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Abortion Justice: Building a Generative Funding Ecosystem

Blogs Stories Conference 2023 Funding Ecosystem

This HRFN session was co-created and led by: Aditi Pinto from inroads: the International Network for the Reduction of Abortion Discrimination and Stigma, Verónica Cruz from Las Libres, and Katrin Wilde from Channel Foundation.

Abortion is an individual and collective human right. Yet, abortion continues to be stigmatized, criminalized, grossly underfunded, and depicted as solely a female reproductive health issue.

As many of us experience attacks on our abortion rights around the world, we need to have an honest conversation about abortion stigma and the vital role of abortion rights in advancing every social justice issue. As Audre Lorde wisely shared, “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives”.

Understanding the importance of ensuring that abortion rights are part of every single human rights space and conversation, we co-organized a session at the Human Rights Funders Network Conference in Oaxaca titled: Abortion: Solidarity without stigma in the construction of collective rights.

Yellow background. Colorful hands covered in flowers join at the top and bottom, expressing solidarity and community. In the center, it says: Abortion is a collective human right.

In this session, which was attended by a diverse group of human rights defenders and funders, we were able to discuss abortion realities across the world, share the powerful ways in which abortion activists are in the front lines of abortion care and access across the globe, and explore the actions we need to take to show up with the same bravery, resistance, and resilience as the global abortion justice movement.

Here are some of our group reflections and key takeaways:

  • Abortion is a central human right and needs to be recognized as a core component of human rights efforts. We cannot progress human rights or protect them if we are not protecting our bodily autonomy, including abortion.
  • Abortion stigma and bans are part of a larger system of oppression designed to oppress and exploit our bodies and territories.
  • We strive to work towards a funding ecosystem for abortion across borders that addresses the severe underfunding of abortion community care.
  • We recognize the immense strength of abortion accompaniment networks—which currently operate largely on a voluntary basis—and how crucial it is to support them.
  • We identify that existing resources for abortion work still remain heavily centralized and directed to a few larger groups who often focus on mainstream clinics even though most abortion work is being done by community networks.
  • We share a commitment to: support and learn from movements; let those who are doing the work lead; explore how to build genuine participatory systems centering trust, solidarity, and collaboration; and decolonize funding processes, which includes breaking from the practice of treating movement leaders  only as research subjects or grant recipients.

We left this space inspired, invigorated, and more determined than ever to defend the human right to abortion and to build the funding ecosystem our communities need.

To continue carrying this work forward, we are inviting funders to join us in taking a public stance to destigmatize abortion within the philanthropic community with this Funder Call to Action.

Learn more about the session co-organizers:


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