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This report is an attempt to provide a bird’s eye view on the situation of legislative tools and frameworks in selected Arab countries with regard to key issues related to reproductive health. Legislative environment is an enabling factor that creates supportive space and mechanisms to effect systemic, societal and individual change. This regional analysis is a starting point that should be built on to develop in depth analyses on the national levels to identify gaps and propose bridging and corrective measures.
This issue of journal is about reproductive rights, advocacy and changing the law. Papers on abortion cover the role of political parties and political process in changing the law, the role of feminists and doctors in efforts to get hospitals in the context of restrictive law, and efforts to get nurses and other health workers to confront their own prejudices against abortion in order to make service provision women-centred. Two papers delve into the meaning of reproductive health and rights and the role of advocacy in implementing changes in reproductive health law, policies and services.