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    The WHO Safe Abortion Guidelines: Current Use and Effectiveness Locally and Globally

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    Event description

    The USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research, Human Reproduction Programme invites you to join us for “The WHO Safe Abortion Guidelines: Current Use and Effectiveness Locally and Globally” on Wednesday, November 29 at 9:00 am PT/6:00 pm CET. 


    Framed by the WHO abortion guidelines and family planning and competency standards, this one-hour and 15-minute virtual panel brings together clinicians, civil servants, implementers, and lawyers focusing on the provision of abortion services globally, in India and here in California. The discussion will consider the realities of abortion provision in our current moment, with attention to the diverse applications and utility of these standards, and explore existing and potential linkages with current policy and practice.

    The dialogue will be moderated by IIGH Director Sofia Gruskin.

    The webinar is hosted by the USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health and the WHO Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research, Human Reproduction Programme.

    Please join us on Wednesday, November 29 at 9:00 am PT/6:00 pm CET.

    If you're interested in learning more before the event, please refer to these links:

    •   WHO Abortion Guidelines and Family Planning and Competency standards (Link)
    •   WHO Safe Abortion Values, Evidence and Right/Respect (SAVER) (Link)
    •   SCOPE: Surveillance of COVID-19 in pregnancy- results of a multicentric ambispective case-control study on clinical presentation and maternal outcomes in India between April to November 2020 (Link)



    Speakers:

    Antonella Lavelanet is a Medical Officer in the Prevention of Unsafe Abortion Unit at the World Health Organization (WHO) (Geneva, Switzerland), in the Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research (includes HRP) with a background in sexual and reproductive health and rights and a physician, lawyer, and policy specialist. Dr. Lavelanet provides technical support to countries related to implementation of rights-based approaches to the achievement of sexual and reproductive health, including related to clinical care, and abortion related law and policy development. She acted as the lead coordinator for the law and policy and human rights domains for the Abortion Care Guideline and she supports clinical and policy implementation research within the unit. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Law related to the legal consciousness of abortion seekers.


    Brian T. Nguyen is an Associate Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. As the Program Director for the Fellowship in Complex Family Planning, he trains obstetrician-gynecologists to become specialists in the provision of abortion and contraception within the framework of reproductive justice. His EMERGE Lab (Expanding Male Engagement in Reproductive and Gender Equity) recognizes the disproportionate burden of pregnancy planning and prevention that is often shouldered by cis-hetero women and attempts to define a more progressive role for cis-hetero men in conventional women's sexual and reproductive health. Dr. Nguyen has published on the male experience of unintended pregnancy and abortion. Dr. Nguyen is currently focused on the development of male hormonal contraceptives. He is a sub-investigator for an international multi-center clinical trial of a topical male contraceptive gel funded by the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development; he is also conducting surveys on men’s willingness to use new male contraceptives as a consultant to the World Health Organization.

    K Aparna Sharma is a Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. She is a Maternal Fetal medicine specialist with expertise in Fetal Interventions. She is the Secretary of the largest society of Fetal Medicine Specialists in India, the Society of Fetal Medicine. Dr. Sharma is currently Principal Investigator for seven funded research projects, and has coordinated the World Health Organization (WHO) SCOPE multicentre surveillance project which looks at COVID and pregnancy outcomes involving 20 centres across India and more than 3,000 COVID-positive women. Dr. Sharma has been instrumental in developing the methodology of Point of Care Quality Improvement (POCQI) in association with WHO and USAID, and has conducted more than 50 workshops at all levels of facilities for quality improvement.

    Priya Karna is the Technical Officer for Reproductive and Adolescent Health at the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Office for India. She is a medical doctor from Nepal, trained in Obstetrics and Gynecology in India and Public Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA. She leads sexual and reproductive health (SRH) programming including gender, equity, and rights (GER) for the Country Office in India. Dr. Karna has 10+ years of experience in SRH, including programs and policies leading academic, non-profit, and think-tanks in the United States, Nepal, India, and the 11 Member States of the WHO South-East Asia Region. She works at the Country Office for India which is one the largest offices of WHO, with over 2,000 staff and personnel across 36 States/UTs of the country. In her current role, she leads the SAMARTH initiative, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). This initiative drives policy and programming towards universal reproductive health with quality, equity, and accountability. They focus on family planning and safe medical abortion services including self-care interventions for India’s 353 million women of reproductive age and 250+ million young people (UN DESA 2019-2020).


    Ruth Dawson is a Legislative Attorney with ACLU California Action, where she advocates for policy on issues related to Gender, Sexuality & Reproductive Justice, and Democracy and Civic Engagement. She returned to the ACLU after spending two years working in federal policy with the Guttmacher Institute. There, her work focused on publicly funded family planning programs and providers and on immigrants’ sexual and reproductive health and rights. Prior to joining Guttmacher, Ms. Dawson spent six years as a Staff Attorney and Policy Counsel for the LGBTQ, Gender & Reproductive Justice Project and the Economic Justice Project of the ACLU of Southern California. She has worked to expand access to a broad range of reproductive and sexual health care, eliminate religious restrictions on reproductive and gender-affirming health care, protect confidential access to care for youth and survivors of violence, implement comprehensive sex education, strengthen paid leave, and uphold the dignity of pregnant and parenting people in schools, in the workplace, and in carceral settings. Prior to her time at the ACLU, Ms. Dawson managed a reproductive health clinic in Northern California and graduated from the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs in Los Angeles. Ms. Dawson received a J.D. and a Master’s in Public Health from Emory University and holds a joint degree from UCLA in International Development and Spanish. Ms. Dawson has recently finished a tenure as co-chair of the California Abortion Alliance and continues to serve on the advisory committee.

    Ulrika Rehnström Loi is a Technical Officer based at the Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research (includes HRP), at the World Health Organization (WHO) (Geneva, Switzerland). She provides country support, preparing policy briefs, evidence briefs, and other strategic documents for information sharing. Before joining WHO, Dr. Rehnström Loi was Deputy Representative for UNFPA in Lao People’s Democratic Republic where she coordinated the UNFPA country programme.  Dr. Rehnström Loi has spent more than 15 years with UNFPA and WHO in SRH programming, leadership, representation, and coordination at WHO headquarters and in countries including Bolivia, South Sudan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Dr. Rehnström Loi is a qualified Midwife with an MPH and PhD in Medical Science from Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


    Moderator:


    Sofia Gruskin directs the USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health (IIGH). She is Professor of Preventive Medicine and Chief of the Disease Prevention, Policy and Global Health Division at the Keck School of Medicine, and Professor of Law and Preventive Medicine at the Gould School of Law. Prof. Gruskin currently sits on numerous international boards and committees including the PEPFAR Scientific Advisory Board, the Lancet Commission on Gender and Global Health, the IUSSP Steering Committee to Strengthen Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems, and the Lancet Commission on Health and Human Rights. Prof. Gruskin has published extensively, including several books, training manuals and edited journal volumes, and more than 200 articles and chapters covering a wide range of topics.


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