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International Safe Abortion Day

The RCOG supports the rights of women and girls across the world to access safe and high-quality abortion and postabortion services. International Safe Abortion Day is an annual day of action in support of the right to safe abortion.

On International Safe Abortion Day 2017, the RCOG adds its voice to global movements to support a woman’s right to legal and safe abortion, and hears from and celebrates abortion care providers both in the UK and around the world.  


Every girl and every woman has the right to health and to do what she chooses with her body. These rights affect her personal development, her livelihood, her participation in society and determine whether her family and community thrives.

Protecting these values and principles are of paramount importance which is why the RCOG supports SheDecides. This global movement supports the fundamental rights of women to decide freely and for themselves about their sexual lives, including whether, when, with whom and how many children they have.

Created as an immediate response to US President Donald Trump’s reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule, the SheDecides movement is standing up, speaking out, and unlocking the resources that are essential for every girl and every woman – everywhere to be free. We’ve signed the She Decides manifesto, because when she decides, the world is a better, stronger, safer place.


36th Human Rights Council Session

We’ve joined 285 organisations around the world calling on our global leaders to guarantee access to safe and legal abortion. Here’s our joint statement at the 36th Human Rights Council Session.


Provider perspectives


Leading Safe Choices

The RCOG Leading Safe Choices programme aims to strengthen the competence and raise the standing of reproductive healthcare professionals in South Africa and Tanzania.

The programme trains mid-level health providers (nurses and midwives) in postpartum family planning (PPFP), and comprehensive abortion care (CAC) in South Africa and comprehensive postabortion care (CPAC) in Tanzania. This includes training in postabortion family planning, as when a woman seeks healthcare for abortion care, she is ideally placed for her contraceptive needs to be assessed and met.

Valerie Truby, Leading Safe Choices Programme Manager (South Africa), shares the challenges posed by conscientious objection and how the LSC programme has been addressing these challenges through Values Clarification workshops.


The Leading Safe Choices Best Practice Papers are now being adapted in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Pakistan and Bangladesh.


The RCOG respects that individual views on abortion amongst its members, and indeed across wider society, will differ on the topic of abortion. However, as an organisation whose core purpose is to improve women’s health, the College supports the rights of women and girls across the world to access safe, high-quality family planning, contraception, abortion and postabortion services, working within the local legal framework.