Resource Audience: Advocates

Roots of Change: A step-by-step advocacy guide for expanding access to safe abortion

This guide is intended for advocates interested in supporting expanded access to safe abortion care in their countries. It will help you and your colleagues develop a strategy that considers the unique considerations for abortion-related advocacy. It is intended that you will work through the guide with a small group of stakeholders who are committed to working together on expanded access to safe abortion care.

read more

When abortion is a crime

This two-page fact sheet is adapted from a 2013 Ipas report investigating the impact of criminal abortion laws on women, their families and health-care providers in three South American countries—Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina. 

read more

When abortion is a crime: Rwanda.

Rwanda reformed its abortion law in 2012, but legal barriers and cultural and religious stigma make it nearly impossible for women to get a safe, legal abortion. Women with unplanned or unwanted pregnancies resort to unsafe and illegal abortions—and Rwandan police unjustly harass, arrest, prosecute and imprison hundreds of women and girls on abortion or infanticide-related charges each year. This report, by Ipas and Great Lakes Initiative for Human Rights and Development, shares findings from interviews with women, judges, legal defense lawyers, and police officers, and calls on the Rwandan government to take steps to address this ongoing human rights violation.

read more

The impact on young women when abortion is a crime

This fact sheet highlights the disproportionately high impact of criminal abortion laws on young women. In places where abortion is a crime, women who are young, poor, uneducated and facing an unwanted pregnancy are at greater risk of resorting to illegal and unsafe abortions, and consequently being investigated, arrested and prosecuted.

read more

Making change happen: A review of progressive abortion policy change in Africa

An overview of progressive abortion policy changes and trends in Africa, primarily between 2010-2016. It outlines strategies in regional policy work by Ipas and partners and points to examples of positive policy change, such as national law reform, updated standards and guidelines, commitments by policymakers, and the integration of safe abortion into regional strategies and actions plans on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

read more

A practical guide for partnering with police to improve abortion access

This guide is a resource for advocates, trainers, project managers and technical advisors who design programs and workshops to engage police on abortion issues. Drawing on the work of Ipas and other organizations, it offers practical strategies for partnering with police to address stigmatized issues and promote public health, with a specific focus on abortion. It can be used both in settings where abortion is legal and accessible and in settings where it is highly restricted.

read more

Betraying women: Provider duty to report

The longstanding provider-patient confidentiality relationship is quietly eroding as an alarming number of medical staff across Latin America are reporting women and girls to the police for having abortions. Many countries now require, protect or encourage medical providers to breach their confidentiality duties when they treat women seeking postabortion care. This publication covers the three main ways health-care providers are compelled to breach confidentiality, based on the varying Latin American laws governing provider obligations on the issue of abortion. It also details how such laws impact both providers and women, and lists the many international bodies, declarations, consensus documents, etc. that establish standards for protecting patient confidentiality. Finally, the publication provides recommendations for international human rights bodies, governments and health-care professionals to protect women’s right to confidentiality as well as providers’ ethical obligation to uphold that right.

read more

Who can provide abortion care? Considerations for law and policy makers.

For women who want to end their pregnancies, laws that allow only medical doctors to provide abortion are real barriers. Abortion can safely be provided by nurses, midwives, paramedical personnel and other midlevel providers. Women who have correct information can take pills to end a pregnancy safely outside a health facility. However, many abortion laws require the involvement of one or more medical doctors. These laws criminalize women and other health professionals who end pregnancies safely without a doctor. Under doctor-only laws, health systems—particularly in the global south—cannot train enough abortion providers to make abortion accessible to all women. Doctor-only laws discriminate against women who belong to vulnerable and disadvantaged groups and who are least likely to have access to medical doctors. Lawmakers need not designate who can provide abortion in the law. Documents such as national health standards and guidelines are better suited to clarify who are authorized providers. This publication explains how Standards and Guidelines, enacted by the Ministry of Health and ideally updated every few years, can reflect the latest scientific evidence in abortion care.

read more

Access to safe abortion and contraception: Vital for young women globally, a priority for U.S. foreign assistance

