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Latin America and the Caribbean

Though Argentina has legalised abortion, states have autonomy when it comes to the implementation of national laws. The reality is that abortion access is not uniform across the country, and there are still people who are being denied services, or who are receiving sub-standard care, based on where they live and who they are.

FEIM will work in four provinces which have the most issues with access – Salta, Jujuy, Chaco and Misiones. They will form a network of organisations to defend sexual and reproductive rights, with an emphasis on access to abortion. FEIM will train activist groups on key reproductive rights issues, as well as how to request public information to monitor provision of services. They will offer these groups seed grants to carry out this work according to a common agenda. In addition, they will provide training to key actors such as public officials, teachers and health workers to increase their knowledge and support for rights-based sexual and reproductive health care.

Visit the FEIM website.

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Socorristas en Red is a collective from Argentina that gives accurate information about abortion and accompanies women and other people with the capacity to gestate to end unviable pregnancies in a safe and supported way.

With SAAF funding, Socorristas works to extend access to safe abortion, especially to young people and girls; to monitor the quality of abortion practices and arrange referrals; and to create activities to destigmatize abortion.

Visit the Socorristas en Red website.

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Manodiversa is an organization based in Santa Cruz de la Sierra which advocates for the rights and needs of all people of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, promoting empowerment and effective participation in decision-making spaces.

Manodiversa's project will address the reproductive healthcare needs of lesbian and bisexual women and trans men, especially those who are indigenous, Afro-descendent, and/or living in rural and peri-urban areas. Access by these populations to sexual and reproductive health services, including abortion services, is limited, despite an evidenced need. The SAAF-funded work will generate evidence for planning state/civil society policies and programs, empower the target population, provide skills and equipment to providers and health centres to generate LGBT friendly spaces, and disseminate the evidence produced with the women's movement, LGBT activists and legislators in Bolivia.

Visit the Manodiversa website.
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Public debate on abortion in Brazil has been historically limited by religious based political conservatism. Anis works to counteract anti-choice claims, not by denying them, but by introducing a counter-frame on abortion rights, in legal and communication terms, with a clear moral and narrative stance against the reproductive coercion of women. This new frame facilitates collaboration with a diverse range of human rights organizations, beyond those of the traditional feminist movement, in the advocacy struggle to decriminalise abortion in Brazil.

Visit the Anis – Institute of Bioethics, Human Rights and Gender website.
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Brazil

Bloco A

Bloco A is a non-profit organization dedicated to alleviating social injustice for women and girls in Brazil by increasing access to high quality essential health services including contraception, abortion and post-abortion care. 

In Brazil, abortion is both criminalized (except in cases of rape, fetal anencephaly and risk to the woman's life) and heavily stigmatized in all sectors of society. Bloco A has as its target audience health professionals and students, the objective is to train them clinically and legally, in addition to clarifying any harmful stigmas and stereotypes. The application of a harm reduction approach is offered through work with health teams at the local level, as well as through advocacy campaigns aimed at girls and women. 

Visit the Bloco A website. 

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Instituto Patrícia Galvão (IPG) is a leading feminist organization in the fields of women's rights and communication. IPG's SAAF-funded work aims to influence the public debate in Brazil on the right to safe abortion in the case of rape, in order to prevent setbacks in the current legislation and to stimulate advances in guaranteeing the rights of access to information and services for girls and women who have experienced sexual violence.

Witnessing increasing threats to women's rights and abortion access from a far-right conservative Government, and an increased conservatism amongst the public, IPG is conducting research and awareness raising to ensure greater public understanding of reproductive rights, especially the right to access abortion in the case of rape.

Visit the Instituto Patrícia Galvão – Mídia e Direitos website.
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Despite a 2006 Constitutional Court ruling in Colombia that decriminalised abortion in three exceptions (including when the pregnancy poses a risk to the woman’s health), informal estimates suggest that less than 10% of abortions are carried out legally. Si Mujer's project addresses the lack of knowledge and incorrect information that persists on abortion among poor marginalised communities, while also challenging the gender inequalities which act as barriers to abortion, particularly among young marginalised women in Cali (the largest city in the southwest of Colombia and home to the largest number of internally displaced people in the region).

The project mobilises, trains and supports adolescents and young people to act as sexual and reproductive health and rights activists in their communities. The young people sensitise, raise awareness, educate on sexual health and rights, with a focus on abortion legislation, as well as identify and refer women in need of abortions to the organisations' own clinics where they will receive care free-of-charge.

