- - -

There is no content tagged with this country

Back to the previous page

United States

Articles by United States

US flag

IPPF Statement on the White House Executive Order to Protect Access to Reproductive Health Care Services

Today’s Executive Order Protecting Access to Reproductive Health Care Services signed by President Biden signals the US government’s intent to protect women, girls, and all people who may be denied an abortion or criminalized for seeking one.   IPPF’s Director-General, Dr Alvaro Bermejo said:   "Sadly, these efforts provide scant actual protection. The Biden administration is surely sincere in their desire to help women, but today’s meagre offerings demonstrate a shocking lack of imagination and preparation in advance of the current reality. We’ve had over eight months to prepare for the outcome of this Supreme Court."   "Today’s Executive Order should have been the starting line when the judgement first dropped. It should have offered a clear, tangible pathway. It should not be a statement of work in progress, weeks after the loss of constitutional protections. Much of what is being proposed is already being done by non-state actors, many of whom have long been signalling this reality."  The announcement of the Interagency Task Force on Reproductive Health Care Access is also another missed opportunity. We are asking the White House to share how it will direct the State Department and USAID to mitigate the impact of the denial of rights to those who need them further afield. Though the focus on ensuring abortion services within the US remains critical, the Administration must begin work right now with its partners to ensure that the impact on those most vulnerable outside of the US will be mitigated.    Main image by Paul Weaver on Unsplash

Women holding sign saying bans off our bodies

US Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade in devastating blow to women's health and rights

The US Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade in the biggest blow to women's health and rights in recent US history, removing 50 years of constitutional protection for abortion across America, meaning individual states will now decide the legality of abortion within their jurisdiction. Twenty-six states, including Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas and Georgia, are now poised to enact "trigger laws" that will severely limit or ban abortion, putting approximately 40 million women and girls of reproductive age at risk of losing abortion access, with lower-income people and people of color most severely affected.  The patchwork of state abortion bans means those without funds to travel for safe and legal abortion services or access medical abortion pills will be forced underground to unsafe and unregulated methods, with no guarantee of quality of care or aftercare if things go wrong. The devastating rollback of reproductive rights resulted from the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization case, a 2018 ruling that banned abortion in Mississippi after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Of the nine federal Supreme Court Justices, six voted to uphold the Mississippi law, effectively overturning Roe v. Wade, and three dissented. Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: "The Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is the biggest blow to women's health and rights in recent US history and an outrageous and devastating conclusion to what was already an unconstitutional removal of life-saving healthcare. "By continuing its unbridled attack on women's bodies and forcing them to carry pregnancies to term, the highest court in the land has reached its lowest point, robbing millions of their liberty, bodily autonomy and freedom – the very values the United States prides itself on. "We know for a fact that banning abortion does not mean fewer abortions and that when abortion bans are enacted, women and pregnant people die, as we have seen across the globe, most recently in Poland. We also know that those who cannot access safe abortion care legally, including medical abortion pills, will be forced into unregulated and unsafe methods, potentially resulting in serious harm or even death and costing lives for decades to come. "The fallout from this calculated decision will also reverberate worldwide, emboldening other anti-abortion, anti-woman and anti-gender movements and impacting other reproductive freedoms. The justices who put their personal beliefs ahead of American will, precedent, and law will soon have blood on their hands, and we are devastated for the millions of people who will suffer from this cruel judgment." The overturning of Roe v. Wade also flies in the face of democracy and against the values of those the Supreme Court is meant to represent and protect, with the majority (60%) of Americans supporting Roe v. Wade and 70% believing the decision to end a pregnancy is between a woman or pregnant person and their doctor. Elizabeth Schlachter, Director of Advocacy and US representative for the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: "The Supreme Court's perilous ruling is not just regressive but also wildly out of step with most Americans, who we know support access to abortion care. It is also at odds with much of the world, where access to abortion is expanding to reach all who need this vital health service. "By overriding the constitutional right to abortion across the US and handing the decision to each state, many parts of the US will now join El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Poland with some of the most restrictive, extremist, and life-threatening bans on abortion care in the world. "But this is not just about the anti-abortion movement in the US; this is concerted and calculated global effort by anti-women, anti-gender, anti-LGBTQI+ conservative and religious, white supremacist extremists, who are using dark money and undemocratic means to deny people their human right to healthcare, equality, bodily autonomy and ultimately, freedom. "With long-held rights under sustained attack, the International Planned Parenthood Federation is imploring governments across the globe to do more to protect democracy and peoples' freedoms from the interference and influence of these extremist groups." The International Planned Parenthood Federation's (IPPF) Member Association, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), continues to provide services to all who need them where legally possible, including via telemedicine for medical abortion pills. IPPF and PPFA will also continue to work around the clock to protect the rights of all people both in the US and globally, fighting extremism at its core and ensuring that women and pregnant people will not be forced to carry a pregnancy or give birth against their will. To help keep abortion legal, safe, and accessible, you can donate to the International Planned Parenthood Federation or Planned Parenthood Federation of America. For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]   About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.   For over 65 years, IPPF, through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners, has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs that are currently unmet. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care rooted in rights, respect, and dignity - no matter what.

