(28 September 2020) On International Safe Abortion Day 2020, EPSU strongly reiterates that every woman must have full autonomy over decisions that concern her own body. States have a responsibility to guarantee women’s rights and facilitate an environment where each and every woman has the possibility to make a decision about abortion, and follow through with this in a safe way. Once these rights are secured and such an environment has been established, Trade Unions and communities will keep fighting to ensure that there are no steps backward, no erosion of rights, and no barrier raised between law and practice.
Throughout the sanitary crisis that has gripped Europe over the last few months, the limits of profit-orientated and gender blind policies have come to the fore once again. We have also seen, however, that in some places the sanitary emergency has been used as an excuse to regress into outdated patriarchal social structures and discriminate against women, LGBTQ+ and migrants.
In light of this, EPSU urges the European Institutions and national Governments to shape all current and future policy and budgetary decisions in line with the following principles:
1. Women’s health services are essential
2. Gender health and SRHR services are a basic right for all
3. Gender health and SRHR services must be accessible to all
4. Care workers in gender health and SRHR services deserve better working conditions
5. Education is a key tool to ensure gender equality and SRHR
6. Everyone has the right to decide over their own body: no one is excluded
7. Gender health and SRHR should be mainstreamed in all polices