HRC 45: Joint Civil Society Statement on Abortion

Please note that an abbreviated version of this statement was delivered orally on 1 October 2020 to fit the time requirements of the Human Rights Council.

We make this statement on behalf of 354 organizations[i] and 643 individuals.[ii]



In the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, States recognized that women’s rights are human rights and that all human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated. This should have been the basis for an intersectional[i] approach to human rights and the recognition that the denial of access to safe and legal abortion impacts all aspects of women’s lives.

Everyone has the right to life-saving interventions during or outside of crises.[ii] And yet, women and girls’ rights to bodily autonomy and safe abortion have been some of the first rights to be conveniently sacrificed under the guise of prioritizing COVID, as if health was a zero-sum game. That includes free, safe and legal abortion and comprehensive abortion and post-abortion care,[iii] without which women, girls and gender-non-conforming persons are forced to seek unsafe clandestine abortions or to carry unwanted pregnancies to term, in complete violation of our rights.[iv]

During this pandemic, some governments are increasing barriers to abortion services by deeming it a non-essential medical procedure,[v] or are instrumentalizing the crisis to further restrict access in law or practice.[vi]  In health systems, for example, inadequate planning and the redeployment of medical personnel and resources to COVID-19 have decreased access to abortion and contraception.

Confinement measures have restricted the ability to travel to health facilities exacerbating the onerous requirements to comply with strict gestational limits on abortion. Moreover, confinement measures have resulted in a loss of livelihoods for many, such as sex workers, domestic workers, and informal workers.

The dramatic rises in domestic and intimate partner violence, the exponential increase in care burdens on women and girls, the closing of borders, crackdowns based on migration status, as well as systemic racism in policing and lockdown enforcement all limit access to abortion care.

This does not have to be the case. During the pandemic, some states have expanded access by increasing legal limits for medical abortion and facilitating telemedicine procedures, proving that these barriers were never medically necessary.

These barriers and inequalities are not exceptional to this moment. Legal frameworks and policies criminalizing or otherwise restricting access to safe abortion existed before the pandemic. Moreover, social and other determinants of health[vii] are the product of the same capitalist, neo-liberal, patriarchal, racist and ableist power structures that shaped disparities in COVID-19 infection and mortality rates, consider some lives as expendable, and shape reproductive politics around population control and social control over women’s bodies rather than bodily autonomy and reproductive justice.[viii] These systems of oppressions are also “pre-existing conditions” that cannot be part of an effective response.

For decades,  global financial institutions, donors, and governments pushed austerity, structural adjustments, and privatization that eroded health systems. Now these actors are imposing these conditions on their COVID-19 loans and assistance, with devastating consequences for women and girls in the Global South.[ix]

On this International Safe Abortion Day, we urge states to respect, protect and fulfill women and girls’ human rights and to:

  • Ensure uncompromised access to available, accessible, acceptable and quality sexual and reproductive health commodities and services, including modern contraception and comprehensive abortion and post-abortion care on request, as part of universal health coverage and as essential health care, at all times, including during COVID-19. This should include the option of telemedicine, medical and self-managed abortion.
  • Remove all legal, administrative and social barriers to safe abortion, including criminalization, and implement evidence-based guidance to abortion care, and maintain any positive changes to abortion laws and policies after the pandemic.
  • Adopt an intersectional[x] and rights-based approach to COVID-19 response and recovery that addresses white supremacy and other systemic oppressions and determinants of health in law and practice. Center reproductive justice and its emphasis on the rights to bodily autonomy, self-determination and to parent or not in safe and healthy environments when regulating access to abortion, contraception, sexual and reproductive health services and all the material conditions necessary to enjoy these rights.[xi]
  • Strengthen and finance public health systems through taxation and free from control from other governments, multilateral agreements and transnational corporations. This requires donor states, international financial institutions and other creditors and donors to adhere to human rights and ensure that financial and other assistance is sustainable, designed with meaningful participation of local feminist movements, women human rights defenders, young women and gender non-conforming people and does not depend on any conditionality negatively impacting human rights, such as austerity measures, privatization and structural adjustments.[xii]

