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Colombia

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Opening of the IPPF Americas and the Caribbean Office, Bogotá Colombia March 14th 2022

IPPF Office in Bogota

We are overjoyed to announce the opening of the first of two locations of the International Planned Parenthood Federation -  Americas and the Caribbean Regional Office (ACRO), in Bogota, Colombia. IPPF Director-General Dr. Alvaro Bermejo, IPPF ACRO's Regional Director Eugenia López Uribe, Deputy Regional Director Dona Da Costa Martinez, and IPPF Director of External Relations Mina Barling were joined by team members from the ACRO and London Offices to reinforce the commitment to the fight for rights and access to sexual and reproductive services in the region. This is an especially exciting time as Colombia stands as the latest champion to step forward to protect the bodily autonomy of everyone with the possibility of gestation, with a recent Constitutional Court victory legalizing access to abortion until 24 weeks. The new IPPF Americas and the Caribbean Regional Office serves Member Associations and Collaborative Partners in over 24 countries across the region, and which are growing in their movement building and service delivery capabilities, including comprehensive sex education, provision of contraceptive, safe abortion, and maternal care and responding to humanitarian crisis. IPPF pride ourselves on being local through our members and global through our network. At the heart of our mission is the provision of – and advocacy in support of – integrated healthcare to anyone who needs it regardless of race, gender, sex, income, and crucially no matter how remote. Volunteerism is central to our healthcare delivery. It underpins the vital work of our members and their teams, whether through community outreach and distribution of contraceptive care or the regional Youth Action Movements championing change.  

Woman outside the Colombian constitutional with eyes closed holding a sign saying liberalize abortion

Colombia decriminalizes abortion

The Colombian Constitutional Court has decriminalized abortion up to 24 weeks in another victory for the Green Wave sweeping through Latin America.  The historic decision follows years of campaigning by women's right's activists across Colombia and came off the back of two lawsuits that asked the court to declare article 122 of the penal code, that "the woman who causes her abortion or allows another to cause it, will incur a prison sentence from sixteen (16) to fifty-four (54) months" as unconstitutional. Having delayed several times over the past two years, the court called an extraordinary meeting on Monday 21st February 2022, and took just a few hours to come to its decision - ruling five against four to decriminalize the healthcare procedure. The decision will go into effect immediately. ProFamilia, IPPF's Member Association in Colombia, and Colombia's largest provider of legal abortion care was heavily involved in pushing to extend the rights of those needing to access abortion care. Colombia follows other countries in the region such as Mexico and Argentina, while parliamentarians in Ecuador last week eased regulations to allow access to abortion in cases of rape. Marta Royo, Executive Director for Profamilia, IPPF's Member Association in Colombia, said: "Today is a ground-breaking moment for the people of Colombia and a long-overdue guarantee of reproductive rights and dignity for all those who need abortion care, especially poor and rural women who bear the brunt of restrictive abortion policies. "The decriminalization of abortion up to 24 weeks in Colombia and the Green Wave movement across Latin America is centred not just on public health, but also the full lives, citizenship and human rights of girls, adolescents, and women – who, for multiple reasons, including inequity, access to education, gender-based violence and barriers to healthcare – continue to face unintended pregnancies. "The freedom for women to finally make their own choices about their pregnancies and their bodies is fundamental to disrupting the cycle of poverty that so many in Colombia face. This monumental decision is also a win for the dedicated health care providers, who will finally be recognized as people who simply care about the needs of others."  While Colombian women have supposedly been able to access abortion care since 2006 under three circumstances: if their life or health is at risk, in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities, or if the pregnancy is the by-product of rape or incest, in reality,  the criminalization of abortion persisted. The Guttmacher Institute found that less than one per cent of the estimated 400,000 abortions carried out each year in Colombia are performed legally, with women, especially poor, rural, vulnerable and marginalized women, facing significant barriers to accessing safe and timely abortion care. Many Colombian women are instead forced to carry their pregnancies to term or else seek other methods to end them. Figures collected by ProFamilia showed that during 2020, there were at least 26,223 unsafe abortions across Colombia, a startling amount for which consequences range from infection to life-changing injuries to death. As per the previous abortion law, other women have been imprisoned for up to four and a half years for having an abortion, even in cases where abortion should have been legal. In a shocking example of discrimination, data collected showed that poor rural women were more likely to be charged, with a third of those who faced charges also survivors of sexual violence. Eugenia Lopez Uribe, IPPF's Regional Director for Americas and the Caribbean Region, said: "Today Colombia took another step in the right direction for gender equality and full human rights for all, and we are incredibly proud of IPPF's Member Association, ProFamilia, for their tireless work alongside thousands of activists across Colombia and Latin America "This 24-week decriminalization is historic in the region and especially remarkable when we consider the current fragility of abortion rights globally and the anti-choice movements which continue to plague nations across the world, including in countries close to home like the United States of America. "While today we are celebrating this historic decision, the Green Wave is strong and growing, and the fight for reproductive rights and justice will not end until every person can access high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare when and where they need it."    

