Ipas Malawi works with the Malawi government and a range of other partners to address the problem of unsafe abortion. Even though Malawi has a highly restrictive abortion law, abortion is not uncommon—a 2013 study indicated that more than 67,000 abortions occur annually in Malawi. Because of the restrictive law and other barriers—such as abortion stigma and lack of access to services—women have few safe options. According to the World Health Organization, 18 percent of maternal deaths in Malawi are attributable to unsafe abortion.
Working with the Malawi Ministry of Health, Ipas Malawi has documented the extent and impact of abortion-related complications and is involved in efforts to improve public-sector delivery of treatment for abortion-related complications. Together with partners in the Coalition for Prevention of Unsafe Abortion (COPUA)—which includes community-based organizations, youth-focused NGOs, policymakers, traditional leaders and others—Ipas Malawi also is working to raise public awareness about the dangers of unsafe abortion and to build support for abortion law reform.