[i] Aakanksha seva sadan; Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada; Académicas en Acción Crítica; Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights; ADESENI; Advocates & Trainers for Children and Women’s Advancement and Rights (ATCWAR); Agrupación Ciudadana por la Despenalización del aborto en El Salvador; AIDOS - Italian Association for women in development; Akahata A.C; Alberta Society for the Promotion of Sexual Health (ASPSH); Alianza por la Solidaridad; ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa; Alternativa Popular; ALTSEAN-Burma; AMOG (Associação Moçambicana de Obstetras  Ginecologistas); ANHAD; Anis - Instituto de Bioética; ANKH association (Arab Network for Knowledge about Human rights); Asia Pacific Forum on Women Law and Development; Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW); Asociación ALFIL – Redlactrans; Asociación Ciudadana ACCEDER; Asociación de Desarrollo Sostenible LGTBI Costa Rica (ADS); Asosiación LADECOM; Asociación Masculinidades Beta; Asociación Mujeres con Voz; Asociación OTD Chile; Association sourires de femmes; ASTRA – Central and Eastern European Network for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights; Austrian Family Planning Association ÖGF; AWID; Ayni Desarollo; Azerbaijan Association "Support to Development of Gynecology and Perinatology"; Balance Promoción para el Desarrollo y Juventud AC; Bangladesh Model Youth Parliament (Protiki Jubo Sangsad); Belize Family Life Association; Biblioteca Casa Arpías; Breakthrough; Cairo 52 Legal Research Institute; Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies; Campaña Nacional por el Aborto Libre Seguro y Accesible PR; Canadian Chapter of the International Youth Alliance for Family Planning; Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network; Catholics for Choice-Canada; Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir – Colombia; Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir El Salvador; Center for Egyptian Women's Legal Assistance (CEWLA); Center for Reproductive Rights; Center for Study and Resolution of Domestic Violence; Center for Women’s Global Leadership; Centre for Law and Policy Research; Centre for Popular Education and Human Rights, Ghana (CEPEHRG); Centre for Sexualities, AIDS & Gender, University of Pretoria; Centre for Social Education and Development (CSED); Centre for Solutions Journalism; Centre for Women's Development and Research; Centro de Derechos de Mujeres; Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS); Centro de Investigaciones Política Pública y Desarrollo; Centro de Promoción y defensa de los Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos – PROMSEX; Centro integral de salud sexual y reproductiva; Centro Mujeres A.C.; CEPAM Guayaquil; Chaani Post Test Club; CHANGE (Center for Health and Gender Equity); Choice In Health Clinic; CLADEM Bolivia; CLPP (Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program), Hampshire College; Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR); Coalition of African Lesbians; Coast Sex Workers Alliance (COSWA); Colectiva Mujeres de la NO FCPyS; Colectiva Plenilunio; Colectiva por el Derecho a Decidir; Colectiva por la Libre Información para las Mujeres; Colectivo Rebeldia; Collectif pour le libre choix; Comité de América Latina y el Caribe para la Defensa de los Derechos de las Mujeres, CLADEM; Community and Family Aid Foundation – Ghana; Comunidad de Derechos Humanos; Concertación Interamericana de Mujeres Activistas por los Derechos Humanos; Conectas Direitos Humanos; Consejo Ciudadano de las Diversidades Sexuales y de Género de La Paz; Conselho Regional de Psicologia de São Paulo - CRP SP; Consorcio Latinoamericano Contra el Aborto Inseguro (CLACAI); Contra Nocendi International; Corporación Casa de la mujer y la familia - Stella Brand; Corporación Gea Jurisgeneristas; Corporacion Humanas; Corporación Miles Chile; Corporación Ocho de Marzo; Creación Positiva; CREHPA; CYAN KENYA; Danish Family Planning Association; ddeser Edomex; Ddeser Puebla; ddser - Red por los derechos sexuales y reproductivos en México; Democracy Development Center; Disabled Women Ireland; DiverGénTE; DMSC; Doula Support Foundation; DSW (Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung); Dziewuchy