Woman outside the Colombian constitutional with eyes closed holding a sign

Colombia decriminalizes abortion

Today, the Colombian Constitutional Court decriminalized abortion up to 24 weeks in another victory for the Green Wave sweeping through Latin America. The historic decision follows years of campaigning by women's right's activists across Colombia and came off the back of two lawsuits that asked the court to declare article 122 of the penal code, that "the woman who causes her abortion or allows another to cause it, will incur a prison sentence from sixteen (16) to fifty-four (54) months" as unconstitutional. The court called an extraordinary meeting today, Monday 21st February, and took just a few hours to come to its decision which will go into effect immediately. ProFamilia, the International Planned Federation's Member Association in Colombia, and Colombia's largest provider of legal abortion care were heavily involved in pushing to extend the rights of those needing to access abortion care. Marta Royo, Executive Director for Profamilia, IPPF's Member Association in Colombia, said: "Today is a ground-breaking moment for the people of Colombia and a long-overdue guarantee of reproductive rights and dignity for all those who need abortion care, especially poor and rural women who bear the brunt of restrictive abortion policies. "The decriminalization of abortion up to 24 weeks in Colombia and the Green Wave movement across Latin America is centred not just on public health, but also the full lives, citizenship and human rights of girls, adolescents, and women – who, for multiple reasons, including inequity, access to education, gender-based violence and barriers to healthcare – continue to face unintended pregnancies. "The freedom for women to finally make their own choices about their pregnancies and their bodies is fundamental to disrupting the cycle of poverty that so many in Colombia face. This monumental decision is also a win for the dedicated health care providers, who will finally be recognized as people who simply care about the needs of others."  While Colombian women have supposedly been able to access abortion care since 2006 under three circumstances: if their life or health is at risk, in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities, or if the pregnancy is the by-product of rape or incest, in reality,  the criminalization of abortion persisted. The Guttmacher Institute found that less than one per cent of the estimated 400,000 abortions carried out each year in Colombia are performed legally, with women, especially poor, rural, vulnerable and marginalized women, facing significant barriers to accessing safe and timely abortion care. Many Colombian women are instead forced to carry their pregnancies to term or else seek other methods to end them. Figures collected by ProFamilia showed that during 2020, there were at least 26,223 unsafe abortions across Colombia, a startling amount for which consequences range from infection to life-changing injuries to death. As per the previous abortion law, other women have been imprisoned for up to four and a half years for having an abortion, even in cases where abortion should have been legal. In a shocking example of discrimination, data collected showed that poor rural women were more likely to be charged, with a third of those who faced charges also survivors of sexual violence. Eugenia Lopez Uribe, IPPF's Regional Director for Americas and the Caribbean Region, said: "Today Colombia took another step in the right direction for gender equality and full human rights for all, and we are incredibly proud of IPPF's Member Association, ProFamilia, for their tireless work alongside thousands of activists across Colombia and Latin America "This 24-week decriminalization is historic in the region and especially remarkable when we consider the current fragility of abortion rights globally and the anti-choice movements which continue to plague nations across the world, including in countries close to home like the United States of America. "While today we are celebrating this historic decision, the Green Wave is strong and growing, and the fight for reproductive rights and justice will not end until every person can access high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare when and where they need it." For media enquiries in English, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]  For media enquiries in Spanish or during UK night-time hours, please contact Pamela Martin Garcia on [email protected]    

Abortion rights protestor with green scarf over her face
23 November 2021

Will Colombia seize this opportunity to decriminalize abortion?

The Colombian Constitutional Court has a historical opportunity in its hands as it decides on whether or not to completely remove the crime of abortion from the penal code, making it a public health matter. Unlike many others in Colombia, I grew up in a home where I wanted for nothing. A fortunate child in a country where meeting basic needs continues to be a matter of privilege, the reflection of an unequal society mired by the infinite cycle of poverty. I grew up amid discussions of politics and human rights in a safe environment where I was encouraged to formulate my own thoughts. Yet even for me, like so many Colombian women and girls, speaking openly about sex and sexuality was strictly forbidden. Despite this, Colombia remains a society that sees motherhood as the only achievable goal in a woman's life. A paradox that is difficult to understand. From a young age, girls face the power of stereotypes and gender roles, coming to understand them as superior to anything else and realizing that when it comes to reproductive autonomy, there is no space to think, express opinions, and much less act. Since 2006, Colombian women have supposedly been able to access abortion care under three circumstances: if their life or health is at risk, in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities, or if the pregnancy is the by-product of rape or incest. Yet in spite of these laws, the criminalization of abortion persists. The Guttmacher Institute found that less than one per cent of the estimated 400,000 abortions carried out each year in Colombia are performed legally, with women, especially poor, rural, vulnerable and marginalized women, facing significant barriers to accessing safe and timely abortion care. Many women are forced to carry their pregnancies to term or else seek other methods to end them. Figures collected by ProFamilia, IPPF's Member Association and the largest provider of legal abortions in Colombia, showed that during 2020, there were at least 26,223 unsafe abortions across Colombia, a startling amount for which consequences range from infection to life-changing injuries to death. Other women have been imprisoned for up to four and a half years for having an abortion, even in cases where abortion should have been legal. In a sickening twist of events, charges actually increased by 320% from 2005 to 2008, with around 400 women prosecuted for procuring an abortion each year. Perhaps the most saddening example of discrimination is that most women charged were poor rural women, and a third, survivors of sexual violence. The decriminalization of abortion and the Green Wave movement is centred on public health, human rights, and the full citizenship and lives of girls, adolescents, and women – who, for multiple reasons, including gender-based violence, inequity, lack of education and barriers to healthcare – continue to face unintended pregnancies. And for whom the freedom to make choices about their pregnancies and their bodies will reduce adolescent and unintended pregnancy, reduce gender-based violence and help break the cycle of poverty that so many in Colombia face.   For the dedicated health care providers, who also bear the burden of criminalization and stigma, decriminalization is an opportunity to make reproductive healthcare an integral part of physical, mental and social well-being. And a chance for abortion care providers to finally be recognized as people who simply care about the needs of others.   So after a long, rigorous and objective process of data, figures, findings and stories, Colombia is on the cusp of change. To achieve total decriminalization would be groundbreaking, a decision that would change the course of Colombia and Latin America forever. Especially in the face of terrifying anti-choice movements which continue to plague nations across the globe, removing long-held rights from citizens, as we have seen in Texas and Poland. The magistrates should not be afraid of making the right decision. From Uruguay to Argentina, Mexico, and now Colombia, I am hopeful that my country will join the right side of history. Originally published by Thomson Reuters Foundation News

