“The right to safe and legal abortion is under pressure around the world. We need to make sure the clock is not being turned back.” With these words MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld opened the webinar held on the international day for safe abortion. The webinar launched the new European Abortion policies Atlas. The Atlas compares European countries in women’s access to abortion. Belgium figures in the European top 10 but lags the UK, Scandinavia and neighbouring France and the Netherlands. The obligatory waiting period in Belgium could be shortened and Belgium could do better in tackling disinformation about abortion.
Belgian MPs shared their SRHR promises for 2021 in a joint campaign with EPF on social media. They did so on the occassion of World Women’s Day.
Members of the Belgian All-Party Parliamentary Group ‘Parliamentarians for the 2020 Agenda’ individually commit to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights nationally and internationally. Each MP has set personal goals. MPs commit to take up the challenges regarding young people’s access to contraceptives and the morning-after pill; the extension of the abortion law, the fight against forced marriages, incest, gender-based violence at the work place, period poverty and more. For you to discover in the video-slide show or in the visuals below.
In the 2020 Contraception Policy Atlas, Belgium stands out with a whopping 96.4% score, leaving the 2nd in rank – France – far behind. Belgium beat France by improving women’s access to emergency contraception and reimbursing contraception for women under the age of 25. Former Chair of the 'Parliamentarians for the 2030 Agenda' and recently appointed Minister of Pensions in Belgium’s new federal government, Karine Lalieux has been one of the driving forces behind the new reimbursement schemes.
The Contraception Policy Atlas developed by EPF compares 46 countries by looking at their policies regarding access to contraceptives, including the reimbursement schemes and family planning counselling as well as at the available public online information.
For Valentine’s Day, the European Parliamentary Forum on population and development launched its third edition of the European Contraception Atlas in the European Parliament. The Atlas is a map that marks 46 countries throughout geographical Europe on access to modern contraception. The Atlas reveals a very uneven picture across Europe.
Belgium top of the list
From the 46 countries surveyed, Belgium ranks first, in joint position with France, thanks to its reimbursement schemes, including for long-term contraception, special arrangements for young people and government supported websites such as the multilingual website zanzu.be for migrants and allesoverseks.be (everythingaboutsex.be) a website that specifically addresses the needs of young people. Compared to the Benelux, France and the UK, contraception policies are weak in Latvia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Italy and Denmark.
At the 2018 Partners’ Forum in New Delhi in December, the stakeholders of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) concluded with new commitments to address ongoing challenges with regard to the health of mothers, newborns and children worldwide. Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s announced a US$ 100 billion investment in health services by 2025.
A delegation of six MPs, including Belgian senator and member of Flemish parliament Orry Van de Wauwer, member of the Belgian ‘Parliamentarians for the 2030 Agenda’, participated in the PMNCH Forum. The PMNCH is an alliance of more than 1000 organisations in 192 countries of the sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health communities.
The delegation’s visit began with a site visit to the Hamdard Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Hospital and Maternal Health Clinic, where the MPs shared good practices on improving maternal and child health in their respective countries. MPs also participated in a concurrent session on the role of parliamentarians in ensuring accountability for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ Health and the case of Universal health Coverage.
Belgian senator Petra De Sutter president of the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development
Belgian senator and member of the Parliamentarians for the 2030 Agenda, Petra De Sutter, was elected president of the European Parliamentary Forum for Population and Development (EPF) in Ottawa, on October 24th. The forum unites parliamentarians from all over Europe who commit themselves to the sexual and reproductive health and rights of each individual. Petra De Sutter will preside EPF for the next three years and is taking over from Swedish politician Ulrika Karlsson.
Late August, thirty parliamentarians from all regions of the world participated in a UNFPA and EPF interactive dialogue in the Austrian capital. MP Benoît Piedboeuf participated as a member of the Belgian ‘Parliamentarians for the 2030 Agenda’.
Johan Verstreken, member of the Flemish parliament and federal senate, participated in a study trip to learn about the reproductive health situation in the Philippines. He was invited by the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (EPF).