Berlin; ECPI-Euroregional Center for Public Initiatives; Entre Nosotras; Equality Bahamas; Equidad de Género, Ciudadanía, Trabajo y Familia; Equipo Jurídico por los Derechos Humanos; Equipop; Evangélicas Pela Igualdade de Gênero; Facultad de Medicina Universidad Nacional del Comahue; Faldas-r; Family Health Options Kenya; Family Planning Welfare Association NT Australia; FAMM Indonesia; Federación Planificación Familiar Estatal; Federation for Women and Family Planning; Federation of Deaf Women Empowerment Network- Kenya (FEDWEN-K); Feminist Voices Zimbabwe; FIGO; FOKUS - Forum for Women and Development; Fondation Marie-Claire; Fondo de Acción Urgente para América Latina y el Caribe- FAU-AL; Fondo Semillas Women's Fund; Freedom of Choice - Moznost volby; Frente Regional de Enfrentamento à violência contra a mulher do ABCDMRR; Fundacion Arcoiris por el respeto a la diversidad sexual; Fundación Desafio; Fundación El Churo; Fundación ESAR; Fundación Grupo de Acción y Apoyo a Personas Trans GAAT; Fundación Mexicana para la Planeación Familiar, A. C., MEXFAM; Fundación Orientame; Fundación por una sociedad empoderada; Fundamental Human Rights & Rural Development Association FHRRDA; Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya; GAYa NUSANTARA Foundation; Generation Alive; Generation Initiative for Women and Youth Network (GIWYN); Global Doctors for Choice / Brazil; Global Fund for Women; Global Justice Center; Global Network of Sex Work Projects; GOJoven Honduras; Groupe Tawhida Ben Cheikh, Research and Action for Women's Health; GSSG - Gemeinnützige Stiftung Sexualität und Gesundheit; Health and Welfare Society; Health Development Initiative (HDI); HealthQ; HPLGBT; Humsafar Support Centre for Women; Icelandic society for Obstetrics and Gynaecology (FÍFK); ICWAP; Inclusive Bangladesh; Information Group on Reproductive Choice (GIRE); Iniciativas Sanitarias; Innovations for Development; Inter Pares; International Alliance of Women; International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion; International Humanist and Ethical Union; International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA World); International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR); International Planned Parenthood Federation; International Planned Parenthood Federation Western Hemisphere Region; International Service for Human Rights; International Women's Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific; International Women's Health Coalition; International Youth Alliance for Family Planning; International Youth Alliance for Family Planning-México; Investigación en Salud y Demografía, S.C. (Insad); Ipas; Ipas Bolivia; Isha Lisha- Haifa Feminist Center; Island Sexual Health Society; Jagaran Nepal; Joint Action for Reproductive Justice; Jugendnetzwerk Sexuelle Gesundheit Schweiz / Réseau Jeunes Santé Sexuelle Suisse; Kenya Legal and Ethical Issues Network on HIV and AIDS; Kisumu Feminists Society; Kisumu Sex Workers Alliance; KOINONIA; La Independent. Cat Agencia de Noticias con Visión de Género; La Mesa por la Vida y la Salud de las Mujeres; LAIGA - Libera Associazione Italiana Ginecologi per l’applicazione della legge 194/78; Las Reinas Chulas Cabaret y Derechos Humanos AC; Lesotho UN Youth Advisory Panel; Let's Breakthrough, Inc.; LGBTQ Infos; Liberty House of Feminists Mbarara; LOOM; Mahila Gramodyog Seva Samiti; Malawi SRHR Alliance; Manifa Rzeszów; Marchas Mundial de las Mujeres; Marie Stopes International; Marijàn |Organisation Afroféministe; Médecins du Monde – France; Medicus Mundi Gipuzkoa; MenEngage Alliance; Mesa Acción por el Aborto en Chile; Midwifery Society of Nepal; Milhas pela Vida das Mulheres; MINBYUN - Lawyers for a Democratic Society Women's Rights Committee; Mitini Nepal; Moviento Trans Feminista Bolivia; Movimiento por una Cultura Laica de El Salvador; Mugarik Gabe; Mujer Y Salud en Uruguay MYSU; Mujeres de Hierro AC; Mujeres en Acción - Costa Rica; Myanmar Ethnic Women Refugee Organization; Nalane for Reproductive Justice; NAPM; National Birth Equity Collaborative; Neev - Foundation for Legal Aid; NEGES MAWON; Network for Adolescent and Youth of Africa; New Zealand Family Planning; Nirantar Trust; No More Shame Gibraltar; Noutankey