The United States of America

When Marie, a young single mother with two children and a part-time job, found out she was pregnant in late December, she knew that she couldn't care for another child and wanted to have an abortion. She relied on Medicaid for health care, but her state Medicaid policy bans coverage for abortions. She needed to earn two more paychecks in order to pay for the procedure. She also had to borrow from her sister and delay paying her rent. She had gotten enough money together by February, but by that point, she was just over 12 weeks pregnant and needed to somehow raise an additional $200.

The actions of the United States government affect the health and lives of women around the globe. U.S. foreign policy, participation in international events, and international assistance all affect the type of reproductive health care women receive, or even if reproductive health care is available at all. This is particularly true for women in the developing world.

At the same time, accessing high quality reproductive health care in the United States is not always possible, particularly for marginalized and economically disadvantaged women. This is due to many complex reasons, including nearly a decade of restrictive political changes on the national and local level that have threatened access to abortion services; a decline in the number of hospitals, clinics and private health-care providers offering abortion services; and a shrinking number of individual health-care providers who are skilled in safe abortion care. For poor women living both inside and outside of the United States, bans on public funding for abortion limit access.

Ipas is working to build an effective U.S. constituency for policies, both domestic and foreign, that support safe abortion. We partner with U.S. groups working on reproductive rights, human rights and social justice, and educate opinion leaders about unsafe abortion in the global south and the impact of U.S. foreign policy. Our U.S. policy efforts are focused primarily on reducing the harm caused by the Helms Amendment, and, ultimately, toward repeal; as well as the Hyde Amendment.