Humans rights group Amnesty International has declared Sept. 28 International Day of Action for the Decriminalization of Abortion and countries around the world are coming together to do just that.
According to the group's press release, its goal is to mobilize people in each country to tell their governments to stop criminalizing women and girls who seek an abortion. Women who live in countries throughout Latin America and Europe where abortion is against the law face dangerous obstacles should they wish to terminate their pregnancy.
"Around the world, 40 percent of women of childbearing age live in countries where abortion is banned, restricted or not accessible."
Ireland is among the countries where abortion rights advocates will take action due to the country's current ban on abortion, which is the eighth amendment of its constitution. Per a report on the subject last year by Amnesty, because of the law that prevents women from having abortions unless their life is in danger, about 4,000 women and girls flee the country each year to do so.
"Countless others are having illegal medication abortions in Ireland, without adequate medical supervision," Amnesty International Ireland Executive Director Colm O'Gorman said.
The ill results of these restrictions on women's health aren't limited to Ireland.
"Tens of thousands of women are dying every year and millions face complications because of restrictive laws that force women and girls to seek unsafe abortions," Amnesty International wrote.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 21.6 million unsafe abortions occurred worldwide in 2008 and 47,000 of those women died from complications each year.
This day is meant to reverse that.
Cover image: Adolfo Lujan/Flickr.