G7 leaders concluded their Summit with agreement on the Carbis Bay G7 Summit Communiqué, Our Shared Agenda for Global Action to Build Back Better which includes support for abortion as part of “sexual and reproductive health and rights” advanced in the name of gender equality.
Following the tactic of President Biden—who has not said the word “abortion” since taking office and is being tracked by pro-abortion activists in the countdown Did Biden Say Abortion Yet, the word “abortion” is not mentioned in the declaration. Rather the abortion-inclusive term “sexual and reproductive health and rights” is included in the G7 leaders’ 27-page statement—but not in its summary— and in the leaders’ 2021 Open Societies Statement.
The Carbis Bay Communiqué states, “The advancement of gender equity and equality are a central pillar of our plans and policies to build back better” and the leaders reaffirm their “full commitment to promote and protect the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of all individuals” while recognizing “the essential and transformative role they play in gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment, and in supporting diversity, including of sexual orientations and gender identities”.
They commit “to close alignment with the Generation Equality Forum (GEF)” which takes place in France at the end of the month and includes an action coalition on Bodily Integrity and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights which seeks “removal of restrictive policies and legal barriers” so “50 million more adolescent girls and women”, who currently live countries which protect unborn children from abortion, will have access to abortion by 2026. This action coalition of Generation Equality Forum has four main goals: (1) Expand Comprehensive Sexuality Education; (2) Increase the availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of comprehensive abortion and contraception services; (3) Increase SRHR Decision-Making & Bodily Autonomy; and (4) Strengthen girls, women’s and feminist organizations and networks to promote and protect bodily autonomy and SRHR.
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French President Macron is a supporter of Generation Equality Forum and had tweeted, “We have not given up in the fight for women’s rights around the world. They are threatened. Even in Europe. France, which chairs the Generation Equality Forum with Mexico and UN Women, bears a responsibility. In Paris, at the end of June, this fight will take a new turn.”
In the area of gender equality, the G7 leaders also recognize “the devastating and disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on women and girls, which risks reversing hard-won gains especially with regards to…sexual and reproductive health and rights…”
In another concluding document, 2021 Open Societies Statement, the G7 agree, “As leaders of over half of the world’s population living in democracies, we believe it is imperative that we reaffirm and encourage others to embrace the values that bind us together, including our respect for international rules and norms relating to …promotion of women’s and girls’ rights, and the protection of sexual and reproductive health and rights.”
The presence of President Trump had prevented the inclusion of support for “sexual and reproductive health and rights” in the G7 agreements which took place under his presidency.
Despite the inclusion of the term “sexual and reproductive health and rights”, the co-chairs of the W7– the G7’s official Engagement Group on gender equality—expressed their disappointment that there are “almost no tangible political or financial commitments.”