production; Oasis RD Congo; Observatorio de Género y Equidad; Observatorio de los derechos sexuales y reproductivos de las personas con discapacidad, ODISEX PERU; ODRI Intersectional rights - ODRI Derechos interseccionales; ONG Coeur Citoyen; Österreichische Gesellschaft für Familienplanung (ÖGF); OurEQUITY; OutRight Action International; Oxfam; PA Women's organization Alga; Pacific Human Rights Initiative; Paper Crown Rwanda; Pariter; Penawar; Planet Ally; Planned Parenthood Federation of America; Planned Parenthood Toronto; Platform for vulnerable youth and adults; PLUSTRUST; Point of View; Population Matters; Population, Health and Development Group (PHD Group); Power Action Changers; Profamilia – Colombia; PROMSEX, Centro de Promoción y Defensa de los Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos; Reclaiming Narratives; Red Argentina de Mujeres Viviendo con vih sida; Red Chilena de Profesionales por el Derecho a Decidir; Red Colombiana de Mujeres por los Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos; Red de Juventudes Trans; Red de Mujeres Trabajadoras Sexuales LAC; Red de PVVS Uruguay; Red Latinoamericana y Caribeña de Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir; Red Nacional de Defensoras de Derechos Humanos en Honduras; Red Nacional Género y Economía (REDGE); Red por los Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos en México -Ddeser Querétaro; REDAAS - Red de Acceso al Aborto Seguro Argentina; Rede Feminista de Ginecologistas e Obstetras; Rella Rights 4 Women Foundation; Resilience Uganda; RESURJ; Royaa for Feminist studies; Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists; Rural Health and Education Service Trust (RHEST); Safe Society; Salamander Trust; Salud y Genero Queretaro AC; Sama Resource Group for Women and Health; Samsara; Saskatoon Sexual Health; SASS USA (Self-Managed Abortion Safe & Supported); SECTION27; Secularism Is A Women's Issue ( SIAWI); SEED/asbl; Serene Secular Social Service Society – SSSSS; Seres (con) viver com o VIH; Servicios Humanitarios en Salud Sexual y Reproductiva ac; Sex og Politikk (IPPF Norway); Sexual Health Switzerland; Sexual Rights Initiative; SHARE, Sexual rigHts And Reproductive justicE; Society for Promotion of Educational and Environmental Development; Society for Sustainable Development; Society Without Violence NGO; Solidarité avec les Victimes et pour la Paix-SOVIP; Sonke Gender Justice; Space Allies; Sri; Stories to Action; Subhash Mendhapurkar; Sukaar Welfare Organization; Surkuna; Suteba; SUTRA H.P.; Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (RFSU); Swedish Federation of LGBT Rights – RFSL; Synergia - Iniciativas por los Derechos Humanos; Tais Plus; Taller Salud; Tamilnadu Textile and Common Labour Union-TTCU; Tamtang; Tarun Chetna; The A Project; The alternate space-womens collective; The Bahari Collective; The Cebter for Health, Ethics and Social Policy; The Danish Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology; The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights; The Equality Fund; The Just Agency; The Obstetric Justice Project; The Society for Education on Contraception and Sexuality Romania; The YP Foundation; This Ability Trust; TICAH; Tripla Difesa Onlus; TuliJadili; Tunaweza; UNESO; UNIDAD DEL PUEBLO MAYANGNA EN DEFENSA DE SU TERRITORIO Y SU PROPIA POLITICA; Urmul Trust Bikaner; Valientes de corazón Ecuador; Vecinas Feministas por la Justicia Sexual y Reproductiva en América Latina; VIDEA; Vikas Adhayayan Kendra; WAYVE Foundation; WeCanWomen'sCoalitionTrust; Widows for Peace through Democracy (WPD); WO=MEN Dutch Gender Platform; Women Against Rape, Antigua and Barbuda; Women Deliver; Women for Women's Human Rights - New Ways; Women Help Women – SASS; women on waves; women on web; Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights; Women's Health Research Unit; Women's International League for Peace and Freedom; Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF); Women's Rehabilitation Centre (WOREC); Women's Resource Center Armenia NGO; Woodhull Freedom Foundation; Y-Fem Namibia Trust; YouAct - European Youth Network on Sexual and Reproductive Rights; Young Feminist Ambassadors; Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights;