Marta the ED from Profamilia, Colombia
17 September 2020

Being part of IPPF: What it means for Profamilia, Colombia

IPPF interviewed Profamilia Colombia's Executive Director, Marta Royo, to discuss what it means to be a member of a global Federation like IPPF, and what her hopes are for the Americas region. This interview is available in English and Spanish. How long has Profamilia been a member of IPPF? Profamilia joined IPPF in 1968 as an associate, and in 1971 we became a full member. Why did Profamilia join IPPF? Profamilia understood from very early on that in order for sexual and reproductive health provision, and further down the line, to ensure the sexual and reproductive rights of every person were advanced and recognized, it was essential to unite the voices and actions of all the organizations and leaders all over the world that supported the cause. For Profamilia, IPPF means learning spaces, an exchange with experts on the most relevant themes of healthcare, medicine and education, as well as active participation in critical areas of advocacy. Could you explain to us how Profamilia values being part of a worldwide federation working for sexual and reproductive rights? For Profamilia, the value that the Federation adds is enormous. It gives us the possibility to exchange experiences and knowledge with other associations around the world, enriching our work, and allowing it to advance more quickly and with greater strength. In addition, it offers the opportunity to present projects through donors who support our issues. This has allowed us to have access to important resources with which the organization has been able to work with the most vulnerable populations in our country – from advocacy to healthcare service delivery, research, addressing issues as varied as abortion care, contraception and comprehensive sex education. Without this support, thousands of people in Colombia would not have access to any of these services. Additionally, the grant that we receive annually has made it possible throughout the years to invest in Profamilia’s capacity, strengthening our processes, improving the quality of our services and responsiveness to the population. Could you tell us how Profamilia participated in the General Assembly in India last November and in IPPF’s reform process? Profamilia actively participated in IPPF’s entire reform process. Before the Assembly we completed all the surveys, sharing relevant observations. Once in Delhi, our delegates and Executive Management attended all the meetings where the themes were discussed, splitting up to ensure that we could attend and contribute to both the discussion on governance issues and those on the resource allocation model. On the voting day we talked with other associations, negotiating some of the most important points. When voting on the reforms, all the Profamilia team did so earnestly, with enthusiasm and trust in the new future of IPPF. What is your vision of IPPF’s expansion in the Americas region and how do you feel being a central part of this process? The support of IPPF is essential in the region. After all, it has had an important presence for many years. Although Latin America gives the impression that it has many things in common, there are also profound differences between its countries, and having a Federation which convenes us and unifies us around the sexual and reproductive health movement is essential in reducing the inequalities of the region. These inequalities affect in particular young girls, teenagers and women; it is critical to join forces with organizations that allow us, in a whole and organized manner, to reduce the factors which generate these gaps.  Being a central part of this process is a real challenge! In considering the factors essential for success, one of the most important components is strengthening existing alliances and looking for new organizations who want to combine forces and ideas. Building a network which respects differences in opinion and vision, but that feels united in the purpose of fighting for and defending human, sexual and reproductive rights. It will be one which welcomes flexibility, open minds, calmness in taking decisions, diversity and in all the wide meaning of the word.  Could you tell us the best part of being part of IPPF’s worldwide movement in sexual and reproductive health? Being part of IPPF is feeling accompanied, always, in this challenge which is the defence of sexual health and reproductive health. It is knowing that when it comes to rights, its absence affects little girls in Colombia, Namibia, Ireland, Cambodia or Samoa in the same way. And that on the contrary, when they are guaranteed, the same girls become empowered young people, women who can make decisions about their bodies, their sexuality, their lives!   Interview in Spanish Hace cuanto tiempo que su Asociación es miembro de IPPF? Profamilia entró a ser parte de IPPF en 1968 como asociado y en 1971 se convirtió en miembro pleno.  Por qué su asociación se unió a IPPF? Profamilia entendió desde muy temprano que para que la salud sexual y reproductiva, y más adelante los derechos sexuales y reproductivos de todas las personas avanzaran y fueran reconocidos era indispensable unirse a las voces y acciones de todas las organizaciones y líderes alrededor del mundo que apoyaban la causa. IPPF significa para Profamilia espacios de aprendizaje, intercambio con expertos en los temas más relevantes de la medicina y la educación, además de una activa participación en espacios críticos de incidencia.  Nos podría explicar cómo valora su organización el ser parte de una Federación mundial trabajando por los derechos sexuales y reproductivos?  Para Profamilia el valor que agrega la Federación es enorme. Nos da la posibilidad de intercambiar experiencias y conocimiento con otras asociaciones en el mundo, enriqueciendo nuestro trabajo, y permitiendo avanzar más rápido y con mayor fuerza. Así mismo, brinda la oportunidad de presentar proyectos a través de los donantes que apoyan nuestros temas. Eso ha permitido tener acceso a importantes recursos con los cuales la organización ha podido trabajar con la población más vulnerable de nuestro país, desde incidencia, prestación de servicios de salud, investigaciones, atendiendo problemáticas tan variadas como aborto, anticoncepción, educación integral en sexualidad. Sin este apoyo, miles de personas en Colombia no tendrían acceso a ninguno de estos servicios. Adicionalmente, la subvención que recibimos anualmente ha posibilitado a lo largo de los años invertir en la capacidad instalada de Profamilia, fortaleciendo nuestros procesos, mejorando la calidad y capacidad de respuesta a la población.  Nos podría contar cómo su asociación participó en la Asamblea General en la India el pasado Noviembre y en el proceso de reforma de IPPF? Profamilia participó activamente en todo el proceso de reforma de IPPF. Desde antes de la Asamblea General, diligenciamos todas las encuestas enviadas, compartiendo observaciones relevantes para las mismas. Una vez en Delhi, los delegados de la organización y la Dirección Ejecutiva asistimos a todas las reuniones donde se discutieron los temas, dividiéndonos para garantizar que podríamos asistir y aportar tanto a las discusiones sobre los temas de gobernanza como a las del modelo de asignación de recursos. El día de la votación conversamos con otras asociaciones, negociando algunos de los puntos más críticos. En el momento de votar las reformas todo el equipo de Profamilia lo hicimos a conciencia, con entusiasmo y confianza en el nuevo futuro de IPPF.  Cuál es su visión sobre la expansión de IPPF en la región de las Americas y cómo se siente al ser parte central de este proceso? Es fundamental contar con el apoyo de IPPF en la región. Después de todo, ha tenido una presencia importante durante muchos años a través de lo que era su oficina regional. Aunque Latinoamérica da la sensación de compartir muchas cosas en común, también existen profundas diferencias entre sus países y tener una Federación que nos convoque y unifique alrededor del movimiento de derechos sexuales y derechos reproductivos es esencial para lograr reducir las inequidades de la región. Estas inequidades afectan particularmente a las niñas, adolescentes y mujeres; es crítico sumar esfuerzos y organizaciones que nos permitan, de manera conjunta y coordinada, reducir los factores que generan estas brechas.  Ser parte central de este proceso es todo un desafío! Considero que entre los factores de éxito, uno de los componentes más importante es fortalecer las alianzas existentes y buscar nuevas organizaciones que quieran aunar esfuerzos e ideas. Construir una red que respete la diferencia de opiones y visiones, pero que se sienta unida en el propósito de lucha y defensa de los derechos humanos y sexuales y reproductivos. Bienvenida la flexibilidad, las mentes abiertas, la serenidad en la toma de decisiones, la diversidad, en todo el amplio significado de la palabra!   Nos podria decir qué es lo mejor de ser parte del movimiento mundial de IPPF en salud sexual y reproductiva?  Ser parte de IPPF es sentirse acompañada, siempre, en este desafío que es la defensa de los derechos sexuales y derechos reproductivos. Es saber que cuando se trata de derechos, su ausencia afecta de la misma manera a las niñas de Colombia, Namibia, Irlanda, Camboya o Samoa. Y que al contrario, cuando se garantizan, las mismas niñas se convierten en adolescentes empoderadas, mujeres que pueden decidir sobre sus cuerpos, su sexualidad, sus vidas!  

