Worldwide, 6 in 10 pregnancies are unplanned and 3 in 10 are terminated (Lancet Glob Health 2020). However, there are countries on every continent where, laws on the one hand, and stigmas on the other make, it difficult or even impossible for pregnant people to exercise their reproductive autonomy and access safe abortion. Right-wing, conservative, populist, and autocratic governments often seek to control reproductive behavior and thus the size and composition of the population through population policies. However, restricting access to this health service does not reduce the number of abortions, but makes them unsafe (45% worldwide). These can result in serious health consequences, including death.
After outlining the legal situation and nationwide access in these three countries, we want to discuss the following questions with experts and activists from Austria, Poland, Mozambique: what forms of mobilization and networking have proven successful in responding in a timely manner to impending reproductive autonomy restrictions? What can the three countries learn from each other? What lessons are learned from the strong, feminist abortion rights movement in Poland? What has been successful in overcoming stigmas that are strongly embedded in society?
is a sociologist, women's health activist and a recognized expert on the subject of abortion. She worked in women's health centers proving abortions in the USA in the 1980s. She then worked at the Women's Health Center in Berlin and was managing director of the Women's Health Center in Graz for 20 years. Groth is currently working as a patient representative on the S2k guideline on abortion in the 1st trimester (2023) of the Association of the Scientific Medical Societies in Germany (AWMF). As an activist she will represent the association Pro Choice Austria - Platform for Free Abortion, which is part of the international feminist movement that campaigns for the reproductive self-determination rights of women, lesbians, intersex, trans and agender people.
Santos A. Simione
is Executive Director of AMODEFA - Mozambican Association for Family Development since 2015, the oldest Mozambican organization on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). He also works as secretary of the national coalition for the elimination of early marriage. Simione has a 20 years’ successful track record in strengthening civil society organizations and activists in support of SRHR and people living with HIV through his experience as a trainer of trainers. AMODEFA is an International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Member Association that works with governmental and non-governmental organisations such as the National AIDS Council, the Platform of Civil Society Organizations for Health, and the Sexual and Reproductive Rights Network. In its advocacy, AMODEFA influences ministries and the parliament in Mozambique to adopt supportive legislation and practices, particularly with regard to youth.
Inês Natercia Albino Migi Boene
is an educated Maternal and Child Health Nurse with over 30 years' experience in sexual and reproductive health and rights, in the public and non-profit sectors (AMODEFA) in Mozambique. She has a proven track record of offering abortion services by vacuum aspiration and abortion pill. Boene has also accumulated in-depth knowledge of the criteria related to safe abortion services in accordance with the abortion law approved in 2014. She also monitors the quality of abortion services in the public system, in AMODEFA’s clinic and associated clinics. Boene has a degree in clinical and counselling psychology and is currently studying for a master's degree in population and development at Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo.
is a feminist from Poland and co-founder of Abortion Dream Team and Abortion Without Borders. She researches and develops strategies to help people access abortions in countries where abortion is criminalized or difficult to access. ADT is an informal initiative aimed at de-stigmatizing abortion by spreading knowledge and experiences. Abortion Without Borders is a cross-European initiative with the goal of helping people in Poland access abortions, either at home with abortion pills or abroad in clinics and hospitals.
is a political scientist with a research focus on political and legal systems in East Central European countries, in particular on protest research on Poland. The topic of her master's thesis is a legal-historical comparison analyzing the factors influencing the legislative processes on the right to abortion in Poland and Germany since 1989. In addition to her activism, she continues her research on the topic of "reproductive rights". This includes her work as a research assistant at the University of Vienna by Professor Dorothee Bohle, where she has been teaching and doing her doctorate on women's movements and right-wing movements in Eastern Europe and their transnational connections since September 2022.