Training advocates for abortion rights helps build movements for change
Committed, skilled advocates are essential for building strong movements and reproductive justice. That’s why Ipas recently launched a global virtual training for abortion rights advocates. The training series, called “Time for action,” brought together 30 activists from around the world. More than 150 people applied to be part of this cohort and strengthen their activism for sexual and reproductive rights.
“This was an important step toward building new partnerships and supporting local groups and activists who want to defend women’s human rights and expand access to abortion care,” says Cecilia Espinoza, Ipas policy and advocacy lead. “Without these kinds of spaces where people can exchange information and ideas and learn how to become stewards of abortion rights, there will be no sustainable abortion access.”
“Many participants described the incredibly fierce opposition to abortion in their countries and regions,” Espinoza continues. “In contexts where you can’t even say the word, you need this kind of space to exchange ideas and learn from each other about abortion rights advocacy.”
“This kind of training gives us the knowledge and courage to do more. Abortion advocacy is very important…safe abortion is a basic right.”
“We have hundreds of abortions a day in Haiti, most of them in unsafe conditions. It’s really a public health issue, a violation of women’s rights and a need to control their lives and bodies. It is vital for us as feminists, as activists, as women, to do all we can to decriminalize abortion.”
In recent years, abortion rights movements have gained momentum for legal reform and abortion policy change in many countries around the world, shining a light on injustices such as abortion criminalization and deaths and injuries due to lack of access to safe abortion. They have shown the need for governments to take concrete action to protect sexual and reproductive rights and remove barriers that block access to abortion.
Ipas and key partners have long provided learning opportunities for human rights defenders, including young leaders and advocates, to strengthen their skills and connect with others. This virtual training is part of Ipas’s efforts to support the development of sustainable advocacy strategies to improve abortion rights and access.