society of South Africa, South Africa 

Reproductive Health Network Kenya, Kenya 

Reproductive Health Services, Kenya 

Réseau YHW4SA, Benin 

Rural Women Rights Foundation, RWRF, Liberia 

Rwanda Health Initiative for youth and Women (RHIYW), Rwanda 

Société Congolaise de la pratique Sage-femme (SCOSAF), Congo, the Democratic Republic of the 

Société de Gynecologie et d'obstétrique de Cote d'Ivoire (SOGOCI), Cote d'ivoire (Ivory Coast) 

Societé de Gynécologues et Obstétriciens du Burkina (SOGOB), Burkina Faso 

Society of Midwives of South Africa (SOMSA), South Africa 

Society of Obstetric Medicine South Africa (SOOMSA), South Africa 

SODECA, Kenya 

South African Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (SASOG), South Africa 

SOS Femme, Enfants en Catastrophe, Congo, The Democratic Republic of The 

South African Menopause Society, South Africa 

The Community Agenda, Uganda 

TURGET Uganda, Uganda 

Tusitukirewamu Group Bwaise, Uganda 

Women and Children Welfare and Development Organization, Ethiopia 

Women’s Health and Reproductive Rights Organization, Sierra Leone 

Young Healthy Safe, Rwanda 

Women's Action Group, Zimbabwe 

Zambia Association for Gynaecologists and Obstetricians (ZAGO), Zambia 


Asia Oceania Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Sri Lanka 

Baanhn Beli, Pakistan 

Baluchistan, Pakistan 

Bangladesh Women's Health Coalition (BWHC), Bangladesh 

Australian College of Midwives, Australia 

Mongolian Midwives Association, Mongolia 

Mongolian Association of Obstetrics Gynecology and Neonatology MOGNA, Mongolia 

Azerbaijan Association "Support to Development of Gynecology and Perinatology", Azerbaijan 

Cook Islands Family Welfare Association, Cook Islands 

Endometriosis and Adenomyosis Society of Bangladesh (EASB), Bangladesh 

Family Planning NSW, Australia 

Family Planning Tasmania, Australia 

FMH University of Sydney, Australia 

Initiative for Health & Equity in Society, India 

International Planned Parenthood Federation, Fiji 

Israel Midwives Association, Israel 

Japan Academy of Midwifery, Japan 

Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology (JSOG), Japan 

Japan Society of Clinical Genetics in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Japan

Japanese Nursing Association, Japan

JOICFP (Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning), Japan 

Korean Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Republic of Korea 

Metropolis Foundation, India 

Midwifery Society of Nepal, Nepal 

Naripokkho, Bangladesh 

Nepal Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (NESOG), Nepal 

New Zealand College of Midwives, New Zealand 

New Zealand Family Planning, New Zealand 

Obstetrical & Gynaecological Society of Singapore, Singapore 

RHAC, Cambodia 

RHR Literacy Lab, Japan 

Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Australia 

Safe2Choose, India 

SeNonOraQuando?Torino, Japan 

Sexual Health Quarters, Australia 

Society of Obstetricians & Gynecologists of Pakistan (SOGP), Pakistan 

South Asian Federation of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Sri Lanka 