Young woman in a clinic of Profamilia Colombia -credits: John Spaull 2006
17 March 2017

"The focus of our work is not abortion, it's human dignity"- Marta Royo at She Decides

by Marta Royo, Executive Director of Profamilia Colombia   A couple of years ago Profamilia launched a campaign: "The decisions is yours". Its purpose was to inform women about what the constitution of our country says regarding the right to have access to a legal and safe abortion under three causes. It was not huge, it was carried out with funding from an anonymous donor, but it was a beginning, a necessary step in order to advance the wellbeing or women in my country, Colombia. So when I was invited to the She Decides Conference, to give testimony about the actual situation of sexual and reproductive health and rights in Colombia, and the challenges we are facing today in the beautiful region of Latin America due to very extreme conservative views and politics, I felt I was coming home. I sincerely hope I will be able to convey what it means for a black, or an indigenous, or a displace young woman in Colombia, to grow up and to live when it comes to her sexual and reproductive rights. We have a lot of statistics, numbers, plenty of laws that address most of the crucial issues around human rights but we are not reaching far enough, deep enough. I see these girls, every day, at my work, right outside my office -and those are the lucky ones, they were able to come to us, they already knew about Promafilia. In their eyes I see suffering, cruelty and abuse, sometimes ignorance and despair. They are looking for answers, for help, sometimes just counselling, a piece of information that takes their feelings and context into account, recognizing them as human beings, worthy of attention and respect. I also see light, curiosity, strength, perseverance, resilience and I cannot look away as I hope you will not look away. Now travel with me to Fundación and Cienaga in Magdalena, Apartado and Turbó in Antioquia, Ayapel, San Antero and Tierralta in Cordoba, Algarrobo and Guamal in Meta. Despite their beautiful, musical names, these are 10 municipalities that have been affected by conflict, war for way too many years  - all types of conflict: guerilla, paramilitary, drug trafficking…whole communities that have had to move away from their homes over and over again, leaving everything behind, their whole lives. Amelia (not her real name) lives in one of these rural areas. She is a 13-year-old girl, abused by her father since she was very young. A couple of months after she got her period, she got pregnant. She wasn't feeling well and at first she thought it was a tumour -and so did a small, local clinic near her place. Only talking about it with her friends she realised that she was pregnant of her father´s baby. She decided she did not wanted to be a mother at 13 and with that decision started her long journey into inequality and injustices. She was denied her right for three times: first, the public health insurance provider in her area told her that she needed her parents authorization to get an abortion, because she was too young. Then, the only institution where she could get the procedure refused to conduct it, claiming the institution’s right to conscious objection, and finally the Colombian Family Welfare Institute (ICBF) tried to convince her to change her mind and have her father´s baby. The case eventually landed in one of our clinics in Bogotá where the pregnancy was terminated. However all the barriers she faced left a mark on her. To make matters worse, nothing happened to the father. She is now living in a protection shelter, having nowhere else to go. This is just one story. The adolescent pregnancy rate in these municipalities can be as high as 30%, proving the enormous inequality we see in our region and the gaps that exist between the cities and rural areas. The country has one of the highest adolescent pregnancy rates in the world, starting at a very young age, meaning 10 years old. There are way too many Amelias in Colombia.  We only came to meet Amelia through a project that is founded by USAID. And I want to make very clear that the purpose of the program is not to provide abortions. Its purpose is to deliver education, health services, contraceptive products and empowerment to the marginalized victims that live in the 10 municipalities. It has meant working with young people, strengthening their self-esteem, building capacities, carrying out alliances with the local government institutions to guarantee the continuity of our work by building local knowledge. The funding for this program will be cut off because of the Global Gag Rule. But more so because we are doing our job right, because we are defending what the constitution of my country says and it clearly says that a women of any age has the right to have an abortion under three causes, one of them being when her life or health is at risk. We will lose the funding because we believe that every woman has the right to decide about her body, when to have sex, with who and when to become a mother, if such is her decision. So when I was invited to come to Brussels I thought of all the Amelias in my country and I decided to share her story. It is crucial we find the political support, the motivation but also the funds to continue doing our work, which is not centered on performing abortions; it is centered on knowledge and respect, on education and access. It is centered on something immense: human dignity, and the most basic human rights of all, sexual and reproductive rights. If we want other Amelias to be able to decide about their future…we need to come together as one voice and put all our efforts in making sure we do not lose more battles when it comes to our rights. I invite you to become Amelia´s voice and replicate throughout the world the message that we all have the right TO DECIDE. As Gabriel Garcia Marquez once said, “We do not have another world to which we can move away”. Hopefully all the people that have gathered here today will try to make this one a better one for all!   WANT TO GET INVOLVED? SUBSCRIBE NOW TO GET UPDATES FROM IPPF SUPPORT OUR WORK WITH A DONATION   *Photo from the archive. The person in the photo is not the Amelia* in the story. 

Packard funding project in Benin
05 May 2016

IPPF funds youth-led projects to tackle abortion stigma

As part of our work in tackling abortion stigma, IPPF awards small grants to young people to create projects that would tackle the issue of abortion stigma in their communities. In 2015, small grants were awarded to promising projects submitted by young people in Ghana, Palestine, Spain, Macedonia and Nepal. In 2017, a further six grants were awarded to young people in Guinea, Kenya, Nepal, Puerto Rico, Sierra Leone and Venezuela. In 2019 five more grants were awarded to youth-led projects in Albania, Colombia, Nigeria, Spain and Tanzania. These documents give more information about what these projects set out to do, their methods and the results.

Asociación Pro-Bienestar de la Familia Colombiana

Profamilia is a private non-profit organization that, for more than five decades, has been promoting and defending the exercise of sexual and reproductive rights of the population in Colombia so that they can make free, safe and informed decisions about their sexuality, without discrimination, coercion or violence.

Through its five strategic lines of action: IPS, Farma, Educa, Incidencia/Advocacy, Investigaciones y Proyectos Sociales/Social Projects and Research-, Profamilia has positioned itself as a reference in the generation of wellbeing and social change; in the execution of international cooperation projects; in the provision of health services in remote populations; in comprehensive education for sexuality; among other actions that favor the lives of millions of people.

The organization has more than 40 clinics throughout Colombia, making it the private health institution with the greatest coverage in the country and the second largest in developing countries. Every year, Profamilia provides more than 2,900,000 services and attends more than 450,000 people, most of them in vulnerable conditions.

