September 28th Campaign: Solidarity Letter with Defenders of Reproductive Rights in Latin American & the Caribbean

Aborto Legaly Seguro!


Tuesday, September 7, 2010 - 5:45pm

CLPP has joined the Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) in solidarity with the September 28th Campaign to decriminalize abortion in Latin American and the Caribbean.  The following letter was signed by individuals and organizations supporting demands for reproductive dignity and justice worldwide.

On September 28, 2010, WGNRR presented the letter to the embassies and consulates of Brazil, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ecuador, Chile, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru in citiies around the world, including Manila, Delhi, Mexico City, the Hague, Copenhagen, London, Toronto, Vancouver, New York, and San Francisco.

Open Letter To the Heads of State in Latin America and the Caribbean, and Affiliated Ambassadors/Consulate Generals:

Today, as defenders of reproductive health, rights and justice gather across the region to take coordinated actions on the Latin American and Caribbean Day for the Decriminalisation of Abortion, we, the undersigned members, allies and advocates of the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR) urgently call on you to heed the call for safe, legal abortion. We fully support their efforts, and join with them to condemn actions by both state and non-state actors silencing, criminalising and stigmatising those who offer support for women wanting access to abortion, as well as all who simply wish to exercise their human right to reproductive dignity. 

In particular, we are concerned about the situation facing the defenders of reproductive rights in countries where abortion is illegal and/or systematically penalised including in Brazil, Chile, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru. We are alarmed by the recent blocking of a hotline in Ecuador offering support to women on reproductive and sexual health issues, and call on the Peruvian government to not only fulfil recommendations of the United Nations Human Rights Committee related to access to abortion, but also to take specific action on the case of KL.

We hope and trust your government will work proactively with civil society members to uphold binding commitments made at the United Nations under the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Beijing Platform for Action, the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention Against Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. In addition, we ask that you adhere to the principles contained in the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders by recognising and protecting sexual and reproductive rights defenders, ensuring they are equally able to exercise the right to defend human rights and all the other rights.

To that end, we, the undersigned organisations and individuals from around the world are committed in supporting this year’s demands of the September 28th Campaign to ensure respect for sexual and reproductive rights, and call on your government to:

Repeal all laws criminalising, penalising and/or restricting women’s access to abortion services. Ensure women who do seek or offer these services are not subjected to judicial persecution, including imprisonment, or to harassment and degrading treatment by state authorities, institutions and non-state actors;

Repeal all laws and policies that pose specific risks to sexual and reproductive rights defenders, and those from marginalised populations who do not want to be coerced into sterilisation or abstinence programmes;

Take effective action to sanction state officials and non-state actors who harass sexual and reproductive rights defendersor curtail their legitimate activities for the defence of human rights and fundamental freedoms; and ensure allocation of adequate resources for the full protection and promotion of the rights of women human rights defenders, and in particular those who defend sexual and reproductive rights;

Implement policies that guarantee low cost, universal, quality access to contraceptives and abortion services—including emergency contraceptive procedures—and ensure young people have equal access to these services, free from all forms of stigmatisation;

Ensure that religious institutions and groups do not influence the state's judicial, policy and programming efforts in relation to reproductive health and rights. The reproductive rights and dignity of all must be guaranteed, not subject to constraints imposed by religious authorities.

We, the undersigned, await news of positive judicial and policy responses to the efforts of the communities mobilising to end the criminalisation of abortion, and for the fulfilment of reproductive dignity. We will be monitoring the steps your administration is taking on these matters. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the WGNRR campaigns officer, Tanya Roberts-Davis, by email <> or phone + 63 (2) 913 6708. We look forward to hearing your response to these concerns.