Read stories from Si Mujer staff and volunteers here, and visit the Si Mujer website here.

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Two organisations, Las Comadres and Sendas, will work together to expand access to safe, supported abortions in Ecuador.

Abortion is only legal in Ecuador where there is a risk to the life or health of the pregnant person, or where the pregnancy is a result of rape (and only up to 12 weeks gestation). Even in these cases, abortions are not always accessible – due to health workers refusing to provide services, lack of clear information on abortion, and lack of investment in reproductive health services.

Las Comadres has already accompanied thousands of people to access safe abortion care and wants to continue to offer this essential support. They wish to invest in better systems to track the reach and impact of this support, and also to reach women in more rural areas who remain underserved by accompaniment networks. The two organisations will use SAAF funding to strengthen the feminist networks available to provide practical support to those needing to access abortion care in Ecuador.

Visit the SENDAS and Las Comadres websites.

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In both the Dominican Republic and El Salvador, girls and young women experience high rates of unplanned pregnancy, and it is younger women who are most at risk of unsafe abortion, and criminalisation for seeking abortion services. Young feminist activist groups from El Salvador and the Dominican Republic will work together to advocate for their right to free, legal and safe abortion in both countries.

They will strengthen young activists’ knowledge of abortion and their communication and advocacy skills through an online school sharing information on topics like digital security and self-managed abortion. They will create alliances with other feminist activists across Latin America and the Caribbean, to learn from successful advocacy campaigns to decriminalise abortion. They will carry out political advocacy and media campaigns to ensure that young women’s voices are heard on the topic of abortion rights.

Visit the IXCHEL website.

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The eastern region of Guatemala has high rates of unwanted early pregnancies and access to reproductive health programs is limited, especially to emergency contraception and contraceptive methods for adolescents and youth.

Colectivo Joven is a youth centered organisation which, with SAAF funding, aims to work directly with adolescents and young people in the municipality of Jalapa, providing comprehensive sexuality education focused on sexual and reproductive health and rights. 

Visit the Asociación Civil, Colectivo para la Participación de la Infancia y Juventud (COPIJ) website.

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Abortion is extremely restricted in Haiti, and unsafe abortions are common. The country has the highest maternal mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere. However the penal code which governs abortion is due to be reviewed, and the most recent proposals offered a more progressive position. Feminist organisation Nègès Mawon will use this opportunity to build alliances and prepare to accelerate advocacy for the decriminalisation of abortion in Haiti.

As well as forming a network of organisations to advocate for abortion law reform, Nègès Mawon will carry out initiatives in the community to share information about sexual and reproductive health and rights and to reduce the risks those seeking abortions face. For example, they will stage a play in five regions of the country, which shares information and raises awareness about safe abortion. This ‘forum theatre’ allows women and girls to interact and engage with the messages, making it an accessible way to speak about a stigmatised social issue.

Visit the Nègès Mawon website.

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WE-Change is a feminist organisation focused on advocating for and with lesbian, bisexual and queer women.

With SAAF funding they intend to shift the conversation on abortion in Jamaica and offer more support to those seeking information on safe abortion options. They will create a companion service that provides information and financial assistance to help abortion seekers to better navigate the logistics of seeking an abortion as well as their own emotional state.

They will also provide community outreach and art workshops on reproductive justice and safe abortion to provide a positive counter-point to the prevailing anti-choice messages found in the media.

Visit the WE-Change website.

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Mexico

Anonymous organis­ation

This project is focussed on advocating for access to safe abortion for women in the Mexican state of Campeche. Through strategic litigation for the promotion of sexual and reproductive rights of women, training health professionals and public servants in abortion as a right and ensuring access to safe abortion for ethnic minority women from the border region of Campeche and Quintana Roo by providing accompaniment to safe abortion providers.
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Balance Promoción para el Desarrollo y Juventud, A.C. (Balance A.C.) is a progressive feminist organization that aims to transform policies, programs and actions to promote sexual and reproductive justice for women, adolescents and youth. Balance A.C. offers support through the MARIA Fund for Abortion and Social Justice (Fondo Maria), which is the only fund in Latin America and the Caribbean that functions on a national scale, supporting women all over the country so that they can access safe abortion. It strives for a legal and social context in Mexico that would allow, respect, and promote the right to abortion as a legitimate outcome of an unwanted or unviable pregnancy, using the legal framework that exists in Mexico City.

