ACPD (now Action Canada) attended the World Leaders Consultation on Uniting for Safe Legal Abortion (March 24-25 2014 during which the Arlie Declaration on safe legal abortion was drafted. The full version is posted below.
“We believe in a world where every woman and girl has the right to make decisions about her body, her health and her future. True gender equality cannot be achieved without access to safe, legal abortion.
Yet this vision is still far from reality, due in part to continued restrictions on safe, legal abortion in much of the world. Criminalizing abortion does not eliminate abortion; it puts women’s lives and health at risk. The consequences are dire:
These intolerable conditions violate women’s fundamental human rights.
We welcome important evidence of progress as indicated by liberalization of laws and policies in a number of countries; increased policy and financial support at global, regional, and national levels; increased use of effective contraceptive methods; improved technologies for safe abortion; and declining deaths and injuries in most countries. However, we must build on this progress and accelerate our efforts as we define our priorities for the next two decades.
We therefore call on governments and policymakers to:
As leaders in global health, human rights, government and policymaking from diverse countries and cultures, we pledge individually and collectively to mobilize our knowledge, resources and networks toward achieving these goals. We call on the global community to join us in holding governments, global institutions and donors accountable for respecting women’s rights to make choices when faced with unwanted pregnancies, and to fulfill their obligations to women.
We are united in saving women’s lives through access to safe legal abortion.”