Shaping the Future of Abortion

It is estimated that 25 million unsafe abortions happen every year. This episode of Shaping the Future of Sexual and Reproductive Rights explores the role of human rights law in advocating for women's right to safe abortion. It examines successful legal strategies employed in South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, Kenya and Poland, considers how human rights can be used to redress on-the-ground barriers to access to abortion and how they can mobilize support for women's sexual and reproductive health rights.


In 2015, the world committed itself in the Sustainable Development Goals to ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health rights in the next 15 years. Yet throughout the world, on a routine basis, the rights of women and girls are violated. Legislators and policymakers often ignore the sexual and reproductive health rights of women and rarely approach these issues from a human rights perspective. What role can human rights law play in addressing these challenges, and ensure progress towards the fulfilment of the SDGs?


The OxHRH new documentary series Shaping the Future of Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights focuses on activist experiences in the field of sexual and reproductive health rights, their success stories, and advice for fellow activists across contexts. The series take a comparative perspective and closely examine how the strong moral and legal imperatives of human rights can be given detailed substance by grounding them in local context and making them effective in relation to individuals’ lived experiences. The first episode, Strategies for Change, can be found here.