Aside from granting financial and logistical support for those seeking abortions, Fondo Maria trains and works with voluntary abortion doulas who provide comprehensive accompaniment to women throughout their abortion experience. It also engages on research focused on stigma-reduction, and strengthens the skills of those working for safe abortion in their states.

Visit the Balance Promoción para el Desarrollo y Juventud AC website.

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In 2021 the State of Hidalgo in Mexico decriminalised abortion up to 12 weeks and updated the health law to provide access in public hospitals free of change. However, Di Ramona has seen that abortion services are still not accessible for many. Through their hotline they receive complaints about refusal of services, shortages of medication, unjustified charges and mistreatment in public health services. Many people who need abortions still do not know that they have a legal right to access it.

Di Ramona will use SAAF funding to increase access to safe abortion in the state of Hidalgo, both in public hospitals and through their own medical abortion accompaniment programme. They will support patients to report complaints on lack of access and advocate with the Ministry of Health to improve access to services. Di Ramona will also strengthen its own direct provision of abortion care, through training more doulas to provide accompaniment support, and also adapting their clinic to enable the provision of surgical abortion care and more space for medical abortion care.

Visit the Di Ramona Facebook page.

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Las Libres has been helping people access safe abortions in Mexico for decades. Their SAAF funded work will focus on increasing the support available to migrant women and girls, especially those in Mexican border territories. They will work to build a collective model of safe abortion accompaniment in these border states.

Women and girls who are in the process of migrating, or who experience poverty and other forms of marginalisation, face the greatest barriers to accessing reliable safe abortion care. Las Libres will strengthen their own organisational capacity to ‘accompany’ these women to support them to access safe abortions – including building a permanent medicine bank, a peer-to-peer support network, and creating safe physical spaces for self-managed abortions. They will ensure communities know about their right to safe, legal abortion through a targeted media and outreach campaign.

Visit the Las Libres website.

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The Network of Afro-Latin American, Afro-Caribbean and Diaspora Women is a space for the empowerment of women of African descent for democratic, equitable, just, multicultural societies, free from racial discrimination, sexism and exclusion, and for the promotion of interculturality.

Their SAAF funded work strengthens the capacities of a network of young volunteers from the communities of Bilwi, Bonanza, Rosita and Waspan on the northern Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. The aim is to combat negative social norms and attitudes with respect to the right to decide about one's body. This is done through educational activities in communities such as informative talks, fairs and meetings between young people, which contribute to and motivate social changes in behaviour, creating awareness and autonomy, transforming ideas, beliefs, values and practices that cement the right to decide.

Visit the Asociación Red de Mujeres Afrolatinoamericanas, Afrocaribeñas y de la Diáspora (RMAAD) website.
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paraguay

Unión de Profesionales para la Educación y Calidad en Servicios en Salud Sexual y Reproductiva (UPECSAR)

In Paraguay, abortion is only legal where there is risk to the life of the pregnant person, and then it is often denied. As a result, 20% of maternal deaths in the country are related to unsafe abortion.

UPECSAR will work to improve access to safe, high-quality sexual and reproductive health services at the Estrella Rosa clinic, where they provide contraception, rights-based comprehensive care services and care for post-abortion obstetric emergencies. They will introduce a fund to subsidise care for low-income people, and will ensure that contraceptives are available free of charge to those who need them.

UPECSAR will work to ensure their clinic is the first to have a gender-diverse care protocol – this will include training all staff on the importance of non-judgemental sexual and reproductive health care for people of all genders.

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Peru

Anonymous organis­ation

This organisation provides comprehensive reproductive health services in northern Peru, with a focus on young people and women from indigenous communities.
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CLACAI is a network of activists, researchers, health care providers and professionals that works towards the reduction of unsafe abortion in Latin America. It promotes access to information and to modern and safe technologies within the framework of full respect for sexual and reproductive rights from a gender and equity perspective.

With SAAF funding, CLACAI seeks to strengthen the capacity of its members in defending, promoting and expanding access to safe abortion by confronting opposition groups that have accentuated their presence in the Region, activating human rights mechanisms. One of the main objectives of this work is to strengthen legal defense actions of member organizations in the face of threats from anti-choice groups.

Visit the Consorcio Latinoamericano Contra el Aborto Inseguro (CLACAI) website.
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