Working to Advance
Health Equity in Africa

Advancing women’s access to safe abortion through coalitions and advocacy

Advancing women’s access to safe abortion through coalitions and advocacy

In November 2023, HEARD launched a new collaborative project with the Paris Centre for Sociological and Political Research (CRESPPA) on access to safe abortion in Sub-Saharan Africa. The project which will run for four years (2023-2027), and is funded by the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), aims to foster normative change by building linkages and capacities and creating real coalitions involving researchers, civil society, decision-makers and journalists to advocate strategically on Termination of Pregnancy (TOP) law reform, development of comprehensive abortion care policy and implementation of existing related policy to the fullest extent of the law.

The project will build coalitions of actors working to ensure access to safe abortion; build capacities of civil society to locate good scientific evidence and transform this into advocacy tools; build the capacity of journalists to report on abortion using evidence-based information; and build local and regional networks of parliamentarians and other decision makers (beyond those currently working as “champions” for this cause) who can work together to advocate for access to safe abortion across the regions. This should allow real progress on implementing access to safe abortion for women in the target countries, as well as providing more general knowledge and guidance for advocacy on abortion across the region.

We will also create opportunities for cross regional learning to build connectivities and develop a strong continental response thus broadening the space for strategic dialogue. These impacts should enable stakeholders to better challenge dominant anti-abortion narratives promoted by local and global “anti-gender” actors and change public and political perceptions and discourses around access to abortion. In the long term this might lead to political and legislative change to facilitate access to safe abortion for all women regardless of their social, economic or political status.