Dream Fund: ‘She Makes Her Safe Choice’

The She Makes Her Safe Choice programme focuses on reducing unsafe abortions worldwide. In cooperation with the non-profit social marketing organisation DKT International and several in-country partners, Rutgers is drastically reducing the number of unsafe abortions and maternal deaths by improving access to safe abortion methods, information and services. The programme started in mid 2018 in Kenya, Ethiopia, and at a global level, and early 2020, we expanded to francophone West-Africa, in particular to Benin and Cameroon.

Current locations
Global, Kenya, Ethiopia, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Togo
No more unsafe abortions
Target group
Women and young people
Length of programme
Consortium partner
Partner organisations
Funded byDutch Postcode Lottery

©Marieke van der Velden 

Unsafe abortions

Every year 22 million women undergo an unsafe abortion and between 22.500 and 44.000 women worldwide die from the complications. No fewer than 5 million women face serious and lifelong health problems as a consequence of an unsafe abortion.

Generous support: investing in safe choices

Rutgers, DKT international and partners want to change this by making safe abortion methods widely available. Through their Dream Fund, the Dutch Postcode Lottery is generously supporting this dream. This provides the opportunity to make safe abortion methods worldwide more accessible in four years’ time, and to offer women and girls quality options to prevent unintended pregnancies. Unsafe abortion is a sensitive issue that few donors dare to invest in. The Dutch Postcode Lottery has shown great courage and leadership by doing so. We are very pleased that we are making a big difference with their support.


Women have the right to make their own choices about their lives and bodies, including whether or not to have a child, and the right to receive the necessary support to realise their choices safely. It is therefore crucial for all – men, women and young people – to receive information about sexuality and have access to contraception and safe abortion.


Data unsafe abortions (2017)
credits Rutgers & DKT International


Our programme makes safe abortion methods - medical abortion pills and Manual Vacuum Aspirators (MVA) - available in Kenya and Ethiopia, and via the global reproductive health marketing and product distribution platform DKT WomenCare Global, MVA will be distributed to 90 countries worldwide by end 2021. This platform will also be used to educate service providers worldwide through training in the correct use and application of safe abortion methods, and quality of care.

Multi-component Approach

In both Kenya and Ethiopia, the programme applies a multi-component approach that is built on three pillars:

  • Supply
  • Demand
  • Support

Adapting to the specific in-country context, various interventions are set up in both countries to:

  • make safe abortion methods (medical abortion pills and MVA) available and affordable in-country, including marketing of contraceptives, and provide training and support to healthcare providers (SUPPLY).
  • create awareness (at community and individual level) and provide information on prevention and safe termination of unintended pregnancies, including referral to quality products and services, for instance through BCC campaigns and mHealth (DEMAND).
  • advocate at various levels to create support for a more conducive environment for safe and legal abortion, f.i. approval and implementation of standards and guidelines (SUPPORT).

Half-way through the programme, impressive results under these three pillars have been achieved already in Kenya, Ethiopia and at the global level, and since the beginning of 2020 on a smaller scale in Benin and Cameroon as well. View some key mid-tern results here.

Expected results

The She Makes Her Safe Choice programme has set ambitious targets. By 2021, we will have prevented 160.000 unintended pregnancies and 2.6 million unsafe abortions worldwide. As a result, 8.000 fewer women will have died from complications resulting from an unsafe abortion. Over 2 million women will have been informed through m-Health solutions and an estimated 20 million people will have been reached through mass media campaigns on contraception and safe abortion.

Snowball effect

The programme’s integrated approach of information and access to contraception and safe abortion information, methods and services will reduce the number of unsafe abortions substantially and structurally. We aim to inspire other countries with similar problems to adopt such an approach and to create a snowball effect, so that a growing number of women and young people becomes aware of their options, and so that safe abortion methods becomes increasingly available. As a result of the larger distribution volumes, safe abortion methods will become cheaper and will therefore also become financially more accessible to women, giving them more affordable options to decide over their health.

When SheDecides over her own body, She can make her safe choice.




  Powered by Dream Fund funding of Dutch Postcode Lottery

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Annually Rutgers receives support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery and its participants