Democratic Republic of Congo

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Some of the greatest sexual and reproductive health needs on the African continent are found in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where women and girls struggle to access contraception and face high rates of unintended pregnancy and sexual violence. Many resort to clandestine, unsafe abortions and risk death and injury as a result. Abortion had long been legally restricted in the DRC, but the conditions under which women can legally access abortion were greatly expanded in 2018 to include in cases of sexual assault, rape or incest, and when a continued pregnancy would endanger the mental and physical health of the woman or the life of the woman or the fetus.

Ipas DRC works with local partners to educate all relevant stakeholders—including women and communities—on women’s newly expanded right to access safe abortion. In collaboration with the Ministry of Health and key partners, we helped draft new standards and guidelines for comprehensive abortion care that align with the Maputo Protocol and are now working to see that they are fully implemented. We also are training health-care providers to offer abortion and contraceptive care, and linking with community-based organizations and community health workers to ensure that women and girls know where they can access services.

Leadership: Dr. Jean-Claude Mulunda

Office: Kinshasa

Ready for the next 50 years

Dr. Jean-Claude Mulunda

As a country where contraception and abortion went from being illegal to being accessible through the Maputo Protocol that expands access to safe abortion care, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is moving closer to women’s and girls’ bodily autonomy and empowerment. I am proud that Ipas DRC has helped guide policymakers and communities toward protecting the lives of thousands of women nationwide. Looking ahead, I see the impact of Ipas DRC’s ground-breaking reproductive justice movement, “Makoki Ya Mwasi” (a Lingala term loosely translated as “the rights of women”)—reaching well beyond our borders.

Dr. Jean-Claude Mulunda

Director, Ipas DRC

Impact in 2022

people received abortion at Ipas-supported facilities

people received contraceptive services at Ipas-supported facilities

abortion access points supported

people reached with online “Let’s Talk Abortion” campaigns run by Ipas-supported community groups

At the forefront of the fight against gender-based violence

Ipas Democratic Republic of Congo is making sure that access to abortion is included in humanitarian aid response to the devastating armed conflict in North Kivu.

Milestone anniversary for the Maputo Protocol

Ipas DRC celebrates 20 years of impact and progress for women

Ensuring care for internally displaced people

Safe abortion care: youth leaders hold decision-makers and community leaders accountable in DRC

YouthSprint, a coalition of 24 youth-led associations, organized a round table discussion involving decision-makers, leaders, health-care managers, partners, donors and youth leaders.

Expanding abortion access with new health system tools

“These new tools are a vital part of the DRC government’s efforts to promote reproductive justice as a critical component of women’s empowerment,” said Dr. Jean-Claude Mulunda, Director of Ipas Democratic Republic of Congo.

Supporting the integration of safe abortion services into the health system

The CAC-TWG is a branch within the DRC’s Ministry of Health that brings together all stakeholders and their interventions in the comprehensive abortion care (CAC) field. In collaboration with Ipas DRC, the CAC-TWG held its annual meeting on January 26.

Safe abortion training in DRC.

A bold new effort to coordinate and catalyze the safe abortion movement across Francophone Africa is under way.

About Us

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

Ipas Sustainable Abortion Care

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.

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.

Resources

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

Abortion VCAT resources

For researchers and program implementors