This International Safe Abortion Day, Marie Stopes South Africa is calling for safe abortion services and care to be made available to every woman who wants it worldwide.

Across the globe, there are still 214 million women who currently have no reliable way of preventing an unintended pregnancy that could make them poorer, push their dreams beyond their reach forever, or threaten their health and life.

We’ve seen the transformational potential of family planning, and the positive changes that can happen in a woman’s life when she has control over her body and future. Contraception and safe abortion supports women to delay first pregnancy, space their pregnancies and avoid unsafe abortion, greatly reducing their risk of dying in pregnancy or childbirth.

It also means that, if she chooses, a woman can finish her education, pursue a career and can more easily take care of the children she already has.

The impact of this global healthcare crisis is devastating and far-reaching

On an individual level, women’s health and happiness suffers – as do the finances and fortunes of her family. At a wider level, whole societies lose out as women are unable to fully engage in their communities – economically, politically or otherwise.

WIN a R 2,000 Woolworths Voucher

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

We’ve seen the transformational potential of family planning, and the positive changes that can happen in a woman’s life when she has control over her body and future

Marketing and Brand Manager for Marie Stopes South Africa, Whitney Chinogwenya, says: “Everybody wins when women and girls can access contraception and abortion services safely and easily. We see fewer girls drop out of school, a decrease in the number of women dying in childbirth, and a growth in the amount of young people in the workplace contributing to the economy. Multiply that by millions, and it becomes clear that safe abortion has the power not just to transform lives, but entire communities.”

For younger women, getting access to contraception can be especially challenging

As an unmarried women or girl, accessing sexual health services can be difficult, stopping many from getting effective contraception. As a result, large numbers of young women do not have the information they need about sex and how to prevent a pregnancy. In South Africa, 60% of pregnancies are unintended, and 30% are unwanted. Not only does an unintended pregnancy put young women’s future aspirations at risk, but their lives, too.

“Girls who want to be at school, rather than at home caring for children, are being let down by society”

“Girls who want to be at school, rather than at home caring for children, are being let down by society. Women and girls can deliver so much more than babies, but this is often only possible when they have access to contraception. Family planning is simple and affordable, with benefits that transform lives and help countries thrive.”

We’re working towards a world in which every birth is wanted – where people are free to have children by choice, not chance. Will you join our mission?

Find a Marie Stopes centre near you

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.