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Abortion Care

IPPF works to ensure that every woman and girl has the human right to choose to be pregnant or not and we will continue to supply and support safe and legal abortion services and care. We are committed to reducing the number of deaths of women and girls who are forced to turn to unsafe abortion methods. Make Abortion Safe. Make Abortion Legal. For all Women and Girls. Everywhere.

Articles by Abortion Care

IPPF_Tommy Trenchard_Botswana

U.S Supreme court overturns Roe v. Wade in biggest blow to women's health and rights in recent history

Nairobi – 25 June 2022 – The decision by the US Supreme Court to overturn the landmark Roe V Wade on abortion will trigger total or near total bans on abortion care in approximately 26 states across the United States of America. This decision not only affects the United States but undoubtedly we will see a ripple effect across the world. Overturning Roe v. Wade is the biggest blow to women's health and rights in recent U.S history. It removes 50 years of safe and legal abortion across the U.S. and puts the lives of millions of women, girls and gender diverse people into the hands of state legislators – many of whom are Conservative extremists who are anti-woman, anti-LGBTI+ and anti-gender. By continuing this attack on women's bodies and forcing them to carry pregnancies to term, the highest court in the United States has reached its lowest point, robbing millions of their liberty, bodily autonomy and freedom - the very values the United States prides itself on. The decision is also out of step with the America people, the majority of whom support access to abortion care. "The fallout from this calculated decision will also reverberate worldwide, emboldening other anti-abortion, anti-woman and anti-gender movements and impacting other reproductive freedoms. The justices who put their personal beliefs ahead of American will, precedent and law will soon have blood on their hands, and we are devastated for the millions of people who will suffer from this cruel judgment", said Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation. “We know from our experience in sexual and reproductive health and rights that extremist groups and lawmakers opposed to gender equality have fought long and hard to control women’s and girls’ bodies. These groups play politics with the bodily integrity of women and girls, denying scientific findings and challenging well-grounded evidence that banning abortion does not stop women from choosing to have the procedure, only forcing them to turn to potentially dangerous alternatives. These groups also force health care providers to choose between saving a woman’s life and facing criminal charges. There is no such thing as preventing abortion; there is only banning safe abortion”, said Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region (IPPFAR) Regional Director.  She further added that “while the US may be regressing and rolling back on the human rights of women and girls, we now look to other countries including Benin and Kenya, which have recently signalled their commitment to protecting and fulfilling the rights of women and girls to access safe abortion care. These countries now lead the charge, and we as global voices in reproductive rights worldwide, must continue working hard to make these rights a reality, while maintaining and building on them.”  END Media Contacts: Mahmoud Garga, Lead Specialist - Strategic Communication, Media Relations and Digital Campaigning, IPPF Africa Regional Office (IPPFARO) – email: [email protected] -Phone +254 704 626 920 ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery organization in Africa, and a leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men and women in sub-Saharan Africa. Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent’s growing SRHR challenges through a network of Member Associations (MAs) in 40 countries. We do this by developing our MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high quality, youth focused and gender sensitive services. We work with Governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, United Nations bodies among others to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa. Learn more about us on our website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.  

IPPF_Georgina Goodwin_Burundi
31 January 2022

Frontiers in SRHR Access for Women and Youth

The project objective is to improve access to Abortion Self Care (ASC), youth empowerment, and strengthening the use of digital interventions. Budget:  1,500,000 USD Donor: The David & Lucile Packard Foundation Timeline: 2 Years ( January 2021 -  December 2022 ) Project implementation areas: Cameroon, Ghana, Cambodia, and India Partners: CAMNAFAW, PPAG,RHAC, FPAI, Ipas, Y-Labs, and IBIS Key achievements to date: Youth engagement in SRHR advocacy ASC as an option for all clients Digital/m health to increase access to SRHR and CSE Influence national guidelines and policies Review of IPPF IMAP- integrating ASC Generating leanings & sharing Building capacities of start-ups ( YSVF) Virtual immersion program Innovative approaches: Access to SRHR and CSE through digital/m health YSVF -  working with young entrepreneurs to accelerate & enhance existing SRHR solutions Lessons learned: Aggregating client data in DHI, DHIs works best in hybrid models compared to stand-alone models, multi-language engagement

Safe Abortion Action Fund
30 March 2017

Safe Abortion Action Fund

The Safe Abortion Action Fund (SAAF) was established in 2006, in response to the US government's Global Gag Rule, as a multi‑donor mechanism to support global abortion‑related programming. Hosted by IPPF, SAAF provides small grants to locally-run organisations that promote safe abortion and prevent unsafe abortion through advocacy and awareness raising, service delivery and research activities, and has supported such projects for over a decade. SAAF Supports projects run by IPPF Member Associations as well as other organisations not affiliated with IPPF. By the end of 2016 SAAF had provided US$43 million funding to 188 projects in over 62 countries. SAAF focuses on the needs of the marginalized and most vulnerable women and girls. By visibly funding projects using an international funding mechanism, SAAF works to destigmatize abortion and to legitimize the abortion debate. For more information about the fund visit the SAAF website www.saafund.org.