Opening of the IPPF Americas and the Caribbean Office, Bogotá Colombia March 14th 2022

IPPF Office in Bogota

We are overjoyed to announce the opening of the first of two locations of the International Planned Parenthood Federation -  Americas and the Caribbean Regional Office (ACRO), in Bogota, Colombia. IPPF Director-General Dr. Alvaro Bermejo, IPPF ACRO's Regional Director Eugenia López Uribe, Deputy Regional Director Dona Da Costa Martinez, and IPPF Director of External Relations Mina Barling were joined by team members from the ACRO and London Offices to reinforce the commitment to the fight for rights and access to sexual and reproductive services in the region. This is an especially exciting time as Colombia stands as the latest champion to step forward to protect the bodily autonomy of everyone with the possibility of gestation, with a recent Constitutional Court victory legalizing access to abortion until 24 weeks. The new IPPF Americas and the Caribbean Regional Office serves Member Associations and Collaborative Partners in over 24 countries across the region, and which are growing in their movement building and service delivery capabilities, including comprehensive sex education, provision of contraceptive, safe abortion, and maternal care and responding to humanitarian crisis. IPPF pride ourselves on being local through our members and global through our network. At the heart of our mission is the provision of – and advocacy in support of – integrated healthcare to anyone who needs it regardless of race, gender, sex, income, and crucially no matter how remote. Volunteerism is central to our healthcare delivery. It underpins the vital work of our members and their teams, whether through community outreach and distribution of contraceptive care or the regional Youth Action Movements championing change.  

Woman outside the Colombian constitutional with eyes closed holding a sign saying liberalize abortion

Colombia decriminalizes abortion

The Colombian Constitutional Court has decriminalized abortion up to 24 weeks in another victory for the Green Wave sweeping through Latin America.  The historic decision follows years of campaigning by women's right's activists across Colombia and came off the back of two lawsuits that asked the court to declare article 122 of the penal code, that "the woman who causes her abortion or allows another to cause it, will incur a prison sentence from sixteen (16) to fifty-four (54) months" as unconstitutional. Having delayed several times over the past two years, the court called an extraordinary meeting on Monday 21st February 2022, and took just a few hours to come to its decision - ruling five against four to decriminalize the healthcare procedure. The decision will go into effect immediately. ProFamilia, IPPF's Member Association in Colombia, and Colombia's largest provider of legal abortion care was heavily involved in pushing to extend the rights of those needing to access abortion care. Colombia follows other countries in the region such as Mexico and Argentina, while parliamentarians in Ecuador last week eased regulations to allow access to abortion in cases of rape. Marta Royo, Executive Director for Profamilia, IPPF's Member Association in Colombia, said: "Today is a ground-breaking moment for the people of Colombia and a long-overdue guarantee of reproductive rights and dignity for all those who need abortion care, especially poor and rural women who bear the brunt of restrictive abortion policies. "The decriminalization of abortion up to 24 weeks in Colombia and the Green Wave movement across Latin America is centred not just on public health, but also the full lives, citizenship and human rights of girls, adolescents, and women – who, for multiple reasons, including inequity, access to education, gender-based violence and barriers to healthcare – continue to face unintended pregnancies. "The freedom for women to finally make their own choices about their pregnancies and their bodies is fundamental to disrupting the cycle of poverty that so many in Colombia face. This monumental decision is also a win for the dedicated health care providers, who will finally be recognized as people who simply care about the needs of others."  While Colombian women have supposedly been able to access abortion care since 2006 under three circumstances: if their life or health is at risk, in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities, or if the pregnancy is the by-product of rape or incest, in reality,  the criminalization of abortion persisted. The Guttmacher Institute found that less than one per cent of the estimated 400,000 abortions carried out each year in Colombia are performed legally, with women, especially poor, rural, vulnerable and marginalized women, facing significant barriers to accessing safe and timely abortion care. Many Colombian women are instead forced to carry their pregnancies to term or else seek other methods to end them. Figures collected by ProFamilia showed that during 2020, there were at least 26,223 unsafe abortions across Colombia, a startling amount for which consequences range from infection to life-changing injuries to death. As per the previous abortion law, other women have been imprisoned for up to four and a half years for having an abortion, even in cases where abortion should have been legal. In a shocking example of discrimination, data collected showed that poor rural women were more likely to be charged, with a third of those who faced charges also survivors of sexual violence. Eugenia Lopez Uribe, IPPF's Regional Director for Americas and the Caribbean Region, said: "Today Colombia took another step in the right direction for gender equality and full human rights for all, and we are incredibly proud of IPPF's Member Association, ProFamilia, for their tireless work alongside thousands of activists across Colombia and Latin America "This 24-week decriminalization is historic in the region and especially remarkable when we consider the current fragility of abortion rights globally and the anti-choice movements which continue to plague nations across the world, including in countries close to home like the United States of America. "While today we are celebrating this historic decision, the Green Wave is strong and growing, and the fight for reproductive rights and justice will not end until every person can access high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare when and where they need it."    

