Join YANAA – the Young Activist Network for Abortion Advocacy

Today we are excited to announce the formation of YANAA, the Young Activist Network for Abortion Advocacy. YANAA is a new international network by and for young people that focuses on activism and advocacy in relation to safe abortion.  We are looking for young feminist activists below the age of 35.

Girls and young women are the best advocates for their own rights and health. With YANAA, we want to build a movement that highlights the health, rights and justice issues intersecting with abortion. YANAA is committed to advancing abortion rights in all world regions, working on youth perspectives, and building advocacy strategies on all aspects of abortion, from access to abortion pills to decriminalisation of abortion in
law and policy.

Why is YANAA important?

Adolescents suffer the most from the negative consequences of unsafe abortion. Forty-one per cent of unsafe abortions in developing regions are among young women aged 15–24 years – 15% among those aged 15–19 years and 26% among those aged 20–24 years. (Shah and Ahman, 2012)
Age alone creates a barrier to accessing sexual and reproductive health services, including abortion, due to cultural and social expectation that girls and young women are not having sex. As a result, accurate information on abortion and youth-friendly services are often not available or accessible to them.

Girls and young women are often judged for seeking or having abortions, even when sex was without their consent or even coerced.

Laws and policies on abortion are in some countries highly restrictive for young people, including the requirement of parental consent. Girls and young women are often seen as incapable of making their own informed decisions, a belief that is largely driven by conservative cultural and religious values around sexual rights and reproductive autonomy.

How was YANAA formed?

In September 2018, the International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion hosted an International Forum on Developing Advocacy Strategies on Abortion in Lisbon. A group of young women led one of the Forum’s workshops on “Proposals for youth engagement and participation within the International Campaign, representing the Campaign globally, and sharing experiences of working as young women and with young women on abortion rights”. The group developed specific recommendations for youth participation in advocacy work and proposed the creation of a network within the Campaign by and for young people.

After the Forum, the Campaign coordination team invited four of the workshop discussion leaders and a participant in the Campaign workshops in a conference in July 2018, to form a committee to initiate this network. On 28-29 June, the Campaign coordination team hosted the first planning meeting in London to develop a strategy and workplan to take the network forward.

YANAA is currently coordinated by regional representatives from Argentina, India, Malaysia, South Africa and Sudan, and a representative from the International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion Coordination Team.

YANAA’s aims

… To campaign for the decriminalisation of abortion with a specific focus on how laws and policies are affecting young people.

… To highlight the lack of evidence about the need for abortion, especially among young girls, and promote universal access to safe abortion as a health and human right issue.

… To promote inter-generational dialogue between feminists on safe abortion activism and develop a platform for young people to share their specific issues.

… To promote the leadership of young feminists on the abortion issue and support the participation of young leaders on global platforms.

Our vision for change

…To make girls’ and young women’s activism and advocacy work more visible by supporting and promoting their work.

…To ensure that girls’ and young women’s issues become part of new research within the mainstream research agenda.

… To ensure that youth-led research among girls and young women is a part of research and policy initiatives at global, regional and national levels.


YANAA provides an opportunity to join a strong, supportive group of organisations and individuals among young abortion advocates who want to share their experiences and learn from each other. We welcome young feminist activists below the age of 35 who are already working on abortion or interested in promoting safe abortion.

To apply to join YANAA, fill out the form here with your details. We will ask you for a reference who can vouch for you, to ensure the network remains a secure space.

As a member of YANAA, you will get the opportunity to learn about the international movement for abortion rights, be part of promoting inter-generational feminist dialogue on abortion, and be part of a young activist movement.

Follow us on: Twitter: @yanaanetwork I Instagram: @yanaanetwork

YANAA is a project of the International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion.

For any inquiries, please contact Elise Denis-Ramirez at