EPSU expresses solidarity with the demonstrations that will take place across Europe on International Safe and Legal Abortion Day, Saturday 28 September.
Worldwide, seven million women are injured or disabled as a consequence of unsafe abortion every year and as many as 22000 die. We recognize that access to safe abortion can save lives, while its criminalization contributes to killing thousands of women every year.
While most European countries allow safe abortion in hospitals or clinics, there are still some places where it is illegal. In a number of countries, women have the right on paper but cannot access safe abortion because of various restrictions and limitations, both in law and practice. In the past decade we have witnessed and supported the struggle of Spanish (2014), Polish (2016) and Irish (2018) women to ensure legal access to abortion in their countries. Today, we again show solidarity with all those women around the world that continue to be denied this right.
EPSU has been very active in promoting gender equality and women empowerment and, in its last congress in June 2019, reaffirmed that “gender equality will not be achieved until women have gained the right to be in charge of their own bodies”.
Furthermore, as a public services federation, EPSU endorses the demand for proper training in abortion procedures as an integral part of training for health and care professionals. We support the reproductive rights of women, including the freedom to choose whether or not to abort, without incurring social stigma or undergoing life-threatening practices.