Editor’s note. This appears at the Parliamentary Network for Critical Issues and is reposted with permission.
The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is in the second phase of a campaign to influence reporters and news articles on controversial social issues, including abortion, under the umbrella of the IPPFAR SRHR Journalists Network Group with funding from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation.
The campaign’s goal is to achieve “strengthened commitment to reproductive health issues by Governments, Legislators and other key stakeholders, including calls for policy reviews and change.” The second phase of the project targets adolescents access to ‘sexual and reproductive health and rights” and will be implemented in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC).
An increasing number of news articles sympathetic to the legalization of abortion have been appearing on news sites from Africa. Lucien Kouakou, IPPF Africa Regional Director, addressed the recent meeting of the network stating,
“There is no doubt that journalists are key influencers in the realization of positive change in Africa, as they are instrumental in exploring new topics and fostering public debate on important sexual and reproductive health issues. Through their in-depth and quality reports, journalists have the unmatched ability to exert pressure on governments to fulfil their mandates -especially those touching on public health. IPPF Africa Region will continue to work with African journalists in fostering the continent’s development, and achieving reproductive health gains in the continent.”