On behalf of the following organisations

  • Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada / Coalition pour le Droit a l'Avortement au Canada, Vancouver, Canada
  • Adele Reproductive Health Foundation, Douala, Cameroon
  • Alliance of Solidarity For the Family, Victoria, Seychelles
  • Asian Community Health Action Network, Chennai, India
  • Association for Women's Rights in Development, Toronto, ON, Canada/México DF, México
  • Catholics for Choice, Washington, DC, USA
  • Center for Reproductive Rights, New York, NY USA
  • Center for Women's Global Leadership, New Brunswick, NJ, USA
  • Center for Women's Resources , Quezon City, Philippines
  • Centre for Healthworks, Development and Research (CHEDRES), Calabar, Nigeria
  • Civil Liberties & Public Policy Program, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA, USA
  • Coalition of African Lesbians, Boksburg, Gauteng, South Africa
  • Debout Femmes Congolaises, Boma, D.R. Of the Congo
  • Diverse Women for Diversity, Delhi, India
  • Femmes Conscientes – FECO, Bujumbura, Burundi
  • Fondation Orphelinat Au Congo, Kinshasa, D. R. of the Congo
  • Gabriela National Alliance of Women's Organizations in the Philippines, Quezon City, Philippines
  • Gabriela-Negros Chapter , Negros, Philippines
  • Generation Foundation, Imo State, Nigeria
  • Green Health Foundation Zambia , Lusaka, Zambia
  • Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS, New York, NY, USA/Accra, Ghana
  • INFORM Human rights Documentation Centre, Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Initiative for Health Equity in Society, Delhi, India
  • International Code Documentation Centre, Penang, Malaysia
  • International Peoples Health Council ( South Asia ), Delhi, India
  • International Planned Parenthood Federation - Western Hemisphere Region, New York City, NY, USA
  • Isis International, Quezon City, Philippines
  • Isis-Women's International Cross Cultural Exchange (Isis-WICCE), Kampala - Uganda.
  • JAGRUTI, Dharwad, Karnataka, India
  • Jumma Peoples Network International, Bristol, UK/ Rangamati, Bangladesh
  • Kvindernes U-landsudvalg / K.U.L.U.- Women and Development , Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Le Monde Selon Les Femmes, Brussels, Belgium
  • MADRE, New York, NY, USA
  • Mpigi Rural Women's Network Afaayo, Gombe District Referral Hospital, Butambala District, Uganda
  • National Abortion Federation of Canada, Victoria, B.C., Canada
  • Navdanya Dehradun Uttarakhan India, Delhi, India
  • NGO Provincial Women, Bryansk, Russia
  • NGO Viola, Bryansk, Russia
  • People for Peace and Defense of Rights (PPDR)-Uganda, Kampala, Uganda
  • PACOPA, Klemie, D. R. of the Congo
  • Public Health Association of Australia, Canberra, Australia
  • Red de Salud de las Mujeres Latinoamericanas y del Caribe, Santiago, Chile
  • Rede Nacional Feminista de Saúde Direitos Sexuais e Direitos Reprodutivos - Brazil, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
  • Research Foundation for Science Technology and Ecology , Delhi, India
  • Shirkat Gah-Women’s Resource Centre, Lahore, Pakistan
  • SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, Atlanta, GA, USA
  • SOS SEXISME, Meudon Bellevue, France
  • Space Allies, Ichikawa, Japan
  • Taller Salud, Inc., Loiza, Puerto Rico
  • Triangle Project, Western Cape, South Africa
  • Urgent Action Fund for Women's Human Rights, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • Vanishing Rites, Bristol, UK
  • Vikalpani National Women’s Federation, Masbate, Sri Lanka
  • Voice of Independent Women Organization, Baghdad, Iraq
  • Venture Strategies for Health and Development , Berkeley, CA, USA
  • WOMANKIND Worldwide, London, UK
  • Women And Health(WAH!) India, Delhi, India
