The Cameroon Society of Gynecologists and Obstetricians, SOGOC, and its media partners, during a webinar on February 6, discussed the Livingstone Abortion Charter. Media partners reiterated their commitment to accompany SOGOC in their drive to ensure safe abortion for deserving women. They brainstormed and developed story ideas for articles in line with the charter, especially about safe abortion care.
Here is what you need to know about the Livingstone Safe Abortion Care Charter:
The Livingstone Safe Abortion Care Charter, enacted on January 18, 2023, is a document that aims to protect and advocate for women’s reproductive rights to safe abortion services.
Cameroon: SOGOC is a signatory to this charter, as are signed societies from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia.
The seven key points about the charter are:
- Strengthen access to safe abortion care through interventions that promote self-managed abortion care.
- Ensure access to safe abortion care is integrated as a key component within our professional society’s strategic mandate to deliver on sexual and reproductive health and rights. This includes integrating the need for safe abortion care within our sexual reproductive health activities and collating data on related abortion services to inform policies and programmes.
- Enhance the organisational and technical capacity of our national society to advocate for safe and quality abortion care by ensuring our professional society has accessible guidance in place for our members and relevant stakeholders. We commit to ensuring this guidance is centered on up-to-date clinical advancements and human rights standards.
- Address abortion-related stigma that nurtures hostile environments for healthcare advocates and denies women and girls access to quality abortion care by utilizing tools such as value clarification and attitude transformation.
- Work with the World Health Organization, Ministries of Health, and relevant stakeholders to prioritize the alignment of WHO’s Abortion Care Guidelines (2022) and ensure training on safe abortion care is an essential part of professional development for health care professionals; integrate it into lifelong learning to ensure health services are universally available.
- Work on behalf of and with marginalized population groups at high risk of maternal mortality and morbidity, including young people and adolescents, by advocating for their right to access sexual reproductive health services and age-appropriate and evidence-based information.
- Advocate for the decriminalization of abortion care and urge our governments to regulate it like any other health care provision. Decriminalizing abortion refers to the removal of specific criminal and/or civil sanctions against abortion from the law so that no one is punished for having, providing, or supporting access to abortion.