Girls Decide landing image
30 June 2016

Girls Decide

This programme addresses critical challenges faced by young women around sexual health and sexuality. It has produced a range of advocacy, education and informational materials to support research, awareness-raising, advocacy and service delivery.    Girls Decide is about the sexual and reproductive health and rights of girls and young women. Around the world, girls aged 10 to 19 account for 23% of all disease associated with pregnancy and childbirth. An estimated 2.5 million have unsafe abortions every year. Worldwide, young women account for 60% of the 5.5 million young people living with HIV and/or AIDS. Girls Decide has produced a range of advocacy, education and informational materials to support work to improve sexual health and rights for girls and young women. These include a series of films on sexual and reproductive health decisions faced by 6 young women in 6 different countries. The films won the prestigious International Video and Communications Award (IVCA). When girls and young women have access to critical lifesaving services and information, and when they are able to make meaningful choices about their life path, they are empowered. Their quality of life improves, as does the well-being of their families and the communities in which they live. Their collective ability to achieve internationally agreed development goals is strengthened. Almost all IPPF Member Associations provide services to young people and 1 in every 3 clients is a young person below the age of 25. All young women and girls are rights-holders and are entitled to sexual and reproductive rights. As a matter of principle, the IPPF Secretariat and Member Associations stand by girls by respecting and fulfilling their right to high quality services; they stand up for girls by supporting them in making their own decisions related to sexuality and pregnancy; they stand for sexual and reproductive rights by addressing the challenges faced by young women and girls at local, national and international levels.

Boy holding a sign "Keep abortion safe and legal".
05 May 2016

Tackling abortion stigma

Abortion stigma affects women and girls, abortion providers, reproductive rights advocates and communities. Although abortion is a common experience around the world, it is still largely stigmatised. Negative attitudes and beliefs about abortion may act as barriers to accessing safe services and can make it difficult for people to talk about their experiences of abortion. This can be very isolating, and may force people to continue unwanted pregnancies or to seek unsafe abortion. Since 2011 the David & Lucile Packard Foundation has supported IPPF to implement a range of initiatives to investigate and address abortion stigma. Find out more here, about the effective strategies and learning over the course of this project. It is often young people who are most severely affected by abortion stigma, and who are most at risk of suffering health complications as a result of unsafe abortion. Since 2014 IPPF has delivered a project focused on abortion stigma as it affects young people’s access to services, with targeted work in our Member Associations in Benin, Burkina Faso, India and Pakistan. This builds on previous initiatives and includes: Implementing individual, community and clinic-based interventions in the four countries where abortion stigma research was conducted under the previous grant. Abortion stigma at the community level will be measured at the beginning and end of each project using an adapted version of the Stigmatizing Attitudes, Beliefs and Actions Scale (SABAS) developed by Ipas Developing global guidance and tools to improve abortion messaging to ensure abortion is integrated into peer educator training and better raise awareness of abortion-related services to young people Building capacity of youth advocates to speak out on the right to access abortion services Generating and sharing of evidence and good practices on addressing abortion stigma   In addition to the abortion stigma work supported by the Packard Foundation, the IPPF Western Hemisphere Region (WHR) has been conducting a research study in collaboration with Ibis Reproductive Health to better understand the effects that the provision of abortion-related services have on providers’ and clients’ perceptions and experiences of stigma. This research has been conducted in four countries with different legal contexts and varying degrees of access to services: the Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Colombia, and Argentina. WHR is also working with the University of Michigan to pilot facilitated group workshops to reduce stigma and foster resilience among abortion service providers in Colombia, Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico and Peru. Through this project IPPF has created a range of tools and resources to support understanding of abortion stigma and to increase the capacity of our Member Associations to advocate for safe abortion, and to provide non-stigmatising education and information. How to talk about abortion: A guide for journalists, editors and media outlets encourages accurate reporting of the facts about abortion, and honest portrayals of abortion as part of real people’s lives and relationships. How to educate about abortion: A guide for peer educators, trainers and teachers is a comprehensive guide providing the rationale for teaching about abortion issues, as well a number of practical activities for doing so. The accompanying short animation distills this advice into just two minutes! ​​​​​​ How to talk about abortion: A guide to rights-based messaging is designed to help individuals and organizations think about the language and images they use to communicate about abortion and offers best practice tips. Again, a short animation has been created to share these tips further Our Member Associations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameroon, Ghana, and Pakistan have shared best practices for improving young people’s access to safe abortion services. These feature strategies based on: creating a ‘buddy system’ for young people accessing services, working with educational establishments, using social media, and youth friendly spaces respectively.   In 2015, young people from IPPF Member Associations in Spain, Nepal, Macedonia, Ghana and Palestine were awarded small grants to support projects focused on tackling abortion stigma. Read more about these youth-led projects.    The ‘Youth Against Abortion Stigma’ website features blogposts from young IPPF volunteers around the world. In 2017, young people from IPPF Member Associations in Guinea, Kenya, Nepal, Puerto Rico, Sierra Leone and Venezuela were awarded small grants to support youth-led projects focused on tackling abortion stigma.  SEE OUR RESULTS

Saaf
21 January 2022

SAAF funding: Grants for organisations working on abortion

The IPPF hosted Safe Abortion Action Fund (SAAF) is accepting funding applications from organizations in low- and middle-income countries working on any aspect of abortion care, research, education, and advocacy. Please note that only organizations on the list of eligible countries are able to apply. Applications can be sent in English, French or Spanish using the online form and funding guidance on our website. Get your application in before 20 February 2022! https://saafund.org/apply-for-funding Hosted by IPPF, SAAF provides small grants to locally-run organizations that promote safe abortion and prevent unsafe abortion through advocacy and awareness-raising, service delivery, and research activities, and has supported such projects for over a decade. SAAF Supports projects run by IPPF Member Associations as well as other organizations not affiliated with IPPF. For more information about the fund visit the SAAF website www.saafund.org.