  • Women Development Society (WODES), Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Women Employees Welfare Association (WEWA), Lahore, Pakistan
  • Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights, Quezon City, Philippines/Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Women Promotion Centre, Kigoma, Tanzania
  • Women On Waves, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Young Woman's Christian Association of Papua New Guinea, Papua New Guinea
  • Youth Alliance on HIV and AIDS, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
  • Youth Power Nepal, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • And the following Individuals:
  • Dr. Adrienne Freeman, Obstetrician and gynaecologist, Australia
  • Dr. Anne-Marie Rey, Avortement-Information, Switzerland
  • Dr. Ann Ferrara, M.D., The Netherlands
  • Agathe Gramet-Kedzior, Concerned Community Member, Canada
  • Cheryl Davies, Registered Nurse, Vancouver, Canada
  • Dr. D.A.A. Verkuyl, Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, The Netherlands
  • Dr. Fabian Gorodzinsky, F.R.C.P, Paediatrician, Canada
  • Felix Ngwu, Centre for Healthworks, Development & Research, Nigeria
  • Fiona Fandim, Youth Alliance on HIV and AIDS, Papua New Guinea
  • Dr. Frits Driessen, Gynaecologist, The Netherlands
  • Fumi Suzuki, Space Allies, Japan
  • Dr. Gwewasang Martin, Adele Reproductive Health Foundation, Cameroon
  • Ina Hume, Vanishing Rites/ Jumma Peoples Network Int’l, UK
  • Joséphine Ntakiyica, President, Femmes Conscientes, Burundi
  • Jovita M. Montes, Health and Services Director, Gabriela National Alliance of Women's Organizations, Philippines
  • Joyce Wabi Feka, Peer Educator, YWCA of PNG, Papua New Guinea
  • Joyce Arthur , Coordinator, Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, Canada
  • Dr. K-lee Starland, International Human Rights Advisor, USA
  • Kalulu Maisha, Head of Projects, PACOPA, D. R. of the Congo
  • Kulihoshi Musikami, People for Peace and Defense of Rights-Uganda, Uganda
  • Lamia Talebani, Lecturer, University of Baghdad, Iraq
  • Dr. Ludmila Zhirina, NGO Provincial Women, Russia
  • Makene Fereza Balebanga, Femmes Conscientes, Burundi
  • Dr. M. Dayras, President, SOS SEXISME, France
  • Mairi MacRae Policy and Advocacy Manager, WOMANKIND Worldwide UK
  • Malcolm Potts, Professor, University of California-Berkeley, USA
  • Martha Campbell, Lecturer, Global Health, School of Public Health University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • Mary Jane Real, Women Human Rights Defenders Int’l Coalition, Philippines
  • Menu Nilukshika De Silva, Vikalpani National Women’s Federation, Sri Lanka
  • Michael Moore, CEO, Public Health Association of Australia, Australia
  • Dr. Mira Shiva, Initiative for Health Equity in Society, India
  • Musonda Chansa, Green Health Foundation Zambia, Zambia
  • Nisala Kisema Sandra, Debout Femmes Congolaises, D. R. of the Congo
  • Pascale Maquestiau, Le Monde Selon les Femmes, Belgium
  • Pauline Kangombe, Green Health Foundation Zambia, Zambia
  • Dr. Prem Chandran John, Asian Community Health Action Network, India
  • Reineira Arguello, Programme Manager for Latin America, WOMANKIND Worldwide, UK
  • Rizwana Yasmin, S. G., Women Employees Welfare Association, Pakistan
  • Ruth Mirembe Sessanga, E.D., Mpigi Rural Women's Network Afaayo, Uganda
  • Ruth Ojiambo Ochieng, E.D., ISIS-WICCE, Uganda
  • Sarah Diehl, Writer & Director, Abortion Democracy, Germany
  • Dr. Suzanne Belton, Sr. Lecturer, Menzies School of Health Research, Australia
  • Sybil Nmezi, Generation Foundation, Nigeria
  • Dr. Sylvia Estrada Claudio, Professor, Dept. of Women and Development Studies, University of the Philippines, Philippines
  • Dr. Vandana Shiva, Research Foundation for Science, Technology & Ecology, India