About Us

We work with partners around the world to advance reproductive justice by expanding access to abortion and contraception.

Ipas Sustainable Abortion Care

Our Work

The global movement for legal, accessible abortion is growing. Our staff and partners in countries as diverse as Bolivia, Malawi and India are working to ensure all people can access high-quality abortion care.

Where We Work

The global movement for legal, accessible abortion is growing. Our staff and partners in countries as diverse as Bolivia, Malawi and India are working to ensure all people can access high-quality abortion care.

Resources

Our materials are designed to help reproductive health advocates and professionals expand access to high-quality abortion care.

For health professionals

For advocates and decisionmakers

Training
resources

For humanitarian settings

Abortion VCAT resources

For researchers and program implementors

Building the evidence

Ley Uwera for Ipas

Main finding: The climate crisis is a reproductive justice crisis

Climate change is exerting multifaceted pressures on comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care for women and girls, according to Ipas research in countries around the world. As global temperatures soar and extreme weather events intensify, access to essential services—including family planning, pregnancy care and abortion—becomes increasingly difficult.

Our research shows that the climate crisis undermines the right to have a child, to not have a child, and to parent children in safe and healthy environments. Across all settings, we’ve documented consistent harms to sexual and reproductive health, including an increase in sexual and gender-based violence, child marriage, unintended pregnancy, abortion with unsafe methods, and maternal and infant deaths.

How climate change harms sexual and reproductive health

Climate change events

Sea level rise

Extreme weather events like cyclones, heavy rains, flooding, drought and heat waves

Direct impact on people’s lives

Damaged health facilities

Reduced access to reproductive health services,including abortion

Interrupted contraceptive use

Destruction of homes and livelihoods

Displacement and forced migration

Food and water scarcity

Exposure to heat and pollutants

Increased salinity of freshwater sources

Harm to sexual and reproductive health

Decreased reproductive autonomy

Unintended pregnancy

Death and injury from pregnancy, childbirth and unsafe abortion

Poor menstrual hygiene

Gynecological infections

Injury to reproductive organs

Sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS

Abortion with unsafe methods

Sexual and gender-based violence

Transactional sex

Miscarriage and stillbirth

Premature birth and low birthweight

Changing fertility intentions

Preeclampsia and hypertension

Child, early and forced marriage and unions

Female genital mutilation

Key themes in our findings

Overall, our findings across varied geographies and cultures are strikingly similar. The harms of climate change on sexual and reproductive health are many and diverse, yet consistent in the ways they manifest and in their disproportionate impact on women and girls. Here are three important themes that emerge clearly across all countries where we conducted research.

Climate change fuels increased sexual violence

Climate change damages health systems

Climate change hits Indigenous communities hardest

About our research

We’re working to build the evidence base on how the climate crisis impacts sexual and reproductive health-related behaviors, decisions and outcomes. Our research is participatory and our approaches value the expertise and lived experience of those most impacted by the crisis—not only to understand the impacts, but also the solutions.

We’ve put Indigenous people and local communities at the center of our investigations, exploring the intersection between reproductive health and climate change in diverse environments across Africa, Asia, and South America—including coastal and island communities, mountains and high plains, and arid lands. So far, we’ve conducted research in seven countries: Bangladesh, Bolivia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Mozambique and Nepal.

 

Voices from around the world paint similar pictures

Whether in a rural, mountainous village in Nepal or a coastal community in Mozambique, the people most impacted by climate change and extreme weather events share similar stories of a greatly diminished ability to control their own reproductive health and to choose when, whether and how to have children.

“The main concern is whether I will survive or die. I don’t even remember to take the [birth control] pill then. Suppose I had intercourse with my husband last night. The next day the storm is coming. However, due to the storm, I did not take the pill. Then an accident can happen. This is how I might get pregnant.”

In-depth interview participant, age 24, Bangladesh

"In our community, the workload is so heavy that many women experience miscarriages, and some even suffer from uterine prolapse."

Key informant interviewee, Kailali, Nepal

“A lot of work has been done, but, unfortunately, we still register many cases of premature marriages, where the parents are the main promoters. They use their children as a strategy to alleviate poverty.”

Key informant interviewee, Mozambique

“Women wonder how they could face these events if they had many children. But others believe that if they had many children they would not suffer after an extreme event because the children would help them.”

Key informant interviewee, Mozambique

“The time is no longer for having two children. The woman is the one who takes care of herself so as not to have children. The woman does what she thinks is best and the man does the same. The change affects not [having] a large family."

Indigenous woman, Bolivia

"Conflict arises at home during flood when resources are limited, which leads to disturbing environment within the house.”

Focus group participant, Nepal

“Due to the recent drought that has resulted in complete loss of assets, people migrated and started to live in camps. This has resulted in rape incidents increasing.”

Police officer, Ethiopia

"Drought forces men to look for livestock feed in far off lands, and they may stay for a long time. This trend really affects newlyweds.”

Focus group participant, Kenya

Women have solutions

That’s why we need women-led climate justice

Our research shows clearly how women play a leading role in helping their families and communities survive extreme weather events and adapt to climate change. They know what they need to survive and thrive. But opportunities for women to participate in climate action decisionmaking is insufficient—especially at the leadership level.

Climate action that is not gender inclusive risks making existing problems even worse. That’s why Ipas research and programs addressing climate change focus on listening to women and girls and centering their needs. In Mozambique and Bangladesh, our study participants brainstormed ways to lessen the impact of climate change on women and girls. You can read about their recommendations in this overview of our findings.

In Kenya, women take the lead on adapting to climate change

In drought-stricken northern Kenya, Ipas and local partners are working with women to devise solutions for resilient communities.

Advocating for women-led climate justice

Findings from Mozambique and Bangladesh:

Climate change impacts reproductive health

Ipas research in the news

In coastal Bangladesh, climate change devastates women’s reproductive health