Cameroon _IPPF_Xaume Olleros
14 January 2022

Abortion hearings: What’s going on in Namibia?

Namibia is under the spotlight this month as it resumes public hearings on abortion on 16 January. This follows the hearings which took place late last year, and will hopefully play an important role in the liberalization of abortion laws in the country.  The current laws regulating abortion are no longer fit for purpose – not least because the Abortion and Sterilisation Act of 1975 was adopted under apartheid South African rule and has since been repealed in South Africa. The Act currently permits abortion only in very limited circumstances, and imposes criminal penalties on women who obtain and those who perform abortions outside of this limited scope. Those who can afford it are forced to travel to South Africa for abortion care, but this option is out of reach for many women. The law, therefore, impacts far more heavily on poor and black women, perpetuating the cycle of poverty and reinforcing injustices.  In 2020, 62,000 Namibians signed a petition calling for the liberalization of abortion laws, so there is certainly public backing for progress. The upcoming hearings are a key opportunity to make positive changes in the lives of all women, regardless of religious beliefs, age, race, and socioeconomic status.

Benin news
25 October 2021

Historic Moment for Benin as New Law Legalizing Abortion Adopted

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) welcomes the news of abortion law reform in Benin.  On 20 October 2021, the Benin National Assembly voted to significantly widen the conditions under which women and gender non-confirming people can legally access abortion care. The new law will now allow women and gender non-conforming people to end their pregnancy within the first three months if it is likely to "aggravate or cause material, educational, professional or moral distress, incompatible with the woman or the unborn child's interest.” Under Benin’s previous abortion law, it was only permissible to seek abortion care if the pregnancy ‘threatened the life of the mother’, was ‘the result of a rape or incest’ or when ‘the unborn child has a particularly severe affection’. In a country where an estimated that 200 women die annually from unsafe abortion, the new law will undoubtedly save lives.  IPPF is proud that its Member Association in the country, Association Beninoise pour la Promotion de la Famille (ABPF), was directly involved in advocating for change in the abortion law. The organization’s involvement began years ago, when it intensified its advocacy activities with key stakeholders, most notably the Network of Parliamentarians for Population and Development, made up of several Members of Parliament (MPs) committed to championing sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for all. Among its activities, ABPF organized capacity building and advocacy sessions with parliamentarians. It also proposed an extension of the law on abortion in a code on sexual and reproductive health, which was developed and presented to the MPs.  Mr. Christian Agbozo, Executive Director of ABPF says that it was this close collaboration with lawmakers and other key stakeholders, both in the private and public sector that led to this success.   "The new law is a step forward for the rights of Beninese women. ABPF’s involvement in advocating for abortion liberalization was necessary not only to ensure women's right to decide, but to also allow ABPF service providers to provide comprehensive abortion care services without being subjected to prosecution in the future. The new law will help more women receive safe abortion care and exercise their reproductive rights and freedoms. It is a proud moment for us all,” he says. IPPF Africa Regional Director Mrs. Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry acknowledged Benin’s progressive step in voting for the legalization of abortion.   “As an institution that believes in the unreserved upholding of the human rights of all people, we affirm that this is indeed a great win not only for the women and girls of Benin, but for women and girls across the region. Following in the footsteps of two other countries in the continent, South Africa and Cape Verde, Benin has demonstrated its commitment to women’s reproductive freedom, and we hope that other African countries will follow” she said.   Mrs. Petrus-Barry further reiterated IPPF’s commitment to advocating for the repeal of retrogressive laws and policies that infringe on their reproductive autonomy, and development of those that allow them to exercise their sexual reproductive health and rights.   Her sentiments were echoed by IPPF’s Director General, Dr. Alvaro Bermejo.  “We are extremely pleased to see the long-awaited expansion of abortion provision in Benin and applaud the National Assembly for recognising the dignity, humanity and sexual and reproductive rights of Beninese people seeking abortion care. We are also proud of our Member Association, ABPF, for its continued hope and advocacy in Benin.”  Dr. Bermejo acknowledged the dedicated efforts by African countries to push back against colonial and archaic abortion laws that hold their communities back. “IPPF is honored to be a part of that movement and will never stop fighting for safe and legal abortion care for all those who need it.” For more updates on our work, follow IPPF Africa Region on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