Woman outside the Colombian constitutional with eyes closed holding a sign

Colombia decriminalizes abortion

Today, the Colombian Constitutional Court decriminalized abortion up to 24 weeks in another victory for the Green Wave sweeping through Latin America. The historic decision follows years of campaigning by women's right's activists across Colombia and came off the back of two lawsuits that asked the court to declare article 122 of the penal code, that "the woman who causes her abortion or allows another to cause it, will incur a prison sentence from sixteen (16) to fifty-four (54) months" as unconstitutional. The court called an extraordinary meeting today, Monday 21st February, and took just a few hours to come to its decision which will go into effect immediately. ProFamilia, the International Planned Federation's Member Association in Colombia, and Colombia's largest provider of legal abortion care were heavily involved in pushing to extend the rights of those needing to access abortion care. Marta Royo, Executive Director for Profamilia, IPPF's Member Association in Colombia, said: "Today is a ground-breaking moment for the people of Colombia and a long-overdue guarantee of reproductive rights and dignity for all those who need abortion care, especially poor and rural women who bear the brunt of restrictive abortion policies. "The decriminalization of abortion up to 24 weeks in Colombia and the Green Wave movement across Latin America is centred not just on public health, but also the full lives, citizenship and human rights of girls, adolescents, and women – who, for multiple reasons, including inequity, access to education, gender-based violence and barriers to healthcare – continue to face unintended pregnancies. "The freedom for women to finally make their own choices about their pregnancies and their bodies is fundamental to disrupting the cycle of poverty that so many in Colombia face. This monumental decision is also a win for the dedicated health care providers, who will finally be recognized as people who simply care about the needs of others."  While Colombian women have supposedly been able to access abortion care since 2006 under three circumstances: if their life or health is at risk, in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities, or if the pregnancy is the by-product of rape or incest, in reality,  the criminalization of abortion persisted. The Guttmacher Institute found that less than one per cent of the estimated 400,000 abortions carried out each year in Colombia are performed legally, with women, especially poor, rural, vulnerable and marginalized women, facing significant barriers to accessing safe and timely abortion care. Many Colombian women are instead forced to carry their pregnancies to term or else seek other methods to end them. Figures collected by ProFamilia showed that during 2020, there were at least 26,223 unsafe abortions across Colombia, a startling amount for which consequences range from infection to life-changing injuries to death. As per the previous abortion law, other women have been imprisoned for up to four and a half years for having an abortion, even in cases where abortion should have been legal. In a shocking example of discrimination, data collected showed that poor rural women were more likely to be charged, with a third of those who faced charges also survivors of sexual violence. Eugenia Lopez Uribe, IPPF's Regional Director for Americas and the Caribbean Region, said: "Today Colombia took another step in the right direction for gender equality and full human rights for all, and we are incredibly proud of IPPF's Member Association, ProFamilia, for their tireless work alongside thousands of activists across Colombia and Latin America "This 24-week decriminalization is historic in the region and especially remarkable when we consider the current fragility of abortion rights globally and the anti-choice movements which continue to plague nations across the world, including in countries close to home like the United States of America. "While today we are celebrating this historic decision, the Green Wave is strong and growing, and the fight for reproductive rights and justice will not end until every person can access high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare when and where they need it." For media enquiries in English, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]  For media enquiries in Spanish or during UK night-time hours, please contact Pamela Martin Garcia on [email protected]    

Abortion rights protestor with green scarf over her face
23 November 2021

Will Colombia seize this opportunity to decriminalize abortion?

The Colombian Constitutional Court has a historical opportunity in its hands as it decides on whether or not to completely remove the crime of abortion from the penal code, making it a public health matter. Unlike many others in Colombia, I grew up in a home where I wanted for nothing. A fortunate child in a country where meeting basic needs continues to be a matter of privilege, the reflection of an unequal society mired by the infinite cycle of poverty. I grew up amid discussions of politics and human rights in a safe environment where I was encouraged to formulate my own thoughts. Yet even for me, like so many Colombian women and girls, speaking openly about sex and sexuality was strictly forbidden. Despite this, Colombia remains a society that sees motherhood as the only achievable goal in a woman's life. A paradox that is difficult to understand. From a young age, girls face the power of stereotypes and gender roles, coming to understand them as superior to anything else and realizing that when it comes to reproductive autonomy, there is no space to think, express opinions, and much less act. Since 2006, Colombian women have supposedly been able to access abortion care under three circumstances: if their life or health is at risk, in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities, or if the pregnancy is the by-product of rape or incest. Yet in spite of these laws, the criminalization of abortion persists. The Guttmacher Institute found that less than one per cent of the estimated 400,000 abortions carried out each year in Colombia are performed legally, with women, especially poor, rural, vulnerable and marginalized women, facing significant barriers to accessing safe and timely abortion care. Many women are forced to carry their pregnancies to term or else seek other methods to end them. Figures collected by ProFamilia, IPPF's Member Association and the largest provider of legal abortions in Colombia, showed that during 2020, there were at least 26,223 unsafe abortions across Colombia, a startling amount for which consequences range from infection to life-changing injuries to death. Other women have been imprisoned for up to four and a half years for having an abortion, even in cases where abortion should have been legal. In a sickening twist of events, charges actually increased by 320% from 2005 to 2008, with around 400 women prosecuted for procuring an abortion each year. Perhaps the most saddening example of discrimination is that most women charged were poor rural women, and a third, survivors of sexual violence. The decriminalization of abortion and the Green Wave movement is centred on public health, human rights, and the full citizenship and lives of girls, adolescents, and women – who, for multiple reasons, including gender-based violence, inequity, lack of education and barriers to healthcare – continue to face unintended pregnancies. And for whom the freedom to make choices about their pregnancies and their bodies will reduce adolescent and unintended pregnancy, reduce gender-based violence and help break the cycle of poverty that so many in Colombia face.   For the dedicated health care providers, who also bear the burden of criminalization and stigma, decriminalization is an opportunity to make reproductive healthcare an integral part of physical, mental and social well-being. And a chance for abortion care providers to finally be recognized as people who simply care about the needs of others.   So after a long, rigorous and objective process of data, figures, findings and stories, Colombia is on the cusp of change. To achieve total decriminalization would be groundbreaking, a decision that would change the course of Colombia and Latin America forever. Especially in the face of terrifying anti-choice movements which continue to plague nations across the globe, removing long-held rights from citizens, as we have seen in Texas and Poland. The magistrates should not be afraid of making the right decision. From Uruguay to Argentina, Mexico, and now Colombia, I am hopeful that my country will join the right side of history. Originally published by Thomson Reuters Foundation News