The United States, as the world’s foreign assistance leader, must play a key role in safeguarding a comprehensive and integrated approach to sexual and reproductive health and rights for young women. This fact sheet outlines policy challenges that deny young women their sexual and reproductive rights and puts forth policy actions the U.S. government should take: expand family planning funding, repeal the damaging Helms Amendment, permanently repeal the Mexico City Policy (also called the Global Gag Rule), and continue to work toward a progressive sexual and reproductive health agenda in platforms like the International Conference on Population and Development and the United Nations.

read more

Young Women and Abortion: Avoiding Legal and Policy Barriers

This resource is designed to help advocates and policymakers promote laws and policies that support access to safe abortion for young women. Parental involvement requirements in law or policy are common barriers that push young women toward illegal and often unsafe abortion.

read more

How to protect abortion access during constitutional reform, June 2011

This toolkit is designed to help reproductive rights advocates participate in national constitutional reform processes. It looks at the potential consequences of constitutional protection of life at conception and outlines ways reproductive rights advocates can influence the constitutional reform process. It also may be useful for advocates facing constitutional amendments or engaging in litigation.

read more

When a health professional refuses: Legal and regulatory limits on conscientious objection to provision of abortion care

Health professionals’ refusal to provide service that they oppose on moral or religious grounds is a significant barrier to women’s access to safe abortion and other reproductive health services. This resource contains recommendations for enacting laws and regulations that safeguard women’s access to services while still protecting providers’ rights of conscience. It also provides information on human rights standards that address provider refusal and includes a list of further resources.

read more

Zika underscores need for reproductive justice for all women

In Latin America, government responses to the Zika virus have been weak, disregarding the best interests of pregnant women and those who may become pregnant. This brief outlines Ipas’s stance on governments’ responses to the Zika crisis and women’s sexual and reproductive health needs. The brief also lists measures states can take to protect women’s health and rights during the Zika outbreak.

read more

La base du changement: Un guide par étape sur le plaidoyer pour l’accès à l’avortement sécurisé

Ce guide a été conçu à l’usage des activistes qui souhaitent agir et défendre l’extension de l’accès aux soins d’avortement sécurisé dans leur pays. Il vous aidera, vous et vos collègues, à développer une stratégie s’appuyant sur les considérations uniques du plaidoyer en faveur de l’avortement. Il est conseillé de suivre pas à pas les étapes du guide avec un groupe restreint de parties prenantes déterminées à travailler ensemble pour étendre l’accès aux soins d’avortement sécurisé. Même s’il s’agit d’une introduction destinée à ceux qui débutent comme défenseurs de l’avortement, ce guide est également une source d’informations et de références utiles pour les activistes qui ont davantage d’expérience.

read more

Los cimientos del cambio: Guía paso a paso sobre el Advocacy para ampliar el acceso a los servicios de aborto seguro

Esta guía está dirigida a promotores interesados en apoyar mayor acceso a los servicios de aborto seguro en su país. Les ayudará a usted y a sus colegas a formular una estrategia que tenga en cuenta las consideraciones únicas para actividades de promoción y defensa (advocacy) relacionadas con el aborto. Se recomienda que utilice esta guía en colaboración con un pequeño grupo de partes interesadas comprometidas a trabajar de manera conjunta para ampliar el acceso a los servicios de aborto seguro. Aunque esta guía es una introducción dirigida a las personas que están comenzando su trabajo de advocacy por el aborto, también es un recurso útil para promotores con experiencia.

read more

Raízes da Mudança: Um guia de advocacia passo a passo para expandir o acesso ao aborto seguro

Este guia destina-se a defensores interessados em apoiar a expansão do acesso a serviços de aborto seguro nos seus países e ajudará você e seus colegas a desenvolverem uma estratégia que toma em conta as considerações exclusivas para a defesa de direitos relacionados ao aborto. Pretende-se que você trabalhe com este guia juntamente com um pequeno grupo de intervenientes que estão comprometidos em trabalhar em conjunto na expansão do acesso a serviços de aborto seguro.

Embora este guia seja uma cartilha para aqueles que podem ser novos na defesa do aborto, também é um recurso útil para defensores mais experientes.

read more

The evidence speaks for itself: Ten facts about abortion

This manual serves as a quick reference guide for pro-choice advocates. The guide offers factual evidence debunking ten widely disseminated abortion myths, and provides supporting background information and resources. We hope this guide will help reproductive rights activists to confidently respond to challenges to our work and to continue advocating for abortion based on clear, scientific and unbiased data.

read more