Abortion is legally restricted in Bolivia and many women seek to end unwanted pregnancies themselves using abortion pills—but they need accurate information on how to safely use the medications.
Recognizing the possible harm women and girls will face if they don’t have accurate information, Ipas Bolivia has been training volunteer “community agents” who provide women with the information they need to make safe decisions about their sexual and reproductive health. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people seeking information has only increased.
“A woman who decides to end a pregnancy will do it, without regard to any restrictions, quarantine or not,” one community agent says. Agents report they can continue providing information easily via WhatsApp and other online channels during the crisis—thereby reducing the harms women may face.
Ipas is now developing infographics for agents to use that explain how to prevent unwanted pregnancy and deal with sexual violence during pandemic lockdowns. For a broader audience, Ipas Bolivia is also sharing information—like the Facebook post show here—over social media about sexual and reproductive rights, assuring people their rights do not cease during a quarantine.
We’re using every channel and avenue we have to share information about safe abortion, contraception and reproductive rights,” says Malena Morales, director of Ipas Bolivia. “Now more than ever we’re relying on our networks and partnerships to protect women’s access to care.”