abortion care
29 September 2021

How Women’s Access to Safe Abortion will Change in the Next Five Years

Numbers don’t lie: Between 2015 and 2019, on average, 73.3 million induced (safe and unsafe) abortions occurred worldwide each year. Every year, between 4.7% – 13.2% of maternal deaths can be attributed to unsafe abortion. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines unsafe abortion as a procedure for terminating an unwanted pregnancy either by persons lacking the necessary skills or in an environment lacking minimal medical standards or both. Unsafe abortions result in the deaths of 47,000 women every year and leaves millions temporarily or permanently disabled[1]. In Africa, nearly half of all abortions happen in the least safe circumstances. Moreover, mortality from unsafe abortion disproportionately affects women in Africa. While the continent accounts for 29% of all unsafe abortions, it sees 62% of unsafe abortion-related deaths (WHO). An estimated 93% of women of reproductive age in Africa live in countries with restrictive abortion laws. This means that the country’s laws only permit abortion in certain cases, often only if there is risk to the woman’s life, her health, the pregnancy is the result of rape, or there is evidence of foetal impairment. The costs of treating medical complications from unsafe abortion constitute a significant financial burden for developing countries’ public health care systems. Further, the more restrictive the legal setting, the higher the proportion of unsafe abortions. Statistics from unsafe abortions give us a glimpse into the suffering women must endure to end an unwanted pregnancy. We must challenge, re-evaluate different countries’ positions on the provision of life-saving safe-abortion care. We must advocate for changes in laws and policies and push-for the uptake of targeted and budgeted approaches that reach women and girls with safe abortion and contraception services wherever they are. IPPF and other key stakeholders are working towards ensuring that in the next five years, more women and girls will access abortion services differently, as the solutions to terminate a pregnancy will be more easily understood and available through self-managed medical abortion. This new approach promises to radically transform how health care is perceived and accessed by firmly placing women and girls at the centre of the abortion process; shifting the power dynamic from a medicalized and provider-led/decided approach to one that is person-centred and guarantees bodily autonomy. Where women can take control of their bodies and decide when and if to have children; whilst being supported by the healthcare system if needed. Also Read: Safe abortion in the context of COVID-19: partnership, dialogue and digital innovation This approach has been endorsed by WHO and is detailed within the newly released self-care guidelines. Several studies  have confirmed that self-managed abortion is safe, effective, and not inferior to those performed in clinical settings. A recent WHO review revealed that 94–96% of self-managed abortions had similar success rates to those conducted in clinic-based settings. In fact, 90% of clients confirmed they would recommend self-managed medical abortion. As local and global actors working for women’s health, rights and bodily autonomy, we must champion and roll out such new models and approaches that uphold, protect and champion women’s health, sexual rights and reproductive justice. Last July, IPPF joined global actors at the Generation Equality Forum to define and announce ambitious investments and policies for women and girls worldwide. Among our bold commitments, was a resolve to “expand and improve the provision of abortion care through 102 Member Associations, including quality medical and surgical abortion, person-centered abortion self-care support, and abortion care beyond 12 weeks of gestation through a simplified outpatient model using task-shifting to mid-level providers, including self-managed medical abortion.” This is a bold pledge that cannot depend on IPPF alone. It is critical if we are to reach the target of making the self-management of abortion a reality by 2026. Among others, IPPF calls upon the global ecosystem; feminist movements and civil-society organisations to continue to counter the multiple barriers i.e., legal, cultural, social and religious, that impede women from accessing safe abortion freely. Also Read: Abortion Quality of Care from the Client Perspective: a Qualitative Study in India and Kenya IPPF also calls upon policy and decision-makers to uphold their sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) commitments and repeal laws and policies that prevent safe abortion. We ask donors to invest in commodities and essential supplies, service delivery partners and prioritize research that promotes this approach. We also urge local and national stakeholders and service providers to embrace this new approach by encouraging, providing and supporting the integration of new models of abortion service delivery within existing clinic-based services. Self-care is not a magic bullet, and neither will this radical change happen by chance. It takes all of us to make it happen. This is not just a question of access. It is a fundamental question of freedom, empowerment, and bodily autonomy. Read more about The Global Comprehensive Abortion Care Initiative (GCACI). By Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Regional Director, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region (IPPFAR). Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry is the Regional Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region (IPPFAR). The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading providers of quality sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in Africa and a leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region.   For more updates on our work, follow IPPF Africa Region on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

Pregnant-woman
27 June 2017

Statement In Support Of Pregnant School Girls In Tanzania

IPPF Africa Region is concerned about the alleged statement by Tanzanian President HE John Pombe Magufuli. The warning that schoolgirls who have given birth should not be allowed to return to school is contrary to Regional and Global policy commitments that seek to protect Africa’s Youth, to which the United Republic of Tanzania is a signatory. The Republic of Tanzania has ratified several protocols at the continental level – and these include the Banjul Protocol, the Maputo Protocol and most recently the Maputo Plan of Action 2016-2030. The Banjul Protocol specifically states in article 17 that ‘Every individual shall have the right to education” and part of article 18 declares that “The State shall ensure the elimination of every discrimination against women; and also ensure the protection of the rights of women and the child as stipulated in international declarations and conventions.” Education is not only a human right in itself, but also enables access to almost all other human rights (UNESCO, 2016). The right to education is enshrined in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations, 1948). Equal access to quality education is also an objective of Africa’s Agenda 2063 and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. When a girl is not enrolled, or is pulled out of school for any reason whatsoever, her rights are violated, her opportunities are lost and her future options are limited. In light of the above, we would like to appeal to the government of the United Republic of Tanzania to review its overall position on the status of the girl child in the context of the Demographic Dividend, Maputo Plan of Action, Maputo Protocol and the African Youth Charter. We firmly believe that Africa can harness the Demographic Dividend through investing in youth, particularly young girls if their rights are preserved.

