Released 00.01 GMT, 20 November 2015
Doctors and health professionals from every region of the world today added their voices to the growing pressure for the decriminalization of abortion, with 838 from 44 countries signing an open letter to governments published today by Amnesty International.
The letter calls on governments to stop interfering with health professionals’ ability to provide care, warning that criminalizing abortion puts women and girls’ health and lives at risk.
“The criminalization of abortion prevents healthcare providers from delivering timely, medically indicated care in accordance with their patients' wishes,” said the letter.
“It impedes and disregards sound medical judgment and can undermine the professional duty of care and confidentiality that doctors bear towards their patients.”
The letter was signed by health professionals from institutions around the world including Ghent University Hospital in Belgium, Universidad Nacional del Comahue in Argentina, Harvard Medical School in the USA and the University of Cape Town in South Africa.