Study Overview

Abortion Service Quality (ASQ) Initiative


Ipas, Ibis Reproductive Health, and Metrics for Management are collaborating to develop a global standard for measuring the quality of abortion services in low- and middle-income countries, for abortions occurring both in and out of health-care facilities.


The goal is to facilitate widespread adoption and use of a standard client-centered metric of abortion quality of care that is actionable, simple and valid. The primary audience for the metric includes institutions, programs or groups that provide abortions, with a secondary audience of government leaders, policymakers and advocacy groups.

Year-one accomplishments

Accomplishments from the first year of the initiative include: completion of a scoping literature review; formative qualitative research; alignment and consolidation of indicators; and indicator reduction and outcome mapping.

Next steps

Field testing—using five tools developed using a consolidated list of abortion quality indicators and outcomes—began in January 2020, in partnership with Ipas Bangladesh, Ipas Ethiopia and Ipas Nigeria. Data will be collected from abortion service clients in health facilities and pharmacies, and from abortion support hotline callers. This data will come from client exit interviews, 30-day follow-up surveys, provider surveys, provider observations, and from site checklists. Following field testing, the project partners will analyze results to arrive at a final, abbreviated list of abortion service quality indicators. These will be disseminated via publications, presentations and the ASQ and partner websites.

Publications to date

Darney BG, Powell B, Andersen K, Baum SE, Blanchard K, Gerdts C, Montagu D, Chakraborty NM, Kapp N. (2018). Quality of care and abortion: beyond safety. BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health, 44:159-160.

Darney BG, Kapp N, Andersen K, Baum SE, Blanchard K, Gerdts C, Montagu D, Chakraborty NM, Powell B. (2019). Definitions, measurement and indicator selection for quality of care in abortion. Contraception, 100(5): 354-359.

For more information on this initiative, email Erin Pearson: