In Pakistan, a female medical officer who had attended Ipas VCAT trainings was inspired to become a champion for access to abortion care. The Ipas team attended a session this provider had arranged with Lady Health Workers (LHWs) on the importance of providing safe abortion/postabortion services. In this session, she shared the tragic memory of a school classmate who had committed suicide because of an unintended pregnancy. She explained that her classmate had wanted an abortion but was unmarried and felt unable to find a healthcare provider willing to help her given the stigma attached with abortion and lack of awareness on the abortion law.
“The doctor now suggests that Lady Health Workers bring girls and young women in need of abortion directly to her office for counseling and to maintain their privacy. And now, after taking part in Ipas VCAT and clinical training, the doctor feels confident and safe in providing abortion related care to the women and girls. She is a good advocate, and her encouraging response will help to improve women and girls’ access to safe services in the community she serves.” — Ipas Pakistan community engagement advisor