Human rights and abortion

Ipas works for a world where sexual and reproductive rights are respected, protected and fulfilled. Reproductive rights, including abortion rights, are human rights. Everyone has the right to make informed decisions about their body and health—and to determine whether or when to bear children.

The right to an abortion is not a standalone right. It depends upon people also having other human rights: to health, to equality, to privacy and to live free from violence and discrimination. That’s why Ipas works with diverse partners toward a world where all human rights—including sexual and reproductive rights—are respected, protected and fulfilled.

Restrictive abortion laws violate women’s rights, including the right to life, to health, to equality, to privacy, and to live free from discrimination. We advocate within the United Nations’ human rights bodies and other systems—at the global, regional and national levels—to advance abortion rights in international agreements, programs of action, and human rights jurisprudence. Our experts around the world are uniquely positioned to bring evidence and firsthand experience to present at international discussions about human rights and abortion.

At the national level in countries around the world, we work within partnerships and coalitions to hold governments accountable to their human rights obligations. For example, in Nicaragua, where abortion is banned entirely, we advocate with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to recommend that the government repeal the ban and uphold its citizens’ rights.


White supremacy is global

A virtual conversation about recognizing and dismantling the white supremacy and anti-rights opposition movement and its connections with reproductive justice. Following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in early January, there has been increased U.S. coverage and discussion of these connections, but they have been present globally for years.
Anu Kumar, Ipas President and CEO
Loretta Ross, Activist and Academic
Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, UN Special Rapporteur for the Right to Health
Gillian Kane, Ipas Senior Policy Advisor


Connecting the dots for equality: Abortion, empowerment and sustainable development

from the NGO CSW65 Virtual Forum

White supremacy in global health

“In the global health and human rights community, where I sit professionally, there’s been a lot of discussion in the last few years about decolonizing global health,” writes Ipas President and CEO Anu Kumar in a piece published by Think Global Health. “What we don’t talk about explicitly enough, however, is how white supremacy operates in this sector… The linkages between colonialism and patriarchy, between racial justice and gender justice are undeniable. They have—and still do—oppress Black and brown women.” Read her piece

More on decolonizing health care

America must stop using international aid to export anti-abortion ideology by Ipas’s Anu Kumar and Patty Skuster in The New Humanitarian

Decolonizing health care: A Facebook Live conversation with Ipas’s Anu Kumar and SisterSong’s Monica Simpson.

“Our goal is always to ensure that sexual and reproductive rights—especially the right to safe, legal abortion—are included in the discussions and negotiations at the UN, including at the Commission on the Status of Women. Because so much stigma surrounds the topic of abortion, it easily gets brushed under the rug. Our job is to prevent that from happening.”

Cecilia Espinoza, Senior Advocacy Advisor

About Us

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

Sustainability mandala

Sustainable Abortion Ecosystem

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.

Beira, Mozambique. Fátima João

Climate Justice

Beira, Mozambique. Fátima João

Covid-19 Response

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.


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

For researchers and program implementors