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RCOG statement to mark International Safe Abortion Day

News 28 September 2020

On 28 September the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) joins sexual and reproductive health professionals and advocates around the world to mark International Safe Abortion Day.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG) strongly supports universal access to safe, legal, high quality and compassionate abortion care for women and girls around the world. Women and girls must be able to access abortion care without fear of criminal sanctions, stigma and harassment.

Globally, it is estimated that 25 million of all abortions are unsafe. Around 5-13% of maternal deaths can be attributed to unsafe abortion and around 7 million women are admitted to hospitals as a result of unsafe abortions in developing countries.

 

Dr Ranee Thakar, Vice President for Global Health at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said:

“Many of the barriers that women face to access safe abortion have been exacerbated by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, abortion care has been classified as essential by the World Health Organization, and must be recognised as such during the pandemic response and recovery period.

“We welcome the steps taken by those governments that have ensured that abortion care has continued to be provided in a safe, timely and compassionate manner and applaud in particular the new innovative ways to abortion care provision, including the introduction of telemedicine in some countries, including the United Kingdom. We would urge governments to ensure that these positive changes remain in place beyond the pandemic.”

 

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Notes to Editors

 

About the RCOG

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is a medical charity that champions the provision of high quality women’s healthcare in the UK and beyond. It is dedicated to encouraging the study and advancing the science and practice of obstetrics and gynaecology. It does this through postgraduate medical education and training and the publication of clinical guidelines and reports on aspects of the specialty and service provision.