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Dream Fund: ‘She Makes Her Safe Choice’

Every year, between 22,500 and 44,000 women worldwide die as a result of an unsafe abortion and 5 million women face serious complications and lifelong health problems. In cooperation with the American non-profit organisation DKT International and made possible by the Dutch Postcode Lottery, Rutgers will drastically reduce the number of unsafe abortions from 2018, starting in Kenya and Ethiopia.

LocationsKenya and Ethiopia
ObjectiveTo reduce the number of unsafe abortions
Target group(young) women
Length of programme2018-2022
Partner organisationDKT International

©Marieke van der Velden 

No more unsafe abortions worldwide

An ambitious dream, which Rutgers and DKT international want to realize with this programme. The Dutch Postcode Lottery has supported this generously with a donation from the Dream Fund: with this donation we will make safe abortion methods worldwide more accessible in four years’ time. Moreover, after completion this programme, a structure has been created that will prevent an even larger number of unsafe abortions. Unsafe abortion is a sensitive issue that few donors dare to invest in; the Postcode Lottery shows great courage and leadership by doing so. We are very pleased that we can make a big difference with their support.

Rights

Women have the right to make their own choices about their lives and bodies, such as whether or not to have a child. “Moreover,” according to Ton Coenen, executive director of Rutgers, “if women can choose, they often get later and fewer children, which is better both for women and children. Big families often have less money for school and health care, and thus more poverty is lurking.” Therefore, it is crucial that everyone, women and men, receives information about sexuality and has access to contraception and access to safe abortion, if necessary.

Kenya and Ethiopia

In Kenya and Ethiopia, Rutgers and DKT International are starting a targeted approach in the Dream Fund Project to inform women and their partners about contraception and safe abortion. The programme informs women correctly and completely about their options in (prevention of) an unwanted pregnancy and offers them access to an affordable and safe abortion, if they choose to have one. Additionally, women and their communities will work on removing the stigma surrounding abortion.

Data unsafe abortions
credits Rutgers & DKT International

And worldwide

Safe abortion methods, medicinal abortion and MVA kits - we not only make these available in Kenya and Ethiopia, but in 90 countries worldwide at a big scale via an online platform. Also, we educate medical staff through training and via the platform in the correct use and application of safe abortion methods.

Results

The programme of Rutgers and DKT will prevent 160,000 unwanted pregnancies and 2.6 million unsafe abortions worldwide in the coming four years. As a result, 8,000 fewer women will die from the complications of an unsafe abortion. Over 2 million women will also be informed through innovative health solutions and an estimated 20 million people will be 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 will reduce the number of unsafe abortions substantially and structurally. This will inspire other countries with similar problems to adopt such an approach and will create a snowball effect. A growing number of women will become aware of their options and safe abortion methods are becoming more and more available. Safe abortion methods will become cheaper as a result of the larger distribution volumes and therefore also financially more accessible, giving more women an affordable option to safe abortion care.