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Ett par med ett nyfött barn i ett skyddsrum i Kyiv, Ukraina.

RFSU takes a stand for pregnant women in Ukraine

Right now, pregnant women in Ukraine are being forced to give birth in shelters, while bombs fall outside. People are paying for Putin's war with their health, security and lives. It is a violation of their human rights, says Hans Linde, chair of RFSU.

The war in Ukraine has led to great suffering. One of the consequences is that pregnant women are being forced to give birth in shelters, at metro stations and while fleeing. Over the next three months, an estimated 80,000 pregnant women will give birth in Ukraine, according to the UN. And behind every number there is a human being, Hans Linde reminded us in a speech on Sergels torg on Wednesday night.

RFSU's chair was one of thousands who participated in the demonstration Sweden in solidarity with Ukraine, organized by the Eastern Group, Olof Palme's International Center, and Union to Union, among others.

In the speech, Hans Linde mentioned Mia, who was born in Kyiv during the first night of the war:
– Mia had the same right as all other newborns to be born in a safe way. Her 23-year-old mother, like all other pregnant women, had the right to receive the best possible support during her birth. She should be able to see her newborn baby and feel joy and faith in the future. Instead, she was forced to give birth on the run from Russian bombings against her hometown, he said.

The outside world must not forget the need for SRHR in war and conflict

Sexual and reproductive health and rights in humanitarian situations is an issue RFSU has been working on for many years. The needs are many, from menstrual products and contraception to maternity care. Peace and freedom are a prerequisite for a world where everyone can make their own decisions about their body and their sexuality. Together with IPPF, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, partners and networks, RFSU is closely monitoring developments in Ukraine.

Hans Linde framför ett hav av människor på Sergels torg, många med ukrainska flaggor i händerna

– Ukraine deserves all support from the outside world, let that support also include sexual and reproductive health and rights, Hans Linde concluded.