SSMC, United Arab Emirates 

Solomon Island Planned Parenthood Association, Solomon Islands 

Support to Development of Gynecology and Perinatology, Azerbaijan 

The Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 

Taiwan Association of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Taiwan 

The PCOS Society of India, India 

The Planned Parenthood Association of Thailand (PPAT), Thailand 


Abortion Rights Campaign, Ireland 

Abortion Talk, United Kingdom 

Academy of Medical Royal Colleges Trainee Doctors' Group (ATDG), United Kingdom 

Alliance for Choice, United Kingdom 

Centre Séverine - Planning familial Laïque de Bruxelles Ouest, Belgium 

Alliance of Bulgarian Midwives, Bulgaria 

APEO-Associação Portuguesa dos Enfermeiros Obstetras, Portugal 

ARC Donegal, Ireland 

Associação para o Planeamento da Família, Portugal 

Associação Portuguesa de Diagnóstico Pré-Natal (APDPN), Portugal 

Association Francophone des Sages-femmes AFSFC, Belgium 

Association Nationale des Sages Femmes Orthogénistes, France 

Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland, United Kingdom 

Austrian Family Planning Association (OGF), Austria 

Austrian Midwife Association, Austria 

Austrian Society for Gynecology and Obstetrics - OEGGG, Austria 

British Fertility Society, United Kingdom 

British Gynaecological Cancer Society, United Kingdom 

British Medical Association (BMA), United Kingdom 

British Pregnancy Advisory Service, United Kingdom 

British Society of Abortion Care Providers, United Kingdom 

Brook, United Kingdom 

Centre de planning familial et de sexologie de Forest, Belgium 

Centre de planning familial La famille heureuse Tournai, Belgium 

Belgian Midwives Organisation, Belgium 

Collège National des Sages-Femmes, France 

CNGOF, France 

CNOSF, France 

Collège Royal des Gynécologues Obstétriciens de Langue Française de Belgique, Belgium 

Danish Midwives Association, Denmark 

Danish Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Denmark 

Developing Doulas, United Kingdom 

Doctors for Choice Germany, Germany 

Doctors For Choice Ireland, Ireland 

Doctors for Choice Malta, Malta 

Doctors for Choice UK, United Kingdom 

Doulaförbundet, Sweden 

Estonian Medical Association, Estonia

Estonian Gynaecologists' Society, Estonia 

Estonian Midwives Association, Estonia 

Estonian Society of Perinatology, Estonia 

European Midwives Association, Belgium 

European Network of Trainees in Obstetrics and Gynecology – ENTOG, Greece 

Faculté d'Aimer, Belgium 

Faculty of Public Health, United Kingdom

Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the UK, United Kingdom 

Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH), United Kingdom 

Fédération Laïque de Centres de planning Familial (FLCPF), Belgium 

Federation of Portuguese Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology - FSPOG, Portugal 

FIAPAC - International Federation of Abortion and Contraception Providers, France 

Finnish Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, Finland 

The Finnish Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Finland 

German Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Germany 

Global Network NVOG, Netherlands 

Global Office Consulting /PUSH Campaign, United Kingdom 

Georgian Obstetricians & Gynecologist Association, Georgia 

Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom 

Hellenicpag, Greece 

Hungarian Midwives Association, Hungary 

The Icelandic Medical Association, Iceland

Institute of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists, Ireland 

International Council of Nurses ICN, Switzerland 

International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), Netherlands 

Independent Midwives Association, Romania 

International Federation of Medical Students' Associations, Denmark 

Koepel Gynaecoloog en Maatschappij NVOG, Netherlands 

Kosovo Obstetrics and Gynaecology Association (KOGA), Kosovo 

KNOV (The Royal Dutch Organisation of Midwives), Netherlands 

Landspitali, Iceland 

Le Planning familial, France 

Lithuanian Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Lithuania 

Macedonian Association of Gynecologists and Obstetricians (AGOM/MAGO), Macedonia 

Macedonian Association of Nurses and Midwives, Macedonia 

Margaret Pyke Trust, United Kingdom 

Maternal Reproductive and Child Health Centre (MARCH) at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom 

