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She Makes Her Safe Choice

Our dream is to end unsafe abortions worldwide.

Through the She Makes Her Safe Choice programme, Rutgers and its partners have drastically reduced the number of unsafe abortions and maternal deaths worldwide by improving access to safe abortion methods, contraception, information and services.

Next programme Centres of Excellence on Comprehensive Sexuality Education
Programme information

Locations
Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya and Togo

Objective
To make safe abortion widely available and accessible for those who need it, with a current focus on Ethiopia, Kenya and Francophone West Africa, as well as globally.

Duration of programme
2018-2022

Partner organisations
DKT Kenya
Shujaaz Inc.
Ipas Africa Alliance
Reproductive Health Network Kenya
DKT Ethiopia
Triggerise Ethiopia
Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia
DKT WomanCare Global
Women First Digital
DKT Francophone West And Central Africa
Ipas francophone region
Association Beninoise pour la Promotion de la Famille
Movement Action des Jeunes Benin
African Population and Health Research Centre

Funded by
Dream fund of the Dutch Postcode Lottery

Every year 22 million women globally have unsafe abortions and up to 44,000 die from the complications. Five million women face serious, lifelong health problems as a result of an unsafe abortion. Rutgers’ She Makes Her Safe Choice programme was developed to drastically reduce the number of unsafe abortions and maternal deaths worldwide by improving access to safe abortion methods, contraception, information and services.

Women should have the right to choose about their own lives and bodies, including whether or not to have a child, and receive the necessary support to realise these choices safely. It is crucial for every person – regardless of their age or marital status – to get information about sexuality and have access to contraception and safe abortion.

Ambitious targets and impressive results

By the end of 2021, we aim to have prevented 160,000 unintended pregnancies and 2.6 million unsafe abortions worldwide, saving 8,000 women’s lives.

The programme has achieved impactful results. By the end of 2021, the programme has prevented almost 180,000 unintended pregnancies in Ethiopia, Kenya and Francophone West and Central Africa, while also preventing more than 4.6 million unsafe abortions and averting almost 13,000 maternal deaths worldwide.

Safe abortion methods

She Makes Her Safe Choice has made safe abortion methods – medical abortion pills and Ipas manual vacuum aspirators – widely available and affordable. We have also distributed contraceptives, giving women and girls quality options to prevent unintended pregnancies.

Through our partner DKT WomanCare Global’s platform, manual vacuum aspirators were distributed to more than 80 countries by the end of 2021. The platform also provided information and training to distributors on the correct use of manual vacuum aspirators as a safe abortion method, and on improving the quality of care.

Awareness

She Makes Her Safe Choice has created awareness among communities and individuals. It has provided information on prevention and safe termination of unintended pregnancies. We have referred people to quality products and services through behaviour change campaigns and mHealth (health services supported by mobile devices).

Advocacy

We have also advocated for a more conducive legal and political environment for safe abortion. For example, through the approval and implementation of national standards and guidelines.

The programme has inspired other countries to adopt these approaches, so more women and young people are aware of their options and safe abortion becomes increasingly available.

The Dutch Postcode Lottery has funded the programme, showing courage and leadership in supporting a sensitive issue few donors dare to invest in.