IPPF_Tommy Trenchard_Botswana

U.S Supreme court overturns Roe v. Wade in biggest blow to women's health and rights in recent history

Nairobi – 25 June 2022 – The decision by the US Supreme Court to overturn the landmark Roe V Wade on abortion will trigger total or near total bans on abortion care in approximately 26 states across the United States of America. This decision not only affects the United States but undoubtedly we will see a ripple effect across the world. Overturning Roe v. Wade is the biggest blow to women's health and rights in recent U.S history. It removes 50 years of safe and legal abortion across the U.S. and puts the lives of millions of women, girls and gender diverse people into the hands of state legislators – many of whom are Conservative extremists who are anti-woman, anti-LGBTI+ and anti-gender. By continuing this attack on women's bodies and forcing them to carry pregnancies to term, the highest court in the United States has reached its lowest point, robbing millions of their liberty, bodily autonomy and freedom - the very values the United States prides itself on. The decision is also out of step with the America people, the majority of whom support access to abortion care. "The fallout from this calculated decision will also reverberate worldwide, emboldening other anti-abortion, anti-woman and anti-gender movements and impacting other reproductive freedoms. The justices who put their personal beliefs ahead of American will, precedent and law will soon have blood on their hands, and we are devastated for the millions of people who will suffer from this cruel judgment", said Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation. “We know from our experience in sexual and reproductive health and rights that extremist groups and lawmakers opposed to gender equality have fought long and hard to control women’s and girls’ bodies. These groups play politics with the bodily integrity of women and girls, denying scientific findings and challenging well-grounded evidence that banning abortion does not stop women from choosing to have the procedure, only forcing them to turn to potentially dangerous alternatives. These groups also force health care providers to choose between saving a woman’s life and facing criminal charges. There is no such thing as preventing abortion; there is only banning safe abortion”, said Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region (IPPFAR) Regional Director.  She further added that “while the US may be regressing and rolling back on the human rights of women and girls, we now look to other countries including Benin and Kenya, which have recently signalled their commitment to protecting and fulfilling the rights of women and girls to access safe abortion care. These countries now lead the charge, and we as global voices in reproductive rights worldwide, must continue working hard to make these rights a reality, while maintaining and building on them.”  END Media Contacts: Mahmoud Garga, Lead Specialist - Strategic Communication, Media Relations and Digital Campaigning, IPPF Africa Regional Office (IPPFARO) – email: [email protected] -Phone +254 704 626 920 ABOUT IPPF AFRICA REGION (IPPFAR) The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service delivery organization in Africa, and a leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. Headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, the overarching goal of IPPFAR is to increase access to SRHR services to the most vulnerable youth, men and women in sub-Saharan Africa. Supported by thousands of volunteers, IPPFAR tackles the continent’s growing SRHR challenges through a network of Member Associations (MAs) in 40 countries. We do this by developing our MAs into efficient entities with the capacity to deliver and sustain high quality, youth focused and gender sensitive services. We work with Governments, the African Union, Regional Economic Commissions, the Pan-African Parliament, United Nations bodies among others to expand political and financial commitments to sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa. Learn more about us on our website. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.  

IPPF_Georgina Goodwin_Burundi
31 January 2022

Frontiers in SRHR Access for Women and Youth

The project objective is to improve access to Abortion Self Care (ASC), youth empowerment, and strengthening the use of digital interventions. Budget:  1,500,000 USD Donor: The David & Lucile Packard Foundation Timeline: 2 Years ( January 2021 -  December 2022 ) Project implementation areas: Cameroon, Ghana, Cambodia, and India Partners: CAMNAFAW, PPAG,RHAC, FPAI, Ipas, Y-Labs, and IBIS Key achievements to date: Youth engagement in SRHR advocacy ASC as an option for all clients Digital/m health to increase access to SRHR and CSE Influence national guidelines and policies Review of IPPF IMAP- integrating ASC Generating leanings & sharing Building capacities of start-ups ( YSVF) Virtual immersion program Innovative approaches: Access to SRHR and CSE through digital/m health YSVF -  working with young entrepreneurs to accelerate & enhance existing SRHR solutions Lessons learned: Aggregating client data in DHI, DHIs works best in hybrid models compared to stand-alone models, multi-language engagement

Safe Abortion Action Fund
30 March 2017

Safe Abortion Action Fund

The Safe Abortion Action Fund (SAAF) was established in 2006, in response to the US government's Global Gag Rule, as a multi‑donor mechanism to support global abortion‑related programming. Hosted by IPPF, SAAF provides small grants to locally-run organisations that promote safe abortion and prevent unsafe abortion through advocacy and awareness raising, service delivery and research activities, and has supported such projects for over a decade. SAAF Supports projects run by IPPF Member Associations as well as other organisations not affiliated with IPPF. By the end of 2016 SAAF had provided US$43 million funding to 188 projects in over 62 countries. SAAF focuses on the needs of the marginalized and most vulnerable women and girls. By visibly funding projects using an international funding mechanism, SAAF works to destigmatize abortion and to legitimize the abortion debate. For more information about the fund visit the SAAF website www.saafund.org.

