Newsletter: Keeping going, and staying safe

In a year where COVID-19 has had such a huge impact around the world, SAAF grantee partners have continued to ensure safe abortion care is available to all who need it.

The image above shows staff and youth volunteers from the Associação Santomense para Promoção Familiar (ASPF) in São Tomé and Príncipe continuing to support abortion care during the pandemic. Thanks to the flexibility of our own donors, SAAF has been able to offer additional funding to ASPF and other grantee partners, to cover the additional materials they need to stay safe (like the masks you see in the photo). We thank all those who continue to push for better access to abortion during this difficult time.

Connecting remotely

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SAAF online global gathering

At a time where travel has been extremely restricted, SAAF and our grantee partners have found ways to keep in touch. Our internal online discussion group has remained an active space for sharing challenges and triumphs, and just recently we held a global online gathering open to all grantee partners. We were delighted that over 70 people showed up to connect!

“This is something positive that the pandemic has left us, to diminish distances virtuality, using these rich spaces of interchange.”
SAAF grantee partner in Latin America

Fighting abortion stigma together

As the only global fund solely dedicated to funding abortion-focused projects we see the impact the “Global Gag Rule” has on organisations who cannot access U.S funding if they show support for safe abortion.

The good news is that the incoming Biden administration has pledged to remove this policy, but there is still more work to be done to truly ensure reproductive rights are fully realised around the world.

Read our new blogpost about this, featuring insight from grantee partner organisation CEHURD about the impact of the Global Gag Rule in Uganda.

Read our blogpost

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SAAF grantee partner spotlight 

Sister Aid Liberia awareness raising session in Rivercess County

At the start of this year, SAAF began funding a consortium of three women’s rights organisations in Liberia – Women Solidarity Incorporated, Sister Aid Liberia and Her Voice Liberia. The image above shows a group of women in a rural village who have taken part in one of their educational sessions on reproductive health and rights.

The consortium is working on a number of activities to gather evidence and spread awareness of the issue of unsafe abortion in the country. They have also developed a COVID-19 emergency response including forming a network of nurses and doctors able to provide guidance and counselling to those with unplanned pregnancies.

You can follow Sister Aid Liberia on Twitter for more updates on their work.

News and updates

We published a powerful blogpost written by Brian Ligomeka from CSJ News in Malawi. He wrote about the importance of passing the Termination of Pregnancy bill, which was due to be discussed in Parliament this year. The discussion has now been moved to February 2021 and will hopefully see a relaxation of the current law which only allows for abortion to save the pregnant person’s life.

A number of SAAF grantee partners have led vocal campaigns against a U.S led anti-abortion pact, signed by another 33 countries. You can read TICAH and KELIN’s response to the “Geneva Consensus Declaration” here.

The President of Argentina has now sent a bill to congress to legalise abortion. This is an important victory for campaigners like CDD Argentina and Socorristas En Red, who continue to push for the bill to be passed. Socorristas En Red has published the stories of those they have accompanied to access abortions during the pandemic which you can read (in Spanish) here.

SAAF is hosted by IPPF. If you wish to report anything which concerns you about our work, or the work of our grantee partners (such as abuse, fraud, malpractice) please consider using the confidential external incident reporting service IPPF SafeReport.