Medical Women's Federation, United Kingdom 

Menstrual Matters, United Kingdom 

Medical Aid Films, United Kingdom 

Midwives Committee of Cyprus Nurses and Midwives Association, Cyprus 

Nurses and Midwives Association of Slovenia, Slovenia 

Nursing Now Challenge, United Kingdom 

NVOG (Dutch association of Obstetrics and Gynecology), Netherlands 

Planning Familial de Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium 

Planning Familial Saint-Gilles asbl, Belgium 

Portuguese Society Of Contraception, Portugal 

pro familia Bundesverband, Germany 

Pro Choice Austria – Plattform für freien Schwangerschaftsabbruch, Austria

Progress Educational Trust (PET), United Kingdom 

PUSH Campaign, United Kingdom 

Reproductive Health Training Center, Moldova, Republic of 

Riksförbundet för Sexuell Upplysning, Sweden 

Royal College of Anaesthetists, United Kingdom 

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), United Kingdom 

Royal College of Midwives, United Kingdom 

Royal College of Physicians, United Kingdom 

Royal Pharmaceutical Society, United Kingdom 

Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, United Kingdom 

Royal Society For Public Health, United Kingdom

Rutgers, Netherlands 

Safe Abortion Action Fund, United Kingdom 

Salamander Trust, United Kingdom 

SheDecides, United Kingdom 

SEDRA-Federación de Planificación Familiar, Spain 

Sensoa, Belgium 

Sex og Politikk, Norway 

Sexpo Foundation, Finland 

Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters, United Kingdom 

Sociedade Portuguesa de Obstetrícia e Medicina Materno-Fetal, Portugal 

Società Italiana di Ginecologia e Ostetricia (SIGO), Italy 

Société Française de Maïeutique- SFMa, France 

Société Luxembourgeoise de Gynécologie et d'Obstétrique, Luxembourg 

START (Southern Taskforce on Abortion & Reproductive Topics), Ireland 

The Swedish Association of Midwives, Sweden 

Swedish Association of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sweden 

Swedish Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sweden 

The Swedish Medical Association, Sweden

Swedish Society of Nursing, Sweden 

Swiss Federation of Midwives (SHV), Switzerland 

The BirthBliss Academy, United Kingdom 

The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust, United Kingdom 

The Federarion of Finnish Midwives, Finland 

The Icelandic Midwives´ Association, Iceland 

The Independent Midwives Association, Romania 

The Nordic Federation of Obstetrics and Gynecology (NFOG), Denmark 

The Norwegian Midwifery Association, Norway 

The Swedish Association of Midwives, Sweden 

Union of Czech Midwives, Czech Republic 

union professionnelle des sages-femmesbelges, Belgium 

World Diabetes Foundation, Denmark 

Wellbeing of Women, United Kingdom 

White Ribbon Alliance UK, United Kingdom 

White Ribbon NL, Netherlands 

WO=MEN Dutch Gender Platform, Netherlands 

Womens Rights Foundation, Malta 

Working Party International Safe Motherhood and Reproductive Health, Netherlands 

Working party of international safe motherhood and reproductive health, Netherlands 

Younique Postnatal, United Kingdom 

Latin America 

Asociación de ginecología y obstetricia de El Salvador, El Salvador 

Asociación médica Argentina de Anticoncepción, Argentina 

Guyana’s Obstetrics and Gynecologic Society, Guyana 

Association des sages-femmes d’Haiti, Haiti 

Barbados Midwives Group, Barbados 

Barbados Nurses Association, Barbados 

Caribbean Family Planning Affiliation, Antigua and Barbuda 

CLACAI, Consorcio Latinoamericano Contra el Aborto Inseguro, Peru 

CLADEM Brasil - Comitê Latino-Americano e do Caribe para a Defesa dos Direitos das Mulheres, Brazil 