اسم المنظّمة

مؤسسة القاهرة للتنمية والقانون

مركز القاهرة 52 للابحاث القانونية

[ii] Aatish Gurung; Abhilash; Abigail Castillo; Acron koku; Adelaida Garcia Codina; Adriana; Jardón; Afaq Ullah; Aida Bilajbegovic; Aimee Hernandez; Alejandra Gaiano; Alex Hill; Alexa Maradiaga Martínez; Alexandra Fortes Thedim Costa; Alexandra Pärnebjörk; Alexandra-Marie Figueroa Miranda; Aleyda Yaneth Caro Castañeda; Alheli Calderon Villarreal; Alison Johana Melo Torres; Alouette Lark; Alyssa Byers-Heinlein; Amal Hadi; Amanda; Amanda Germanio; Amany Waheed Fouda; Amy; Amy E. Alterman; Ana Belen Amil; Ana Elena Obando M.; Ana Maria R. Nemenzo; Ana Teresa Trujillo Arroyo; Anahí Farji Neer; Ananya Asad; Anas Gilgamesh; Andrea Catalina Vargas Salazar; Andrea Cornwall; Andrea Horton; Andrea Murillo; Andrea Parra; Andrea Pizzati; Andrea Rosales; Andrea Solano; Angela M. Baez-Silva A; Angela Northey; Anil Bhagat; Anjali Gopalan; Anna; Anna Rarytska; Anne Lim; Anthea Taderera; Antje Tiessen; Antonina Shmatko; Archismita Choudhury; Aryon Elmers; Ash; Ashlyn Weninger; Asmaa Elmalky; Atenea Camacho; Ayesha Banu; Ayesha Mago; Barbara Crane; Barbara Lemon; Beatriz Galli; Ben McDonald; Benta Joseph; Beth Mainprize; Beth McCullough-Sanden; Bethlehem Woldeyohannes; Bila Sorj; Bob Bwana; Brenda Brand; Bridget Dueck; Brinda Adige; Brinda Bose; Bronwyn Best; Bryant Roosevelt Sabur; Camila Serra; Candace Nelson; Carme Clavel Arcas; Carme Clavel Arcas; Carol Moore; Carol Thomas; Carole S. Vance; Carole-Ann Filiatreault; Carolina Raimondo Aonso; Carolina Sales Vieira; Catherine Kunz; Cathi Albertyn; Cayathri Divakalala; Cecilia Leanza; Cedrina Kloberie; Ceinwen Horth; Chantal Cuellar; Chantal Umuhoza; Charles Ngwena; Charlotte Hord Smith; Chiara Cosentino; Cindy Stefany Pinzás Facundo; Clare Hacksel; Claudia Bonan; Claudia Calderón; Cristiane S. Cabral; Cristião Fernando Rosas; Cristina Martínez; Cynthia Rothschild; DAKOMYRIAM; Dame Carol Kidu; Daniel Feinsilber; Daniel Miller; Daniela Colombo; Daniela Draghici; Daniela Pedroso; Daniela Zelaya Raudales; Daniella Solano Morales; Dave Abbey; David Ochar; David Waldman; Dawn Cavanagh; Dawn Dymond; Denise Perry; Dharini Priscilla; Diana; Diana Bueno Mercado; Diana Caicedo Naranjo; Donald E. Wilkins; Donna Awuor; Dr Kamal Kumar Dixit; Dr Souvik Pyne; Dr. Esther R. Suter; Dr. Jens A. Gudmundsson; Dulce Ferraz; Edda I López Serrano; Edith Darino; Edna Jack; Ekua Ansah-Eshon; Elaine Brandão; Elaine Hooper; Elaine Roberts; Eliana; Elinor Rush; Elise Boulay; Elizabeth Oliver-Malone; Ellen Frei; Elsa Maarawi; Elspeth Hogg; Emma Pearce; Erickson; Esperanza Arias Velázquez; Estela Aquino; Esther Adhiambo; Eva Blay; Evelyn Violini; Evi van den Dungen; Ezequiel Hanke; Farah Galal; Faryl Palles; Fernando Feinsilber; Fernando García García; G Loewen; Gabriel Rosa Lunkes da Silva; Gabriela Denisa Franco; Gabriela Flores; Gabriela Garcia; Gabriela Muniagurria; Gabrielle Le Roux; Gallon Gilda; Geetha Balakrishnan; Gilda; Gina Dao-McLay; Giorgina King; Gisele Cristina Pereira; Gladys Manera; Gloria Careaga Pérez; Gloria Mata Acosta; Gordon Doctorow, Ed.D.; Gouri Bobade; Grace Wanjiru Njuguna; Graciela Schembri; Graham Johnson; Gregorio