India has one of Asia’s broadest abortion laws. Abortions may be performed by a registered physician in a government-approved hospital or facility during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. However, in this sprawling country of more than one billion people, progressive laws do not guarantee access to safe abortion services. Unsafe abortions still far outnumber legal procedures; an estimated 60% of abortions performed in India are unsafe.
Ipas works in India in partnership with the Ipas Development Foundation (IDF), operating a program that covers 14 states. The program started with training providers and promoting safe abortion technologies at the state and district levels. Ipas and IDF now also work to implement the abortion law, advocate for increased commitment to women’s access to safe services, forge partnerships, and strengthen the public health system at all levels to create high-quality, comprehensive abortion care services. The program also works to ensure youth access to comprehensive reproductive health services and information, including contraception and safe abortion care.
Visit IpasDevelopmentFoundation.org to learn more about IDF’s work.
In India, working to protect reproductive health and combat COVID-19
Ipas Development Foundation (IDF) in India is working to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the public health system, with efforts such as providing personal protective equipment and virtual trainings to health workers. “IDF is committed to keeping reproductive health on the national and state agendas and to strengthening partnerships to meaningfully improve the lives of women and girls across the country,” says IDF Chief Executive Officer Vinoj Manning in an article in The Good Sight.
Youth leaders provide crucial reproductive health information during pandemic
Youth leaders trained by Ipas Development Foundation (IDF) in India are getting back to work providing much-needed information on sexual and reproductive health—including on contraception and pregnancy prevention—to the young men and women in their communities. They’re also referring young people for needed care at local health centers.
“In this time of crisis, it is heartening for me to see that men are supportive of the reproductive health needs of their female family members and are approaching me for referrals,” says male youth leader Shashi Bhushan Soy.
India says abortion is essential during COVID-19; telemedicine can make it accessible
By recognizing that women’s need for abortion is essential and urgent, the Government of India is showing that it cares about its people, says Anisha Aggarwal of the Ipas Development Foundation. But, she notes, in a time when “in-person client-doctor meeting is both risky and difficult, and denial or delay of services can have adverse outcomes, I strongly believe that it is time to harness the potential of telemedicine for abortions.”
‘Not a single mask of a woman’
Nidhi Verma of the Ipas Development Foundation took this photo of street masks as she was heading out of a metro station one day. Why? Because “there was not a single mask of a woman.” She was taking part in a “photovoice” project and felt the photo perfectly represented women’s lack of power over almost everything in their lives, including abortion care. She explains her thinking in this video.
IDF in the news
Self-managing abortions safely (The Hindu)
Abortions may be legal in India, but 60% are unsafe (The Times of India)