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Year: 2009 Type: Article Language: English

Latin America and the Caribbean have among the highest levels of unsafe abortions, and current debate rages to change the abortion-related laws and policies. In response, the International Planned Parenthood Federation – Western Hemisphere Region has established a three-pronged framework to fight unsafe abortions, based on promoting the right to increasing access and reducing need, promoted through a range of service and advocacy components. In this case study, a Uruguayan partner organization, ‘Iniciativas Sanitarias’ (IS), adapts this rights-based framework for local application, creating the harm reduction approach. Based on the rights to information, health and women’s autonomy, the IS seeks to empower women and strengthen the commitment of health professionals to provide safer abortion information and services based on the bioethical principles of autonomy, justice and patient-provider confidentiality. The increase in service utilization has proven the practicality and viability of this framework, and is providing the basis for working towards a national health system model that will promote social and human development through the public policies needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

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