Girls Decide landing image
30 June 2016

Girls Decide

This programme addresses critical challenges faced by young women around sexual health and sexuality. It has produced a range of advocacy, education and informational materials to support research, awareness-raising, advocacy and service delivery.    Girls Decide is about the sexual and reproductive health and rights of girls and young women. Around the world, girls aged 10 to 19 account for 23% of all disease associated with pregnancy and childbirth. An estimated 2.5 million have unsafe abortions every year. Worldwide, young women account for 60% of the 5.5 million young people living with HIV and/or AIDS. Girls Decide has produced a range of advocacy, education and informational materials to support work to improve sexual health and rights for girls and young women. These include a series of films on sexual and reproductive health decisions faced by 6 young women in 6 different countries. The films won the prestigious International Video and Communications Award (IVCA). When girls and young women have access to critical lifesaving services and information, and when they are able to make meaningful choices about their life path, they are empowered. Their quality of life improves, as does the well-being of their families and the communities in which they live. Their collective ability to achieve internationally agreed development goals is strengthened. Almost all IPPF Member Associations provide services to young people and 1 in every 3 clients is a young person below the age of 25. All young women and girls are rights-holders and are entitled to sexual and reproductive rights. As a matter of principle, the IPPF Secretariat and Member Associations stand by girls by respecting and fulfilling their right to high quality services; they stand up for girls by supporting them in making their own decisions related to sexuality and pregnancy; they stand for sexual and reproductive rights by addressing the challenges faced by young women and girls at local, national and international levels.

Boy holding a sign "Keep abortion safe and legal".
05 May 2016

Tackling abortion stigma

Abortion stigma affects women and girls, abortion providers, reproductive rights advocates and communities. Although abortion is a common experience around the world, it is still largely stigmatised. Negative attitudes and beliefs about abortion may act as barriers to accessing safe services and can make it difficult for people to talk about their experiences of abortion. This can be very isolating, and may force people to continue unwanted pregnancies or to seek unsafe abortion. Since 2011 the David & Lucile Packard Foundation has supported IPPF to implement a range of initiatives to investigate and address abortion stigma. Find out more here, about the effective strategies and learning over the course of this project. It is often young people who are most severely affected by abortion stigma, and who are most at risk of suffering health complications as a result of unsafe abortion. Since 2014 IPPF has delivered a project focused on abortion stigma as it affects young people’s access to services, with targeted work in our Member Associations in Benin, Burkina Faso, India and Pakistan. This builds on previous initiatives and includes: Implementing individual, community and clinic-based interventions in the four countries where abortion stigma research was conducted under the previous grant. Abortion stigma at the community level will be measured at the beginning and end of each project using an adapted version of the Stigmatizing Attitudes, Beliefs and Actions Scale (SABAS) developed by Ipas Developing global guidance and tools to improve abortion messaging to ensure abortion is integrated into peer educator training and better raise awareness of abortion-related services to young people Building capacity of youth advocates to speak out on the right to access abortion services Generating and sharing of evidence and good practices on addressing abortion stigma   In addition to the abortion stigma work supported by the Packard Foundation, the IPPF Western Hemisphere Region (WHR) has been conducting a research study in collaboration with Ibis Reproductive Health to better understand the effects that the provision of abortion-related services have on providers’ and clients’ perceptions and experiences of stigma. This research has been conducted in four countries with different legal contexts and varying degrees of access to services: the Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Colombia, and Argentina. WHR is also working with the University of Michigan to pilot facilitated group workshops to reduce stigma and foster resilience among abortion service providers in Colombia, Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico and Peru. Through this project IPPF has created a range of tools and resources to support understanding of abortion stigma and to increase the capacity of our Member Associations to advocate for safe abortion, and to provide non-stigmatising education and information. How to talk about abortion: A guide for journalists, editors and media outlets encourages accurate reporting of the facts about abortion, and honest portrayals of abortion as part of real people’s lives and relationships. How to educate about abortion: A guide for peer educators, trainers and teachers is a comprehensive guide providing the rationale for teaching about abortion issues, as well a number of practical activities for doing so. The accompanying short animation distills this advice into just two minutes! ​​​​​​ How to talk about abortion: A guide to rights-based messaging is designed to help individuals and organizations think about the language and images they use to communicate about abortion and offers best practice tips. Again, a short animation has been created to share these tips further Our Member Associations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameroon, Ghana, and Pakistan have shared best practices for improving young people’s access to safe abortion services. These feature strategies based on: creating a ‘buddy system’ for young people accessing services, working with educational establishments, using social media, and youth friendly spaces respectively.   In 2015, young people from IPPF Member Associations in Spain, Nepal, Macedonia, Ghana and Palestine were awarded small grants to support projects focused on tackling abortion stigma. Read more about these youth-led projects.    The ‘Youth Against Abortion Stigma’ website features blogposts from young IPPF volunteers around the world. In 2017, young people from IPPF Member Associations in Guinea, Kenya, Nepal, Puerto Rico, Sierra Leone and Venezuela were awarded small grants to support youth-led projects focused on tackling abortion stigma.  SEE OUR RESULTS

Saaf
21 January 2022

SAAF funding: Grants for organisations working on abortion

The IPPF hosted Safe Abortion Action Fund (SAAF) is accepting funding applications from organizations in low- and middle-income countries working on any aspect of abortion care, research, education, and advocacy. Please note that only organizations on the list of eligible countries are able to apply. Applications can be sent in English, French or Spanish using the online form and funding guidance on our website. Get your application in before 20 February 2022! https://saafund.org/apply-for-funding Hosted by IPPF, SAAF provides small grants to locally-run organizations that promote safe abortion and prevent unsafe abortion through advocacy and awareness-raising, service delivery, and research activities, and has supported such projects for over a decade. SAAF Supports projects run by IPPF Member Associations as well as other organizations not affiliated with IPPF. For more information about the fund visit the SAAF website www.saafund.org.