Doctors for Choice Brazil, Brazil 

Epidemiologic Research Centre in Sexual and Reproductive Health, Guatemala 

Family Planning Association of Trinidad and Tobago (FPATT), Trinidad and Tobago 

Federación Colombiana de Obstetricia y Ginecología (FECOLSOG), Colombia 

Fundación Oriéntame, Colombia 

Grupo Curumim - Gestação e Parto, Brazil 

Instituto de Salud Popular (INSAP), Peru 

People's Health Movement (PHM), Brazil 

People's Health Movement (PHM), Colombia 

Profamilia, Colombia 

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

REDAAS Red Acceso al Aborto Seguro, Argentina 

Rede Médica pelo Direito de Decidir - Doctors for Choice Brazil, Brazil 

Sociedad Argentina de Ginecologia infanto Juvenil, Argentina 

Sociedad Panamenã de Obstetricia y Ginecología (SPOG), Panama 

Sociedad Peruana de Obstetricia y Ginecologia, Peru 

St. Lucia Planned Parenthood Association, Saint Lucia 

UFPR, Brazil 

North America 

Alberta Association of Midwives, Canada

American College of Nurse Midwives, United States 

American Medical Student Association, United States 

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, United States 

Asociación de parteras profesionales, Mexico 

Association of Nova Scotia Midwives, Canada 

Assocation of Ontario Midwives, Canada 

Canadian Association of Midwives, Canada 

Centro Con Parto Amor, Mexico 

CHU de Québec, Canada 

Di RAMONA, Mexico 

Global Doctors for Choice/Méxco, Mexico 

Federación Mexicana de Colegios de Obstetricia y Ginecología AC (Femecog), Mexico 

Fos Feminista, United States 

Global Doctors for Choice, United States 

International Federation of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, United States  

International Indigenous HIV & AIDS Community, Canada 

Human Rights in Childbirth, United States 

Ipas, United States 

Medical Students for Choice, United States 

Midwives Association of Saskatchewan, Canada

Midwifery Education Accreditation Council, United States 

Midwives College of Uah, United States 

New Lives Midwives, Canada 

Ordre des sages-femmes du Québec, Canada 

North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology (NASPAG), United States 

Pathfinder International, United States 

People's Health Movement (PHM), Canada 

Population Council, United States 

Population Services International (PSI), United States 

Prince Edward Island Midwives Association, Canada 

Regroupement Les sages-femmes du Québec, Canada 

Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada, Canada 

Stony Brook Medicine, United States 

Uplift International, United States 

Women Deliver, United States 

Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), United States 


Join the global list of organisational signatories


About FIGO

FIGO is a professional membership organisation that brings together more than 130 obstetrical and gynaecological associations from all over the world. FIGO’s vision is that women of the world achieve the highest possible standards of physical, mental, reproductive and sexual health and wellbeing throughout their lives. Our work to achieve this vision is built on four pillars: education, research implementation, advocacy and capacity building.

FIGO leads on global programme activities, with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia. We advocate on a global stage, especially in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) pertaining to reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and wellbeing, and non-communicable diseases (SDG3). We also work to raise the status of women and enable their active participation in achieving their reproductive and sexual rights, including through addressing female-genital mutilation (FGM) and gender-based violence (SDG5).

We also provide education and training for our Member Societies and build capacities of those in low-resource countries through strengthening leadership, translating and disseminating good practice and promoting policy dialogues.

FIGO is in official relations with the World Health Organization and a consultative status with the United Nations.

About the language we use

Within our documents, we often use the terms ‘woman’, ‘girl’ and ‘women and girls’. We recognise that not all people who require access to gynaecological and obstetric services identify as a woman or girl. All individuals, regardless of gender identity, must be provided with access to appropriate, inclusive and sensitive services and care.

We also use the term ‘family’. When we do, we are referring to a recognised group (perhaps joined by blood, marriage, partnership, cohabitation or adoption) that forms an emotional connection and serves as a unit of society.

FIGO acknowledges that some of the language we use is not naturally inclusive. We are undertaking a thorough review of the words and phrases we use to describe people, health, wellbeing and rights, to demonstrate our commitment to developing and delivering inclusive policies, programmes and services.

Referencing this statement

International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics. As the US Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade, global health care organisations call on all governments to defend access to safe and quality abortion care. 2022. Available from:

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Rachel Randles
Communications and Engagement Manager

+44 (0)7916 395103