Health and life indications

Association and Non-Governmental Organization resources

Ipas Publications

Ipas. 2012. Maternal mortality, unwanted pregnancy and abortion as addressed by international human rights bodies -- Part one: Statements from treaties, Treaty Monitoring Committees, Special Rapporteurs, human rights commissions and human rights courts. Chapel Hill, NC: Ipas.

Ipas. 2012. Maternal mortality, unwanted pregnancy and abortion as addressed by international human rights bodies -- Part two: Treaty Monitoring Committee Concluding Observations Universal Periodic Review Working Group recommendations, recommendations by Special Rapporteurs, Commissions and Courts. Chapel Hill, NC: Ipas 

Ipas. 2012. Maternal mortality, unwanted pregnancy and abortion as addressed by international human rights bodies -- Part three: Treaty Monitoring Committee Concluding Observations, Universal Periodic Review Working Group recommendations, recommendations by Special Rapporteurs, Commissions and Courts. Chapel Hill, NC: Ipas.

Ipas. Access to Abortion for Reasons of Mental Health. (2008)

Other Organizations’ Resources

Center for Reproductive Rights and University of Toronto, International Sexual and Reproductive Health Law Programme Faculty of Law amicus brief to the European Court of Human Rights in the case of ABC v Ireland (2008)

Center for Reproductive Rights, Bringing Rights to Bear: Abortion and Human Rights , Government duties to ease restrictions and ensure access to safe services  (2008). Review of each UN TMB standards regarding abortion and identification of gaps in standards.  International human rights law reflects an understanding of life protection as practically indistinguishable from considerations of health protection in the abortion context.

Center for Reproductive Rights, Safe and Legal Abortion is a Woman’s Human Right (2008)

Center for Reproductive Rights, The World’s Abortion Laws Map (2013)

Center for Reproductive Rights, Abortion Worldwide: Seventeen Years of Reform (2011)

International Planned Parenthood Federation, First Trimester Abortion Guidelines and Protocols: Surgical and medical procedures (2008). The aim of this document is to integrate protocols, guidelines and standards in a broad framework to ensure that no aspect of care is overlooked when providing comprehensive abortion care in the first trimester of pregnancy.

International Planned Parenthood Federation, Access to Safe Abortion:  A tool for assessing legal and other obstacles.

Professional Associations

International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), Ethical Aspects of Induced Abortion for Non-Medical Reasons (1998).
Abortion is very widely considered to be ethically justified when undertaken for medical reasons to protect the life or health of the mother in cases of molar or ectopic pregnancies and malignant disease. Most people would also consider it to be justified in cases of incest or rape, when the conceptus is severely malformed, or when the mother’s life is threatened by other serious disease. 
International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), Ethical Guidelines on Conscientious Objection (2005).
In emergency situations, to preserve life or physical or mental health, practitioners must provide the medically indicated care of their patients’ choice regardless of the practitioners' personal objections.
International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) Safe Motherhood, (2012)
Where abortion is not against the law, every woman should have the right, after appropriate counseling, to have access to medication or surgical abortion. The health care service has an obligation to provide such services as safely as possible. Proper medical and humane treatment should be made available to women who have undergone an unsafe abortion.
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion - Evidence-based Clinical Guideline Number 7 (2004).
A woman’s social circumstances that may affect her mental health, may be taken into account in assessing the risks to her health for an abortion under health indication.
American Psychological Association. Mental Health and Abortion
The best scientific evidence published indicates that among adult women who have an unplanned pregnancy the relative risk of mental health problems is no greater if they have a single elective first-trimester abortion than if they deliver that pregnancy. The ability of women to make decisions about their own childbearing is important for their health-including mental health.