At the 2011 International Conference on Family Planning in Dakar, Senegal, 17 organizations joined together on a declaration in support of safe abortion worldwide.
HIV-positive women—like all women worldwide—have the right to decide when and if to have children. At a minimum, non-biased pregnancy options counseling and referrals to safe abortion and/or post-abortion care services should be part of comprehensive SRH services provided to HIV-positive (and all) women.
Senegal provides a fascinating case study in how to work simultaneously to prevent the spread of HIV and meet the family planning needs of women and families. The country’s successes also reveal why now, more than ever, U.S. investments in family planning are critical to empowering women, reducing poverty, reducing transmission of HIV and deaths from AIDS, and saving lives.
Millions of women in Africa and throughout the developing world suffer and die needlessly from unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion. But even the best contraceptive and postabortion services are not enough to prevent this. A third component that is often stigmatized and neglected even in the context of reproductive health programs is safe, legal abortion.