Velasquez; Gwen Shrimpton; Halley Zenobia Fulford; Hanna Blomström; Hanna Rudin-Jones; Harper Rae; Hastings Saka; Hazel Birungi; Heather Cobb; Heather MacAndrew; Helena B M S Paro; Henk Rolink; Hilal Tekmen; Hilde Kroes; Ida Peréa Monteiro; Ilce Berenice Villatoro; Imameleng Masitha; Ine Vanwesenbeeck; Ines Delfin; Ingrid Viana Leão; Inna Volosevych; Innocent Indeje; Isha; Israel Boanerges Orrego Borrayo; Ithabeleng Letsunyane; Ivan Prudencio; Ivana Fossari; Jabulile Mavuso; Jacqueline Del Villar Vargas; Jaime Todd-Gher, JD, LL.M; Jamila Sale Mande; Janaina Aparecida Moura de Moraes Campos; Jane Francis; Jane Grace; Jane Pope; Janet Onguka; Janice Barton; Janie Shen; Janna Araeva; Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala; Jeeja Ghosh; Jeen Kirwen; Jennifer Harper; Jennifer Harris; Jennifer Long; Jenny Katherine Méndez Silva; Jenny Rivas; Jess Martin; Jessica B; Jessica Boulet; Jessica Lorena Vieira Diaz; Jo Scofield; Joan Kennedy; Joan M. Janzen; Jocelyn Reeves; Johanna Westeson; Johanne Bilodeau; Johanne Samson-Lemieux; John Miller; Joscar Oriaro; Jose; José Antonio Bosch Valero; José Miguel Barajas García; Josephine; Josephine Breman; Josephine Dasko; Josh DeMerchant; Joyce Lee; Judith Westeneng; Judy Denham; Julia; Julián Parra; Julieta Garcia; Julio; Justin LeGrow; Kaitlin Purdy; Kale Penny; Kalyani. V; Kanchan Pamnani; Kantilal; Karen Daniela Peña Parra; Karen Owino; Karla Flores Celis; Karol Diestra Gamarra; Katherine Acey; Kathleen; Kathleen Millar; Kathryn Carruthers; Kathy Warren; Kellen Malaika; Kenia zimmerer Vieira; Kerry Davies; Kevin Gerard Neill, MPH; Kripa Basnyat; Kristina Campbell; Kukundakwe Annah; Lalita; Lame Olebile; Landa Fox; Larissa Arroyo Navarrete; Laura Juliana Eraso Jativa; Laura Parken; Laura Pascoe; Lauren Bowler; Leah Smith; Leander van deer Linde; Lebo Ramafoko; Leena Menghaney; Leila Linhares Barsted; Lena Giacomini; Leslie Ann Rodríguez Barrón; Leslie Pearl; Lidia Fain; Lidya; Liliana Zuker; Lina Tatiana Lozano Ruiz; Lisa Lawrence; Lisa Pusey; Lisette Christopherson; Lorena Leon; Lori K. Sudderth; Lotta Samelius; Louise Pollard; Lourdes Rocio Bustos; Lucia Melgar; Lucía Raphael; Lucía Tamburi; Luciana Ramos Lira; Luciane Vieira Mendes; Lucie Cormier; Lucy Snider; Luz Angela Gómez Jutinico; Luz María Moreno Tetlacuilo; Luziano Agirre; Lya Morocho Mija; Lyba Spring; Lyda Verstegen; Mac-Darling Cobbinah; Maeva Bonjour; Mafumane Lephoto; Magda Sol; Mahima Nayar; Mahy Hassaan; Maitland Shaheen; Makuala; Manuela Oviedo; Marcela Darget; Margaret Coe; Margaret Hardy; Margo May Taylor; María; Maria Alicia Gutierrez; Maria Cristina Pache Pechtoll; Maria Cristina Pessoa dos Santos; Maria del Rocío Pacheco Chávez; Maria Esther de Albuquerque Vilela; Maria Jose Fraga; Maria José Menezes; María Luisa Peralta; María Victoria Córdoba Quintero; Maria Victoria Sain; Mariana Ciechomski; Mariana García Sojo; Mariana Romero; Mariana Vazquez; Mariana Winocur; Marianela Meneghetti; Marie Jobin Gélinas; Marieme Helie Lucas; Marília Cardoso; Marilyn Nakucyj; Mario Pecheny; Marion Böker; Mariyam Mohamed Didi; Marjoke van 't Spijker; Marjorie R. Wood; Mark Brett; Marta; Marta Chumalo; Martha