Abortion is a common experience—people of all ages, ethnicities, nationalities, and religions decide to end their pregnancies for various reasons. Yet in many places across the globe, people who have abortions face harmful stereotypes, blame, and social stigma.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) provides safe abortion care and also treats people for the consequences of unsafe abortion, a leading cause of maternal mortality. In 2020, MSF teams provided more than 30,000 safe abortions in our health care facilities around the world. When our teams talk to people who are deciding to have an abortion, we often hear their personal stories. To mark International Safe Abortion Day, September 28, we want to help break abortion stigma by sharing some first-person stories from women in the places where MSF works. We hear from women all over the world—from Colombia to Democratic Republic of Congo, Greece to India—including students, midwives, and people with and without children.
MSF is committed to using our voice to ensure that people everywhere have access to safe abortion care. Safe abortion care is essential health care.