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News item

IPPF welcomes UN Human Rights Committee assertion on access to safe abortion

IPPF welcomes the UN Human Rights Committee’s latest view on access to safe abortion, because it is wrong for any woman to be coerced through a pregnancy against her wishes.

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has welcomed the adoption by the UN Human Rights Committee of a General Comment on the “Right to Life” and the recognition of the unequivocal and inalienable right of a pregnant woman or girl to life.

IPPF Director of Advocacy, Anamaria Bejar said: 

“IPPF calls on States to revise their laws, removing barriers to ensure access to safe and legal abortion for all women and girls. Currently 25 million abortions a year are unsafe. The General Comment on the “Right to Life” is clear, States must comply with their duty to ensure that women and girls are not forced to undertake unsafe abortions. 

We know it is wrong for any woman to be coerced through a full pregnancy against her wishes. The Committee’s assertion provides the legal framework to access to safe abortion care as a human right.”

IPPF has also echoed the Committee’s urge for Governments to ensure access to comprehensive sexuality education and a wide range of affordable contraceptive methods for all, as well as to quality prenatal and post-abortion health care for women and girls in all circumstances and on a confidential basis. 

And it has endorsed the Human Rights Committee’s call for States to guarantee that the right to life must be respected and ensured without distinction of any kind, with special measures to protect persons in situations of vulnerability, including the LGBTQI+. 

The General Comment also reaffirms the fundamental principle that human rights apply only after birth.

IPPF worked alongside UN member states and other non-government organizations from different backgrounds during a three-year process to uphold our international human rights standards to prevent maternal mortality, guarantee women and girls’ rights to bodily autonomy and privacy, and that access to abortion is protected under international human rights law.