Stigma is a major contributor to the social, medical and legal marginalization of abortion worldwide. Yet, our understanding of stigma is still evolving.
Throughout the world, women still do not have the right to make one of the most important and life-transformative decisions: to carry a pregnancy to term or not. In spite of the fact that it is a very common experience during women’s reproductive lives, abortion is still seen as wrong or deviant. Though stigma manifests differently depending on geography, culture and religion, abortion remains a contested issue in countries as different as Australia, Spain, the United States, Kenya and Honduras.
Why are women deprived of a health-care service that could save their lives? Why are women forced to undergo a waiting period, deprivation of pain medications or judgmental attitudes in order to get an abortion? Why are abortion services often separate from other reproductive health care? Why are providers isolated and treated as substandard clinicians? And why do women in some contexts have to trade safety for access to routine health care?
Around the world, researchers and advocates are beginning to examine the role that abortions stigma plays in law, health policy, communities and the lives of individual women.
Ipas is the only international organization solely focused on expanding access to safe abortion and contraceptive care. Across Africa, Asia and Latin America, we work with partners to train abortion providers, connect women with vital information so they can access services, and to advocate for safe, legal abortion.
At Ipas, we are focused on understanding and reducing abortion stigma and building evidence for how to do so. We have conducted research in Ghana, Kenya, Mexico, Nepal, Uganda and Zambia to measure stigma, and we have created stigma-reduction programs based on these findings. We also provide trainings to health-care professionals that help them overcome the stigma surrounding abortion and teach them about abortion’s legal status.
We are a network of over 1,360 international, regional and national organizations, groups and individuals in 125 countries who support safe abortion as a woman’s right on both public health and human rights grounds.
We aim to promote universal access to safe abortion as a women’s health and human rights issue; to support women’s autonomy to make their own decisions whether and when to have children and have access to the means of acting on those decisions without risk to their health and lives; to campaign for a moratorium on prosecutions for abortion and the removal of abortion from the criminal law.
We envision a world where high-quality sexual and reproductive health information and services are easy to access, affordable for all, and available without unnecessary medical requirements or legal impediments.
In this world, policies are grounded in rigorous evidence and designed to improve the lives and health of all people, including women and young people. Our vision of success is an inclusive and just world where everyone has the power to exercise their human right to live a pleasurable, safe, and healthy sexual and reproductive life.
Abortion Conversation Projects is committed to eliminating the stigma of abortion. We seek opportunities to work in close partnership to offer helpful webinars, trainings and workshops that support collaborative Stigma-Busting projects.
ACP designs, collaborates and supports individuals and small groups engaged in innovative community-based projects that create new ways and opportunities to talk about abortion honestly and publicly.
We envision a world in which abortion is affirmed as a moral decision without stigma. We believe that open and honest conversations, in a safe environment, about the experience of abortion will begin to create this world.
Abortion Conversation Projects is committed to eliminating the stigma of abortion by creating and supporting new ways and opportunities to talk about abortion honestly and publicly. The real life experiences of people who choose abortion, those who support them and abortion care providers will enable all people to better understand and appreciate the complex moral decision making surrounding a pregnancy decision.
This website is a toolkit of resources we designed or curated to help you understand, measure, and counter reproductive stigma.
At ANSIRH, we conduct innovative, rigorous, multidisciplinary research on complex issues related to people’s sexual and reproductive lives. Our work is informed by an understanding of the role that structural inequities play in shaping health. We believe in the importance of research in advancing evidence-based policy, practice, and public discourse to improve reproductive wellbeing.