28th September marks International Safe Abortion Day. Sama has been actively advocating for the right to safe and comprehensive abortion service and care for all.
On this Internationational Safe Abortion Day, Sama along with many CBOs, CHWs-Mitannins and women leaders from marginalised communities from Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh who have been part of Sama’s capacity building activities, actively participated in amplifying the voices, demanding the right to safe abortion, availability of quality abortion services and care in the public healthcare facilities. These activities included participating in online campaigns, webinars conducting meetings with the women and girls from the marginalised communities.
Panel Discussion 24th September 2021
Sama along with Jan Swasthya Abhiyan– Chhattisgarh organised a Panel Discussion on the “सुरक्षित गर्भ समापन-एक मौलिक अधिकार” on 24th September 2021, with the groups and networks in Chhattisgarh. The Panelists consisted of health rights activists from Chhattisgarh, Mitannins leaders(CHWs) and field-based health workers, who have also actively participated in the various meetings and capacity building trainings conducted by Sama.
Online Poster and Video Campaign towards 28th September
Sama had also organised an online poster and video campaign with the women community leaders, the CHWs and the CBOs who had been regularly participating in Sama’s capacity building activities. As a result of their sustained participation, many of these CBOs and CHWs have begun conducting meetings and discussions with the women and girls from the communities on the right to safe abortion. Sama had requested the CBOs, CHWs and women leaders from the communities to send in their messages and demands through photographs, videos and posters.
As a result, eight CBOs from various districts of Chhattisgarh, which includes-Astha Samiti from Kawardha and Mungeli Districts), Chaupal from Sarguja and Koriya districts, Jan Jagran Samiti from Pamgarh district, Lok Astha Seva Sansthan from the Gariyaband district, Jan Jagriti Manch from Abhanpur district, Nav Nirman Chetna Manch from Gaurella Pendra Marwahi district, Shrijan Kalyan Samaj Sevi Sansthan from Mahasamund district and Samarth from Kawardha district participated in the campaign.
Further, CHWs which includes Mitannins and SPS (Swasth Panchayat Samanvyak), from nine and nineteen blocks, such as Durg, Gorella Pendra Marwahi, Jashpur, Janjgir-Champa, Mahasamund, Narayanpur, Balodabazar, Raigarh, Korba participated in the campaign.
Sama received more than fifty photographs and several videos where women from marginalised communities. The photographs and videos were compiled and two videos were developed and shared on the social media platforms of Sama on 28th September 2021.
This video, which has also been shared from Sama’s social media platforms on 28th September is a compilation of the photographs received from various CBOs, CHWs such as Mitannins and women leaders from marginalised communities from nearly ten districts in Chhattisgarh, who raise the banners and took a step towards breaking the Silence and Stigma which surrounds the issue of Abortion and demanded bodily autonomy, unconditional access to safe, Comprehensive Abortion care!
This video, which has also been shared from Sama’s social media platforms on 28th September is a compilation of the videos shared with Sama by Mitannins and SPS from various districts of Chhattisgarh, who have been regularly conducting meetings and discussions, advocating for better access and availability of Safe Abortion Services and Care-demanding access and availability of safe abortion for all, without any conditionalities.
Meetings and Activities with Women and Girls in Kawardha and Mungeli Districts on 28th September 2021
Sama also coordinated with Astha Samiti and Childline, two CBOs whose activists and field-based workers have been regularly been part of Sama’s capacity building activities on the issue of the Right to Safe Abortion. On 28th September, meetings were organised in two districts of Kawardha and Mungeli, which saw active participation by women and girls, where they discussed the need for safe abortion, how the lack of services has resulted in unsafe abortion becoming the third biggest cause for maternal deaths and understanding that safe abortion is an essential part of one’s reproductive health rights.
Another meeting was organised, on 28th September was organised at the Bodla block of Kawardha, with the support of Astha Samiti Jan Sahayata Kendra. Here many CHWs including Mitannins, SPS and Anganwadi workers participated in large numbers, where they shared the experiences, highlighting the need for safe abortion from their own work, which also saw coverage by the local media.
Session on Right to Safe Abortion on 28th September during Sama’s Four day State Level Short Course in Patna, Bihar
Sama held a day-long session on 28th September, on the need to recognise Safe Abortion as a Right. This session was part of the four day State Level Short Course in Patna, Bihar which took place from 27th September till 30th September 2021. The session saw a detailed discussion on abortion, how it is an essential part of sexual and reproductive health and rights, how the right to safe abortion is connected with bodily autonomy and agency. Further, the barriers created by the socio-political factors, stigma, policies and regulations were also discussed and the provisions under the MTP Law were discussed. The participants also marked the International Safe Abortion Day by making posters, slogans, poems, songs and infographics. Participants also sang and raised slogans demanding the right to safe abortion.
Activities by various organisations on 28th September who participated in Sama’s session on Right to Safe Abortion
Sama had also conducted a session on Right to Safe Abortion, which was part of the four days long online Short Course from 13th to 16th September, which had seen participation from five states-Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Some of the organisations, who had participated in this short course, organised meetings and webinars on 28th September, marking the International Safe Abortion Day, and had sent this information to Sama.
- One such event was organised by Nari Chetna Foundation-Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh, who organised a week-long Abhiyan-campaign with the women from the marginalised communities from fifteen villages, equipping the women, mostly from Muslim and Dalit marginalised communities, with adequate information regarding abortion and the need to uphold it as a right. The organisation also culminated the campaign on 28th September, by preparing a memorandum demanding the right to safe abortion and access to reproductive health services for all women.
They not only sent the memorandum to the health superintendent of the district, but they also sent it to the Chief Medical Officer of the Jaunpur district in Uttar Pradesh. Further, on the same day, they also presented the memorandum to the Medical Officer of the Maharajganj Primary Health Centre, in Jaunpur. During this event, along with the healthcare providers, ANMs and ASHAs were also present along with forty women from the marginalised communities.
2. Astitiva Samajik Sansthan from Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh who’s field-based activists had participated in Sama’s online short course (13th-16th September), also conducted a fortnight-long campaign (18th to 30th September) during which they also raised the issue of the right to safe abortion. The participants informed they not only equipped their own colleagues about the need to understand Safe Abortion as a Right but also included it in their sessions with the women during the campaign.
They organised sessions with women from mostly Dalit communities in different villages throughout the fortnight. On 28th September, to mark the International Safe Abortion Day they organised meetings in two such villages, where a focused discussion was held on the right to safe abortion for all.
Two organisations, whose field-based activists and leaders were part of the Sama’s Online Short Course (13th-16th September), organised two meetings marking 28th September the International Safe Abortion Day. Sahayogini from the Bokaro district in Jharkhand and Swabhiman from the Dhanbad district in Jharkhand has been part of Sama’s capacity building workshops and training. On 28th September they organised meetings with the women and girls from the tribal communities they work within their respective regions. During the meetings, they discussed why it is important to understand that abortion is an essential part of all women’s and girls’ reproductive health rights.
Swadesh Gramoday Samiti which is based in Dattiya, Madhya Pradesh, organised a Webinar to mark the International Safe Abortion Day, on 25th September. The webinar saw the active participation of health rights activists and CBOs from Madhya Pradesh. During the webinar, they discussed at length the importance of understanding Abortion as an essential part of the reproductive health rights of women.