Calveyra; Martin Roeth; Mary Mwangi; Marzhio Rojas; Mateo; Mateo; Matokgo; Matseliso Motsoane; May Cohen; Maya Adachi; Mazal Renford; Meave Gallagher; Melania Maria Ramos de Amorim; Melanie Anderson; Melanie Lindayen; Melisa Soledad Fumo; Melissa Haussman; Merry Wood; Michelle Desjarlais; Miriam Scheibe; Monika Bujak; Morgan Coulson; Muhammad Elaraby Abo-Sereaa; Muriel Kahane; Mwanakombo Said Amir; Myriam Garçon; Mzi Nduna; N. Guillerme; Nabanita Das; Nabin; Naisola Likimani; Najmussaher Ansari; Nalini; Nalini Visvanathan; Nancy E. Church; Nandini Ghosh; Nandy Senoc; Nardos; Natalia Suarez; Natalie Aldern; Nataly Giraldo; Natasha Boshkova; Neha Sood; Neo Kabi; Nerisha Baldevu; Nicola Jones; Nikki Yau; Nilofer; Noelia Depaoli; Nora Andrea Araujo; Nora Mark; Oishik Sircar; Oksana; Olive Uwamariya; Oluwatosin Alagbe; Pamela Philipose; Pashta MaryMoon; Patrice Bowler; Patricia Brown; Patricia Fujinaga Marques; Patricia Gonzales Huaman; Patricia López; Patricia Maulen; Patricia Schulz; Patricio Santillan-Doherty; Patrick Charron; Patti Wibe; Paul Van Look; Paulo Rodrigo Romo de Vivar Martíenz; Payal Shah; Peter Scholefield; Peter van Heusden; Petra Bayr; Philippa Parmar; Phyllis Cohen; Pon Singham; Priscilla Verwaaijen; Priya Dhanani; Prof. Mohan Rao; Prudence Woodford-Berger; Raffaela Schiavon; Raina Roy; Ramesh Bhandari; Rania Fahmy; Rayna Porter; Rebecca Gill; Rebecca Waddell; Reena Mohanty; Regina Maria Barbosa; Renée Smith; Renuk.KR; Rev. Marie Siroky; Ritambhara; Robin Rowe; Rochelle Craig; Rocio Becerril Mercado; Rodrigo; Rola Yasmine; Rosângela Aparecida Talib; Rose Mary Grace Sagun; Ross Tyner; Roxana; Ruchika Tara Mathur; Ruth Lillington; Ruth Miller; Sabaratnam Arulkumaran; Sameera Iyengar; Sameera Khan; Samira Bouhia; Sandra Bernabo; Sandra Byers; Sandra Peniche Quintal; Sandy Fainer; Sapna Nair; Sara Alsherif; Sara Gabriela Moreno; Sarah Hyde; Sarah Kobayashi; Sarah Purchase; Sarah Thompson; Saskia Husken; Sebastián Rojas Archer; Sergio Maulen; Shamala Chandrasekaran; Sharon Krieger; Sharon Orsh; Shraddha Chickerur; Silvia Jadur; Silvio Bodnar; Sonali Pattnaik; Sonia Correa; Sono Aibe; Sophia Pierre-Antoine; Sophie Otiende; Souza Lobo, Elisabeth; Sreejani M; Stacey Sawchuk; Stuart A. Selby; Stuti Tripathi; Sue Purdie; Sumita; Sunetra Neogy; Supriya Jan; Surabhi Srivastava; Susan MacAlister; Susan MacAlister; Susan Stout; Susanna Nystrom; T.K. Sundari Ravindran; Taghreed Alhaidari; Tamara Adrian; Tania Alvarez; Tania Paredes; Tania Yasmín León Vazquez; Taryn Wahl; Tatiana; Tatiana Challand; Terry Bellamak; Tetiana; Tina Gaal; Ton van Haeren; Towfika Sultana; Tshinondiwa Ramaite; Urmila Upadhyaya; Ursula Nakamura-Stoecklin; Valentina Gómez; Valéria Pandjiarjian; Vanda Nunes Santana; Vanessa Mavila; Vera Atieno; Victoria Pedrido; Viktoriia Shvaher; Virginia Ramenzoni; Vithursha; Vivienne Kabarungi; Wahyu Pasemah; Wanda Prescott; Wendy Lyon (LLM); Wesley Choy; William Nicholas Gomes; Womba Wanki; Yash Chandra; Yecika Fernanda Mora Gamez; Yimene Calderon; Yury; Yvonne Oduor; Zahraa Magdy; جوهرة مدكور ;نهال صفي الدين ;  أميمة عماد الدين;  سماء التركي;محمد أبو الشباب;نهله صالح;سارة جمال and 92 anonymous individuals.

