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CATALYSTS - Shaping our role in catalyzing abortion care for all in Africa

BACKGROUND In the wake of the US Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on Roe v.



In the wake of the US Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on Roe v. Wade in June 2022, a group of Africa-focused abortion rights organizations (IPPF Africa Region, Ipas Africa Alliance, Centre for Reproductive Rights Africa, Population Council Kenya and FIGO) came together to discuss the ruling’s implications on the continent and consider the case for an ‘abortion consortium’ that might more effectively protect and promote abortion rights in Africa. Agreeing a consortium could fill a critical gap, the group convened a workshop in Nairobi with a wider network of partners to develop a Theory of Change and map a way forward. Dubbed CATALYSTS, the Consortium set an ambitious and unambiguously comprehensive vision as captured in the Theory of Change and narrative. In the phrase “abortion care for all in Africa”, partners enshrined the consortium’s vision of universal abortion rights and access to high-quality care on the continent.


This type of organic consortium on abortion has not yet been attempted.

·       We are African thought leaders, field builders and a vehicle for driving accountability.

·       We are a Consortium of the brave with a track record of never backtracking Our solution is powerful, impactful, and led by those doing the work.

·       We are building collective legitimacy by building an African critical mass that can effectively open doors, advocate more strongly and underpin bolder action. 

·       We are Africa-led: We are decolonizing and reframing the discourse around abortion rights in Africa by centering African perspectives, experiences and voices.





 We aim to be a catalytic partner, working synergistically and reducing the duplication of efforts in our resource-shrinking arena. CATALYSTS aims to facilitate collaboration and weave connections amongst diverse stakeholders at multiple scales in East and Southern Africa. We will be innovative, fast acting, driving a positive movement and serving as a knowledge base and a networking space across the continent. Specifically, the CATALYST consortium aspires to play 5 pivotal roles:

  •  Convening and connecting: A DEDICATED space that will serve as a hub for information, resources and discussions related to abortion rights. By providing various spaces and opportunities for interactions, networking and knowledge exchange, CATALYSTS will facilitate meaningful connections and collaborations amongst African actors in the abortion space. 


  • Coordinating for Success:  CATALYSTS will enable abortion rights actors in each of the eastern and southern African target countries and subsequently across the region to unite their efforts, amplify their voices, and respond collectively to deliver a positive, unified, Africa-led and justice-focused movement. We believe that by coordinating our efforts, sharing resources, and promoting solidarity, CATALYSTS will strengthen the abortion rights movement and enhance our collective ability to protect and advance abortion rights. 


  • Cultivating Technical Excellence: CATALYSTS will leverage collective expertise, resources, and knowledge to provide valuable support and technical assistance to organizations working in the abortion rights space. By consistently producing and disseminating valuable information, CATALYSTS positions itself as a trusted source of expertise that contributes to the overall growth and strengthening of the field. 


  • Centralizing Research: We aim to be the go-to resource center for up-to-date research, next generation methods, best practices and knowledge related to abortion rights. To position ourselves as a pooling house for credible and valuable knowledge, CATALYSTS will collate and harbor cutting-edge research, engage in collaborative research projects with research centers, academic institutions and universities where needed, and curate and disseminate research outputs.


  • Cumulating catalytic capital: CATALYSTS recognizes the urgent need to advocate with funders to expand and unlock resources for abortion rights- and not just for the usual suspects. We want to help shape the donor landscape by pushing the boundaries on what is considered best practice in feminist philanthropy. We will also do this by bringing traditional and non-traditional donors together to fund in new ways that deliver impact for abortion care. We will do this by launching a donor taskforce. 


Find out more about CATALYST and join us here.



Abortion Care