Abortion has been legal in South Africa since 1996, but unsafe abortion is still common and particularly impacts poor women and girls—especially those who live in rural areas. While abortion is also legal in Zambia, abortion stigma is persistent and abortion providers are in short supply. And Malawi’s abortion law is one of the most restrictive in Africa, only allowing the procedure to save a woman’s life. This leads many women and girls to seek out clandestine abortions with unsafe methods.
With offices in Midrand (South Africa), Lusaka (Zambia), and Lilongwe (Malawi), Ipas Southern Africa Region works with governments, partner organizations and local stakeholders to increase access to high-quality sexual and reproductive health care and to reduce injuries and deaths from unsafe abortion. Ipas is expanding abortion access by training abortion providers, supporting health facilities, and helping ensure abortion with pills is an available option. Ipas also educates communities on the importance of abortion rights and builds grassroots movements for law reform through a wide range of activities including workshops, educational dramas and radio programs.
Ready for the next 50 years
I am proud that Ipas holistically pushes for safe abortion through building excellent relationships with government and health partners and promoting a sustainable abortion ecosystem. I look forward to Ipas making comprehensive abortion care accessible to more women and girls who need it. We will accomplish this through increasing funding to our programs, helping to advance more liberal abortion laws, training health care providers, and countering the opposition.
Petronella Ntambo Sebele
Ipas Africa Southern Region commemorates the International Day of the Girl Child
Ipas Africa Southern Region (ASR) joined the world to commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child reflecting on this year’s theme: Invest in Girls’ Rights: Our Leadership, Our Well-being.