Rwandese (youth) organisations offered a position paper on safe abortion to their President in January 2012. This position paper was the outcome of a 6 months project that resulted in a two-days meeting of supporters and opponents of abortion. Rutgers WPF financed this project.
Abortion is punishable in Rwanda. Girls who get pregnant and choose for an abortion run the risk of ending up in prison. Moreover, they run a very serious health risk due to unsafe abortions. The Rwandese youth organisation Youth Action Movement (YAM) wants to change this. YAM originates from a Rwandese NGO ARBEF, member of IPPF, one of the partners of Rutgers WPF. YAM has noted the terrible circumstances of these girls, sometimes in prison, and tries to support them. YAM, therefore, advocates for safe abortion and tries to mobilise others to realise change.
YAM initiated a two-days meeting about safe abortion and after care. Approximately 50 people of 30 Rwandese NGO’s for young people participated. A majority of all present eventually subscribed to the position paper. The first step was to offer the position paper to the Rwandese President and the paper will be distributed further to have a positive influence on legislation.
Rutgers WPF has facilitated training courses and workshops for YAM and ARBEF with respect to sexuality and reproductive health of young people. They also developed advocacy tools and methods for safe abortion. Rutgers WPF works in different African and Asian countries on topics such as:
- Access to contraceptives;
- Safe abortion and good ante and postnatal care;
- Addressing sensitive themes, such as safe abortion, sexual violence and sexual diversity.