Marta the ED from Profamilia, Colombia
17 September 2020

Being part of IPPF: What it means for Profamilia, Colombia

IPPF interviewed Profamilia Colombia's Executive Director, Marta Royo, to discuss what it means to be a member of a global Federation like IPPF, and what her hopes are for the Americas region. This interview is available in English and Spanish. How long has Profamilia been a member of IPPF? Profamilia joined IPPF in 1968 as an associate, and in 1971 we became a full member. Why did Profamilia join IPPF? Profamilia understood from very early on that in order for sexual and reproductive health provision, and further down the line, to ensure the sexual and reproductive rights of every person were advanced and recognized, it was essential to unite the voices and actions of all the organizations and leaders all over the world that supported the cause. For Profamilia, IPPF means learning spaces, an exchange with experts on the most relevant themes of healthcare, medicine and education, as well as active participation in critical areas of advocacy. Could you explain to us how Profamilia values being part of a worldwide federation working for sexual and reproductive rights? For Profamilia, the value that the Federation adds is enormous. It gives us the possibility to exchange experiences and knowledge with other associations around the world, enriching our work, and allowing it to advance more quickly and with greater strength. In addition, it offers the opportunity to present projects through donors who support our issues. This has allowed us to have access to important resources with which the organization has been able to work with the most vulnerable populations in our country – from advocacy to healthcare service delivery, research, addressing issues as varied as abortion care, contraception and comprehensive sex education. Without this support, thousands of people in Colombia would not have access to any of these services. Additionally, the grant that we receive annually has made it possible throughout the years to invest in Profamilia’s capacity, strengthening our processes, improving the quality of our services and responsiveness to the population. Could you tell us how Profamilia participated in the General Assembly in India last November and in IPPF’s reform process? Profamilia actively participated in IPPF’s entire reform process. Before the Assembly we completed all the surveys, sharing relevant observations. Once in Delhi, our delegates and Executive Management attended all the meetings where the themes were discussed, splitting up to ensure that we could attend and contribute to both the discussion on governance issues and those on the resource allocation model. On the voting day we talked with other associations, negotiating some of the most important points. When voting on the reforms, all the Profamilia team did so earnestly, with enthusiasm and trust in the new future of IPPF. What is your vision of IPPF’s expansion in the Americas region and how do you feel being a central part of this process? The support of IPPF is essential in the region. After all, it has had an important presence for many years. Although Latin America gives the impression that it has many things in common, there are also profound differences between its countries, and having a Federation which convenes us and unifies us around the sexual and reproductive health movement is essential in reducing the inequalities of the region. These inequalities affect in particular young girls, teenagers and women; it is critical to join forces with organizations that allow us, in a whole and organized manner, to reduce the factors which generate these gaps.  Being a central part of this process is a real challenge! In considering the factors essential for success, one of the most important components is strengthening existing alliances and looking for new organizations who want to combine forces and ideas. Building a network which respects differences in opinion and vision, but that feels united in the purpose of fighting for and defending human, sexual and reproductive rights. It will be one which welcomes flexibility, open minds, calmness in taking decisions, diversity and in all the wide meaning of the word.  Could you tell us the best part of being part of IPPF’s worldwide movement in sexual and reproductive health? Being part of IPPF is feeling accompanied, always, in this challenge which is the defence of sexual health and reproductive health. It is knowing that when it comes to rights, its absence affects little girls in Colombia, Namibia, Ireland, Cambodia or Samoa in the same way. And that on the contrary, when they are guaranteed, the same girls become empowered young people, women who can make decisions about their bodies, their sexuality, their lives!   Interview in Spanish Hace cuanto tiempo que su Asociación es miembro de IPPF? Profamilia entró a ser parte de IPPF en 1968 como asociado y en 1971 se convirtió en miembro pleno.  Por qué su asociación se unió a IPPF? Profamilia entendió desde muy temprano que para que la salud sexual y reproductiva, y más adelante los derechos sexuales y reproductivos de todas las personas avanzaran y fueran reconocidos era indispensable unirse a las voces y acciones de todas las organizaciones y líderes alrededor del mundo que apoyaban la causa. IPPF significa para Profamilia espacios de aprendizaje, intercambio con expertos en los temas más relevantes de la medicina y la educación, además de una activa participación en espacios críticos de incidencia.  Nos podría explicar cómo valora su organización el ser parte de una Federación mundial trabajando por los derechos sexuales y reproductivos?  Para Profamilia el valor que agrega la Federación es enorme. Nos da la posibilidad de intercambiar experiencias y conocimiento con otras asociaciones en el mundo, enriqueciendo nuestro trabajo, y permitiendo avanzar más rápido y con mayor fuerza. Así mismo, brinda la oportunidad de presentar proyectos a través de los donantes que apoyan nuestros temas. Eso ha permitido tener acceso a importantes recursos con los cuales la organización ha podido trabajar con la población más vulnerable de nuestro país, desde incidencia, prestación de servicios de salud, investigaciones, atendiendo problemáticas tan variadas como aborto, anticoncepción, educación integral en sexualidad. Sin este apoyo, miles de personas en Colombia no tendrían acceso a ninguno de estos servicios. Adicionalmente, la subvención que recibimos anualmente ha posibilitado a lo largo de los años invertir en la capacidad instalada de Profamilia, fortaleciendo nuestros procesos, mejorando la calidad y capacidad de respuesta a la población.  Nos podría contar cómo su asociación participó en la Asamblea General en la India el pasado Noviembre y en el proceso de reforma de IPPF? Profamilia participó activamente en todo el proceso de reforma de IPPF. Desde antes de la Asamblea General, diligenciamos todas las encuestas enviadas, compartiendo observaciones relevantes para las mismas. Una vez en Delhi, los delegados de la organización y la Dirección Ejecutiva asistimos a todas las reuniones donde se discutieron los temas, dividiéndonos para garantizar que podríamos asistir y aportar tanto a las discusiones sobre los temas de gobernanza como a las del modelo de asignación de recursos. El día de la votación conversamos con otras asociaciones, negociando algunos de los puntos más críticos. En el momento de votar las reformas todo el equipo de Profamilia lo hicimos a conciencia, con entusiasmo y confianza en el nuevo futuro de IPPF.  Cuál es su visión sobre la expansión de IPPF en la región de las Americas y cómo se siente al ser parte central de este proceso? Es fundamental contar con el apoyo de IPPF en la región. Después de todo, ha tenido una presencia importante durante muchos años a través de lo que era su oficina regional. Aunque Latinoamérica da la sensación de compartir muchas cosas en común, también existen profundas diferencias entre sus países y tener una Federación que nos convoque y unifique alrededor del movimiento de derechos sexuales y derechos reproductivos es esencial para lograr reducir las inequidades de la región. Estas inequidades afectan particularmente a las niñas, adolescentes y mujeres; es crítico sumar esfuerzos y organizaciones que nos permitan, de manera conjunta y coordinada, reducir los factores que generan estas brechas.  Ser parte central de este proceso es todo un desafío! Considero que entre los factores de éxito, uno de los componentes más importante es fortalecer las alianzas existentes y buscar nuevas organizaciones que quieran aunar esfuerzos e ideas. Construir una red que respete la diferencia de opiones y visiones, pero que se sienta unida en el propósito de lucha y defensa de los derechos humanos y sexuales y reproductivos. Bienvenida la flexibilidad, las mentes abiertas, la serenidad en la toma de decisiones, la diversidad, en todo el amplio significado de la palabra!   Nos podria decir qué es lo mejor de ser parte del movimiento mundial de IPPF en salud sexual y reproductiva?  Ser parte de IPPF es sentirse acompañada, siempre, en este desafío que es la defensa de los derechos sexuales y derechos reproductivos. Es saber que cuando se trata de derechos, su ausencia afecta de la misma manera a las niñas de Colombia, Namibia, Irlanda, Camboya o Samoa. Y que al contrario, cuando se garantizan, las mismas niñas se convierten en adolescentes empoderadas, mujeres que pueden decidir sobre sus cuerpos, su sexualidad, sus vidas!  

