Abortion stigma ends here: A toolkit for understanding and action

Abortion stigma plays a critical role in the social, medical and legal marginalization of abortion care around the world—and it leads to negative health outcomes for women, girls, trans people and our communities. It drives the high number of preventable deaths and injuries around the world due to unsafe abortion.

Ipas offers this toolkit to address and help mitigate abortion stigma. It is designed to help community members, community health workers, activists and staff of community-based organizations and others address abortion stigma in various settings and contexts. The toolkit activities are clustered into thematic modules, but facilitators can also develop their own workshop agenda by picking activities that suit the goals of the gathering, the participants’ needs, the facilitators’ skill level and the time available. We have also created a CORE agenda—comprising exercises from each module—for those who want a pre-set agenda covering a range of activities.

In this toolkit

  • Introduction
  • Facilitation guide
  • Module 1: Abortion basics
    • 1A: Reasons Why VCAT (Values Clarification and Attitude Transformation) activity
    • 1B CORE: Why did she die? VCAT activity
    • 1C: Myths and misconceptions
  • Module 2: What is abortion stigma? Learning to recognize abortion stigma around us
    • 2A: What is my own experience of stigma?
    • 2B: What is my abortion comfort level? VCAT activity
    • 2C CORE: Using pictures to recognize abortion stigma
    • 2D: Using proverbs to understand abortion stigma
  • Module 3: Where does abortion stigma come from? Exploring our beliefs and their roots
    • 3A: Religion and abortion: Cross the line VCAT activity
    • 3B: Language and stigma: Things people say
    • 3C CORE: Cultural beliefs and practices: Keep the best, change the rest!
    • 3D: When religion is weaponized to fuel abortion stigma
  • Module 4: Standing in each other’s shoes: How we are all affected by abortion stigma
    • 4A: Humanizing our abortion stories
    • 4B: What would you do? VCAT activity
    • 4C CORE: Secrecy, silence and stigma
    • 4D: Men’s experiences of abortion stigma
  • Module 5: Intersectionality: When abortion stigma and other stigmas join forces
    • 5A: Linking stigma based on multiple identities
    • 5B CORE: The Last Abortion VCAT activity
    • 5C Part 1: Exploring gender roles
    • 5C Part 2: Commended or criticized?
    • 5D: A no-win situation for young women
    • 5E: Combatting stigma at the intersection of LGBTIQ and abortion rights
  • Module 6: Abortion stigma in health care and the law
    • 6A: Who teaches us about sex and sexual health?
    • 6B CORE: The most stigmatizing health facility in the world
    • 6C: Finding abortion stigma in health facilities
    • 6D: Unsafe abortions and abortion stigma
    • 6E CORE: Abortion stigma and the law
  • Module 7: Actions to end abortion stigma
    • 7A CORE: Speaking out and taking action
    • 7B: A world without abortion stigma
    • 7C: Lessons from other movements
    • 7D: Ideas for action: Reframing abortion, thinking big!
    • 7E: How to respond to stigma in the media
About this Resource:

Year Published/Updated: 2018

Author(s): Ipas

Languages: English
Regions: Global
Countries: Global