In October 2018 The Global Dialogue on Abortion, Prenatal Testing and Disability convened by CREA took place in Nairobi, Kenya. The event brought together SRHR experts, organisations of women with disabilities and feminists from around the world, including Kamila Ferenc, a representative of ASTRA Network. The international and intercontextual team worked on creating a set of guidelines aimed to start a cross-movement dialogue between disability, SRHR and women’s rights.
An outcome of the meeting is a set of principles necessary to improve the works of womens rights activists. A preamble to the document can be found below.
Affirming that sexual and reproductive rights, including access to safe abortion, are important priorities for both sexual and reproductive rights advocates and for women and girls with disabilities and recognizing that there is no incompatibility between guaranteeing access to safe abortion and protecting disability rights, given that gender and disability-sensitive debates on autonomy, equality and access to health care benefit all people;
Recognizing that sexual and reproductive rights, and particularly access to safe abortion, are under threat in countries around the world, and that disability rights language is often co-opted by anti-abortion advocates to restrict these rights;
Acknowledging that throughout history persons with disabilities, particularly women and girls with disabilities, have been targeted by eugenics policies which continue to inform law and policy in many countries, particularly to force or coerce them not to reproduce; to deny them their bodily, sexual and reproductive autonomy; and to prevent them from accessing the information, education and means to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights;
Renouncing the harmful legacy of eugenics, and calling for productive conversations between the sexual and reproductive rights movement and the disability movement that ensure women and girls with disabilities are full participants in discussions on abortion rights and their rights are fully taken into consideration in those discussions;
Recognizing the important contributions that women and girls with disabilities make to discussions on sexual and reproductive rights, including access to safe abortion, and that their inclusion in conversations that affect them is essential to ensuring both their rights and the rights of all women and all persons with disabilities;
Welcoming the recent Joint Statement by the UN Committees on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CRPD and CEDAW Committees) on “Guaranteeing sexual and reproductive health and rights for all women, in particular women with disabilities,” and in particular the progress this statement makes in advancing human rights standards surrounding abortion;
Recognizing the important opportunity to bring advocates working on sexual and reproductive rights and on the rights of women and girls with disabilities together for advocacy on the right to safe abortion.