Cameroon _IPPF_Xaume Olleros
14 January 2022

Abortion hearings: What’s going on in Namibia?

Namibia is under the spotlight this month as it resumes public hearings on abortion on 16 January. This follows the hearings which took place late last year, and will hopefully play an important role in the liberalization of abortion laws in the country.  The current laws regulating abortion are no longer fit for purpose – not least because the Abortion and Sterilisation Act of 1975 was adopted under apartheid South African rule and has since been repealed in South Africa. The Act currently permits abortion only in very limited circumstances, and imposes criminal penalties on women who obtain and those who perform abortions outside of this limited scope. Those who can afford it are forced to travel to South Africa for abortion care, but this option is out of reach for many women. The law, therefore, impacts far more heavily on poor and black women, perpetuating the cycle of poverty and reinforcing injustices.  In 2020, 62,000 Namibians signed a petition calling for the liberalization of abortion laws, so there is certainly public backing for progress. The upcoming hearings are a key opportunity to make positive changes in the lives of all women, regardless of religious beliefs, age, race, and socioeconomic status.

Benin news
25 October 2021

Historic Moment for Benin as New Law Legalizing Abortion Adopted

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) welcomes the news of abortion law reform in Benin.  On 20 October 2021, the Benin National Assembly voted to significantly widen the conditions under which women and gender non-confirming people can legally access abortion care. The new law will now allow women and gender non-conforming people to end their pregnancy within the first three months if it is likely to "aggravate or cause material, educational, professional or moral distress, incompatible with the woman or the unborn child's interest.” Under Benin’s previous abortion law, it was only permissible to seek abortion care if the pregnancy ‘threatened the life of the mother’, was ‘the result of a rape or incest’ or when ‘the unborn child has a particularly severe affection’. In a country where an estimated that 200 women die annually from unsafe abortion, the new law will undoubtedly save lives.  IPPF is proud that its Member Association in the country, Association Beninoise pour la Promotion de la Famille (ABPF), was directly involved in advocating for change in the abortion law. The organization’s involvement began years ago, when it intensified its advocacy activities with key stakeholders, most notably the Network of Parliamentarians for Population and Development, made up of several Members of Parliament (MPs) committed to championing sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for all. Among its activities, ABPF organized capacity building and advocacy sessions with parliamentarians. It also proposed an extension of the law on abortion in a code on sexual and reproductive health, which was developed and presented to the MPs.  Mr. Christian Agbozo, Executive Director of ABPF says that it was this close collaboration with lawmakers and other key stakeholders, both in the private and public sector that led to this success.   "The new law is a step forward for the rights of Beninese women. ABPF’s involvement in advocating for abortion liberalization was necessary not only to ensure women's right to decide, but to also allow ABPF service providers to provide comprehensive abortion care services without being subjected to prosecution in the future. The new law will help more women receive safe abortion care and exercise their reproductive rights and freedoms. It is a proud moment for us all,” he says. IPPF Africa Regional Director Mrs. Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry acknowledged Benin’s progressive step in voting for the legalization of abortion.   “As an institution that believes in the unreserved upholding of the human rights of all people, we affirm that this is indeed a great win not only for the women and girls of Benin, but for women and girls across the region. Following in the footsteps of two other countries in the continent, South Africa and Cape Verde, Benin has demonstrated its commitment to women’s reproductive freedom, and we hope that other African countries will follow” she said.   Mrs. Petrus-Barry further reiterated IPPF’s commitment to advocating for the repeal of retrogressive laws and policies that infringe on their reproductive autonomy, and development of those that allow them to exercise their sexual reproductive health and rights.   Her sentiments were echoed by IPPF’s Director General, Dr. Alvaro Bermejo.  “We are extremely pleased to see the long-awaited expansion of abortion provision in Benin and applaud the National Assembly for recognising the dignity, humanity and sexual and reproductive rights of Beninese people seeking abortion care. We are also proud of our Member Association, ABPF, for its continued hope and advocacy in Benin.”  Dr. Bermejo acknowledged the dedicated efforts by African countries to push back against colonial and archaic abortion laws that hold their communities back. “IPPF is honored to be a part of that movement and will never stop fighting for safe and legal abortion care for all those who need it.” For more updates on our work, follow IPPF Africa Region on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

