Abortion is only legal in Bolivia in cases of rape, incest and immediate risk to a woman’s health or life. Consequently, unsafe abortion is the third leading cause of maternal death, and an estimated 185 women undergo clandestine and often unsafe abortions every day. Professionals who could facilitate women’s access to safe abortion when the legal requirements are met often do not have training on the law and end up creating more barriers for women.
Ipas Bolivia works both to improve women’s access to reproductive health care and safe abortion, and to reduce sexual violence. For years Ipas has worked with community advocates and organizations from across Bolivia’s diverse population, which has more than 30 indigenous groups, to support efforts to inform and train communities on the importance of ending unsafe abortion and on sexual and reproductive health and rights. Ipas programs also include training safe abortion providers, as well as partnering with Bolivia’s Ministry of Justice to train law enforcement, judicial and policy professionals on the legal provisions for abortion—and to ensure that women themselves know the legal grounds for accessing abortion care.
Visit Ipas Bolivia’s website to learn more about their work.
‘It’s the start of something new in our society’
As part of its ongoing work to educate men on the importance of gender equity and the need to eliminate violence against women, Ipas Bolivia launched a public awareness campaign during the most recent national Men’s Day in Bolivia. These efforts included participation in a march organized by the Active Masculinities Network to raise awareness about gender-based violence and confront stereotypes about masculinity. As one marcher said, “We reinforced our commitment as men to women. Why? Because we have sisters, we have families, we have mothers.”
“Our actions have a direct impact on the lives of thousands of women and girls”
Malena Morales, Ipas Bolivia Country Director, shares why she’s a passionate advocate for abortion rights