Young woman in a clinic of Profamilia Colombia -credits: John Spaull 2006
17 March 2017

"The focus of our work is not abortion, it's human dignity"- Marta Royo at She Decides

by Marta Royo, Executive Director of Profamilia Colombia   A couple of years ago Profamilia launched a campaign: "The decisions is yours". Its purpose was to inform women about what the constitution of our country says regarding the right to have access to a legal and safe abortion under three causes. It was not huge, it was carried out with funding from an anonymous donor, but it was a beginning, a necessary step in order to advance the wellbeing or women in my country, Colombia. So when I was invited to the She Decides Conference, to give testimony about the actual situation of sexual and reproductive health and rights in Colombia, and the challenges we are facing today in the beautiful region of Latin America due to very extreme conservative views and politics, I felt I was coming home. I sincerely hope I will be able to convey what it means for a black, or an indigenous, or a displace young woman in Colombia, to grow up and to live when it comes to her sexual and reproductive rights. We have a lot of statistics, numbers, plenty of laws that address most of the crucial issues around human rights but we are not reaching far enough, deep enough. I see these girls, every day, at my work, right outside my office -and those are the lucky ones, they were able to come to us, they already knew about Promafilia. In their eyes I see suffering, cruelty and abuse, sometimes ignorance and despair. They are looking for answers, for help, sometimes just counselling, a piece of information that takes their feelings and context into account, recognizing them as human beings, worthy of attention and respect. I also see light, curiosity, strength, perseverance, resilience and I cannot look away as I hope you will not look away. Now travel with me to Fundación and Cienaga in Magdalena, Apartado and Turbó in Antioquia, Ayapel, San Antero and Tierralta in Cordoba, Algarrobo and Guamal in Meta. Despite their beautiful, musical names, these are 10 municipalities that have been affected by conflict, war for way too many years  - all types of conflict: guerilla, paramilitary, drug trafficking…whole communities that have had to move away from their homes over and over again, leaving everything behind, their whole lives. Amelia (not her real name) lives in one of these rural areas. She is a 13-year-old girl, abused by her father since she was very young. A couple of months after she got her period, she got pregnant. She wasn't feeling well and at first she thought it was a tumour -and so did a small, local clinic near her place. Only talking about it with her friends she realised that she was pregnant of her father´s baby. She decided she did not wanted to be a mother at 13 and with that decision started her long journey into inequality and injustices. She was denied her right for three times: first, the public health insurance provider in her area told her that she needed her parents authorization to get an abortion, because she was too young. Then, the only institution where she could get the procedure refused to conduct it, claiming the institution’s right to conscious objection, and finally the Colombian Family Welfare Institute (ICBF) tried to convince her to change her mind and have her father´s baby. The case eventually landed in one of our clinics in Bogotá where the pregnancy was terminated. However all the barriers she faced left a mark on her. To make matters worse, nothing happened to the father. She is now living in a protection shelter, having nowhere else to go. This is just one story. The adolescent pregnancy rate in these municipalities can be as high as 30%, proving the enormous inequality we see in our region and the gaps that exist between the cities and rural areas. The country has one of the highest adolescent pregnancy rates in the world, starting at a very young age, meaning 10 years old. There are way too many Amelias in Colombia.  We only came to meet Amelia through a project that is founded by USAID. And I want to make very clear that the purpose of the program is not to provide abortions. Its purpose is to deliver education, health services, contraceptive products and empowerment to the marginalized victims that live in the 10 municipalities. It has meant working with young people, strengthening their self-esteem, building capacities, carrying out alliances with the local government institutions to guarantee the continuity of our work by building local knowledge. The funding for this program will be cut off because of the Global Gag Rule. But more so because we are doing our job right, because we are defending what the constitution of my country says and it clearly says that a women of any age has the right to have an abortion under three causes, one of them being when her life or health is at risk. We will lose the funding because we believe that every woman has the right to decide about her body, when to have sex, with who and when to become a mother, if such is her decision. So when I was invited to come to Brussels I thought of all the Amelias in my country and I decided to share her story. It is crucial we find the political support, the motivation but also the funds to continue doing our work, which is not centered on performing abortions; it is centered on knowledge and respect, on education and access. It is centered on something immense: human dignity, and the most basic human rights of all, sexual and reproductive rights. If we want other Amelias to be able to decide about their future…we need to come together as one voice and put all our efforts in making sure we do not lose more battles when it comes to our rights. I invite you to become Amelia´s voice and replicate throughout the world the message that we all have the right TO DECIDE. As Gabriel Garcia Marquez once said, “We do not have another world to which we can move away”. Hopefully all the people that have gathered here today will try to make this one a better one for all!   WANT TO GET INVOLVED? SUBSCRIBE NOW TO GET UPDATES FROM IPPF SUPPORT OUR WORK WITH A DONATION   *Photo from the archive. The person in the photo is not the Amelia* in the story. 

Packard funding project in Benin
05 May 2016

IPPF funds youth-led projects to tackle abortion stigma

As part of our work in tackling abortion stigma, IPPF awards small grants to young people to create projects that would tackle the issue of abortion stigma in their communities. In 2015, small grants were awarded to promising projects submitted by young people in Ghana, Palestine, Spain, Macedonia and Nepal. In 2017, a further six grants were awarded to young people in Guinea, Kenya, Nepal, Puerto Rico, Sierra Leone and Venezuela. In 2019 five more grants were awarded to youth-led projects in Albania, Colombia, Nigeria, Spain and Tanzania. These documents give more information about what these projects set out to do, their methods and the results.

Asociación Pro-Bienestar de la Familia Colombiana

Profamilia is a private non-profit organization that, for more than five decades, has been promoting and defending the exercise of sexual and reproductive rights of the population in Colombia so that they can make free, safe and informed decisions about their sexuality, without discrimination, coercion or violence.

Through its five strategic lines of action: IPS, Farma, Educa, Incidencia/Advocacy, Investigaciones y Proyectos Sociales/Social Projects and Research-, Profamilia has positioned itself as a reference in the generation of wellbeing and social change; in the execution of international cooperation projects; in the provision of health services in remote populations; in comprehensive education for sexuality; among other actions that favor the lives of millions of people.

The organization has more than 40 clinics throughout Colombia, making it the private health institution with the greatest coverage in the country and the second largest in developing countries. Every year, Profamilia provides more than 2,900,000 services and attends more than 450,000 people, most of them in vulnerable conditions.