[i] On intersectionality, see Crenshaw, Kimberlé "Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics," University of Chicago Legal Forum: Vol. 1989: Iss. 1, Article 8. Available at:

[ii] See e.g. OHCHR: “No exceptions with COVID-19: “Everyone has the right to life-saving interventions” – UN experts say” (26 March 2020) available at; OHCHR: “UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies call for human rights approach in fighting COVID-19” (24 March 2020) available at

[iii] See e.g. Human Rights Committee, General comment No. 36 - Article 6 (the right to life), CCPR/C/GC/36, 2018, para. 8. Available at

[iv] Including the rights to bodily autonomy, equality, physical and mental health, privacy, freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and even the right to life. See, e.g. Joint statement “International Safe Abortion Day- Friday 28 September 2018” by the Working Group on discrimination against women in law and in practice; the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences; and the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, available at,autonomous%20decisions%20about%20her%20pregnancy.

“Denial of abortion services and the prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” by the Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice; the Special Rapporteur on Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities and the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, available at

[v] See e.g. the Statement by the UN Working Group on discrimination against women and girls and endorsed by the Special Rapporteurs on violence against women, its causes and consequences; on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation; on the rights of persons with disabilities; on minority issues; on the right to adequate housing; and the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons: “Responses to the COVID-19 pandemic must not discount women and girls,” available at

[vi] See e.g. Sexuality Policy Watch: “Abortion under attack during COVID-19 pandemic” (16 April 2020) available at; Joint statement from the Working Group on Discrimination against Women and Girls and the Special Rapporteurs on the right to health, on violence against women, and on cultural rights: “Poland urged not to criminalise sex education or tighten access to abortion” (16 April 2020), available at; Joint statement from the Working Group on Discrimination against Women and Girls and the Special Rapporteurs on the right to health and  on violence against women: “United States: Authorities manipulating COVID-19 crisis to restrict access to abortion, say UN experts” (27 May 2020) available at

[vii] Social and other determinants of health refer to the material conditions necessary for people’s enjoyment of their rights to health, safe abortion and bodily autonomy and for the realization of reproductive justice. See e.g. UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, General Comment 22 on the right to sexual and reproductive health, paras. 7-8, available at; and World Health Organization, About social determinants of health (2017), available at

[viii] On reproductive justice, see e.g. Ross, Loretta, and Rickie Solinger. 2017. Reproductive Justice: An Introduction

[ix] See e.g. : Alexander Kentikelenis, Daniela Gabor, Isabel Ortiz, Thomas Stubbs, Martin McKee, David Stuckler: “Softening the blow of the pandemic: will the International Monetary Fund and World Bank make things worse?” The Lancet, 9 April 2020. DOI:; Independent Expert on Foreign Debt, COVID-19: Urgent appeal for a human rights response to the economic recession, available at

[x] On intersectionality, see Crenshaw, Kimberlé "Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics," supra note i.

[xi] On reproductive justice, see e.g. Ross, Loretta, and Rickie Solinger. 2017. Reproductive Justice: An Introduction

[xii] See e.g. Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, Report on health financing in the context of the right to health, A/67/302, para 28; and Independent Expert on Foreign Debt, COVID-19: Urgent appeal for a human rights response to the economic recession, page 12.