Midwives Matter: Ipas at ICM
At the 30th International Triennial Congress in Prague, abortion care featured prominently in midwives’ efforts to reduce maternal mortality. The State of the World’s Midwifery Report, released at ICM 2014, articulates a vision of abortion and postabortion care integrated into the full continuum of care—from sexual and reproductive health through pregnancy, birth and postnatal care. The report recognizes that models of service must be inclusive of women’s human rights, including the rights of adolescents girls to have full access to reproductive health services.
The International Confederation of Midwives supports this position; “The education of midwives should include training…in providing abortion-related services that ensure safety and well-being for the woman.”
Midwives embraced reproductive rights throughout the Congress—the Confederation of African Midwives Association drew up a petition calling for an end to violence against women and gathered hundreds of signatures to be delivered to major international bodies. And the Ipas delegation of 45 midwives from around the world raised their voices in support of the 7th essential competency in midwifery care—the provision of safe abortion as part of the continuum of reproductive health care.
More than 50 young midwives entered Ipas’s Young Midwife Contest, sharing their stories of why abortion care is an important component in midwifery. Six entries were chosen for creativity and commitment to women’s reproductive rights in midwifery. Ipas sponsored the six winners at ICM 2014 in Prague, where they were able to meet and learn from midwives from all over the world. The contest winners shared their stories at the Ipas booth, participated in multiple workshops and conference events and formed a bond with each other throughout the week. These are their stories and experiences, captured in personal interviews during the week. Look for all six throughout the summer.