abortion care
29 September 2021

How Women’s Access to Safe Abortion will Change in the Next Five Years

Numbers don’t lie: Between 2015 and 2019, on average, 73.3 million induced (safe and unsafe) abortions occurred worldwide each year. Every year, between 4.7% – 13.2% of maternal deaths can be attributed to unsafe abortion. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines unsafe abortion as a procedure for terminating an unwanted pregnancy either by persons lacking the necessary skills or in an environment lacking minimal medical standards or both. Unsafe abortions result in the deaths of 47,000 women every year and leaves millions temporarily or permanently disabled[1]. In Africa, nearly half of all abortions happen in the least safe circumstances. Moreover, mortality from unsafe abortion disproportionately affects women in Africa. While the continent accounts for 29% of all unsafe abortions, it sees 62% of unsafe abortion-related deaths (WHO). An estimated 93% of women of reproductive age in Africa live in countries with restrictive abortion laws. This means that the country’s laws only permit abortion in certain cases, often only if there is risk to the woman’s life, her health, the pregnancy is the result of rape, or there is evidence of foetal impairment. The costs of treating medical complications from unsafe abortion constitute a significant financial burden for developing countries’ public health care systems. Further, the more restrictive the legal setting, the higher the proportion of unsafe abortions. Statistics from unsafe abortions give us a glimpse into the suffering women must endure to end an unwanted pregnancy. We must challenge, re-evaluate different countries’ positions on the provision of life-saving safe-abortion care. We must advocate for changes in laws and policies and push-for the uptake of targeted and budgeted approaches that reach women and girls with safe abortion and contraception services wherever they are. IPPF and other key stakeholders are working towards ensuring that in the next five years, more women and girls will access abortion services differently, as the solutions to terminate a pregnancy will be more easily understood and available through self-managed medical abortion. This new approach promises to radically transform how health care is perceived and accessed by firmly placing women and girls at the centre of the abortion process; shifting the power dynamic from a medicalized and provider-led/decided approach to one that is person-centred and guarantees bodily autonomy. Where women can take control of their bodies and decide when and if to have children; whilst being supported by the healthcare system if needed. Also Read: Safe abortion in the context of COVID-19: partnership, dialogue and digital innovation This approach has been endorsed by WHO and is detailed within the newly released self-care guidelines. Several studies  have confirmed that self-managed abortion is safe, effective, and not inferior to those performed in clinical settings. A recent WHO review revealed that 94–96% of self-managed abortions had similar success rates to those conducted in clinic-based settings. In fact, 90% of clients confirmed they would recommend self-managed medical abortion. As local and global actors working for women’s health, rights and bodily autonomy, we must champion and roll out such new models and approaches that uphold, protect and champion women’s health, sexual rights and reproductive justice. Last July, IPPF joined global actors at the Generation Equality Forum to define and announce ambitious investments and policies for women and girls worldwide. Among our bold commitments, was a resolve to “expand and improve the provision of abortion care through 102 Member Associations, including quality medical and surgical abortion, person-centered abortion self-care support, and abortion care beyond 12 weeks of gestation through a simplified outpatient model using task-shifting to mid-level providers, including self-managed medical abortion.” This is a bold pledge that cannot depend on IPPF alone. It is critical if we are to reach the target of making the self-management of abortion a reality by 2026. Among others, IPPF calls upon the global ecosystem; feminist movements and civil-society organisations to continue to counter the multiple barriers i.e., legal, cultural, social and religious, that impede women from accessing safe abortion freely. Also Read: Abortion Quality of Care from the Client Perspective: a Qualitative Study in India and Kenya IPPF also calls upon policy and decision-makers to uphold their sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) commitments and repeal laws and policies that prevent safe abortion. We ask donors to invest in commodities and essential supplies, service delivery partners and prioritize research that promotes this approach. We also urge local and national stakeholders and service providers to embrace this new approach by encouraging, providing and supporting the integration of new models of abortion service delivery within existing clinic-based services. Self-care is not a magic bullet, and neither will this radical change happen by chance. It takes all of us to make it happen. This is not just a question of access. It is a fundamental question of freedom, empowerment, and bodily autonomy. Read more about The Global Comprehensive Abortion Care Initiative (GCACI). By Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Regional Director, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region (IPPFAR). Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry is the Regional Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region (IPPFAR). The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) is one of the leading providers of quality sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in Africa and a leading sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region.   For more updates on our work, follow IPPF Africa Region on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

Pregnant-woman
27 June 2017

Statement In Support Of Pregnant School Girls In Tanzania

IPPF Africa Region is concerned about the alleged statement by Tanzanian President HE John Pombe Magufuli. The warning that schoolgirls who have given birth should not be allowed to return to school is contrary to Regional and Global policy commitments that seek to protect Africa’s Youth, to which the United Republic of Tanzania is a signatory. The Republic of Tanzania has ratified several protocols at the continental level – and these include the Banjul Protocol, the Maputo Protocol and most recently the Maputo Plan of Action 2016-2030. The Banjul Protocol specifically states in article 17 that ‘Every individual shall have the right to education” and part of article 18 declares that “The State shall ensure the elimination of every discrimination against women; and also ensure the protection of the rights of women and the child as stipulated in international declarations and conventions.” Education is not only a human right in itself, but also enables access to almost all other human rights (UNESCO, 2016). The right to education is enshrined in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations, 1948). Equal access to quality education is also an objective of Africa’s Agenda 2063 and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. When a girl is not enrolled, or is pulled out of school for any reason whatsoever, her rights are violated, her opportunities are lost and her future options are limited. In light of the above, we would like to appeal to the government of the United Republic of Tanzania to review its overall position on the status of the girl child in the context of the Demographic Dividend, Maputo Plan of Action, Maputo Protocol and the African Youth Charter. We firmly believe that Africa can harness the Demographic Dividend through investing in youth, particularly young girls if their rights are preserved.