Amna Bibi did not want to have another abortion. When she discovered she was pregnant, the mother of four knew she could not afford to care for another child, yet medical providers refused to help her. Now Amna sits on a stained bed in the dingy room of a clandestine abortion clinic, waiting for a traditional midwife to perform the abortion. She is very afraid – but she is determined to protect the well-being of her family.
Unsafe abortion remains a neglected public health issue in Pakistan, even though thousands of women each year suffer, and sometimes die, from its consequences. Current evidence shows that the average Pakistani woman will have one abortion in her lifetime. Abortion is legal in Pakistan to save the woman’s life or to provide “necessary treatment,” however, it is highly stigmatized and safe abortion and postabortion care services are often inaccessible.
Since 2007, Ipas has worked to decrease death and injury from unsafe abortion in Pakistan through socially and culturally sensitive interventions, including training health-care providers, supporting the sustainability of safe reproductive health technologies, and strengthening national partnerships in support of women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.