Ipas supports the right of each woman to control her own sexuality, fertility, health and well-being. To enable women to make these personal decisions, Ipas works with advocates and policymakers around the world to implement laws and policies that support that right.

Where laws restrict termination of pregnancy or where services are limited, women often risk their lives to end unwanted pregnancies. On average, 46 million times a year, women decide they cannot continue their pregnancies and seek abortions. An estimated 22 million of those abortions are unsafe, resulting in approximately 47,000 deaths every year — over half a million women have died in the last decade alone, and millions more have been injured.

Despite international commitments to protect reproductive health and rights, women’s ability to determine their futures and exercise their fundamental rights is far from assured. As long as women continue to experience unwanted pregnancies, governments, health systems, advocates and communities must work to increase access to safe and legal abortion services as an essential element of women’s health care.

Ipas’s efforts to advance women’s reproductive health and increase access to safe abortion care include:

  • Advocating for local, national and international policies that support each woman’s ability to make safe reproductive choices;
  • Supporting efforts of local partners to improve or implement laws governing women’s access to safe abortion care;
  • Addressing women's rights issues and the rights of marginalized populations, such as women who are subject to sexual violence, adolescent women and women living with HIV/AIDS;
  • Developing and disseminating information on sexual and reproductive rights to mobilize policymakers, health-care providers, advocates, NGOs and communities;
  • Educating health-care providers about the importance of providing safe abortion services as a matter of public health and human rights.