Protest sign reads "bans off our bodies"

As the US Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, global healthcare organizations call on all governments to defend access to safe and quality abortion care

Ensuring access to safe, quality abortion is an imperative. Abortion is recognised as essential health care that must be provided by governments. Access to safe abortion is also a human right. Attacks against reproductive freedom are attacks on democracy and international human rights standards, on individual freedoms and the right to privacy, and they set back progress towards gender equality.   The United States Supreme Court decision to dismantle Roe v Wade and roll back 50 years of access to safe abortion care is a catastrophic blow to the lives of millions of women, girls and pregnant people who now face the prospect of being forced to continue pregnancies. It is a decision that will cost lives for years to come. The US joins just a handful of countries that have actively reduced access to abortion care in recent years. This is out of step with the global community’s commitment to advance human rights and fails to take into account the overwhelming global medical evidence that supports abortion as essential health care.    Around the world, progress is being made to remove restrictions to care for example Latin America’s ‘green wave’ (Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Chile) in Africa (Benin, Mozambique, Kenya), Asia and the Pacific (Thailand, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand) and Europe (France, Ireland, England). Governments are responding to feminist grassroots movements and acting upon evidence-based findings and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines that draw on clinical and technological advancements, including telemedicine and self-management of abortion care, in order to guarantee their populations’ rights to essential health care.    As organizations dedicated to providing and supporting health care, we know that restrictive laws do not reduce the need for abortion care. Rather, such laws increase inequities in access; nurture an environment of fear, stigmatisation and criminalisation; and put women, girls and pregnant people at risk.  Abortion laws not based on scientific evidence harm health care workers. Countries with total bans or highly restrictive abortion law prevent and criminalise the provision of essential health care services and support to those that require abortion care. Many individuals supporting abortion care experience abuse, threats and even violence. In the United States, such incidents are commonplace and have even resulted in the murder of health care professionals. Further isolating these dedicated health care workers with restrictive laws will put them at even greater risk. Lack of access to safe abortion care is one of the leading causes of preventable maternal death and disability. Each year 47,000 women in the world die as a result of unsafe abortion  and an estimated five million are hospitalised for the treatment of serious complications such as bleeding or infection.   Supporting safe and high-quality abortion care is a demonstration of a government’s commitment to reproductive and social justice. Abortion care is an integral part of comprehensive health care provision – the need for this care will not go away. Limiting access to abortion care takes the greatest toll on the lives of women, girls and pregnant people; those living in poverty; those with marginalised racial, ethnic identities; adolescents; and those living in rural areas. A denial of abortion care further exacerbates their historical discrimination and mistreatment, and places them at the greatest risk of preventable maternal death and disability.  As national, regional and global health care organizations, we urge all governments to take immediate action to:  Create and protect legal and regulatory environments that support health care professionals to provide access to safe and affordable abortion care. Access to abortion care should be protected and supported as an inalienable reproductive right.  Decriminalise abortion care and regulate it like any other health care provision. Decriminalising abortion refers to the removal of specific criminal and/or civil sanctions against abortion from the law, so that no one is punished for having, providing or supporting access to abortion.  Utilise the full benefit of the safety and efficacy of abortion medication, as well as the advancement of technology, to allow telemedicine and self-management access to abortion, as recommended by the WHO Abortion Care Guideline. Invest in robust health systems that are human rights-centred for abortion care information, counselling and services. Prioritise training on abortion care as an essential part of professional development for health care professionals – integrate it into lifelong learning to ensure health services are universally available. Such approaches should be linked to reproductive and social justice movements, and should include actions that address the needs and rights of communities that have been historically discriminated against.  Want to take action? Endorse this global statement condemning the Roe v. Wade decision Main image by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

Protest sign reads "bans off our bodies"
24 June 2022

Roe v. Wade overturned

Top Impact so far Articles Director-Generals Message Key Messages Donate US Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade The US Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade in the biggest blow to women's health and rights in recent US history, removing 50 years of constitutional protection for abortion across America, meaning individual states will now decide the legality of abortion within their jurisdiction. Twenty-six states, including Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas and Georgia, are now poised to enact "trigger laws" that will severely limit or ban abortion, putting approximately 40 million women and girls of reproductive age at risk of losing abortion access, with lower-income people and people of color most severely affected. Statement from IPPF Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: "The Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is the biggest blow to women's health and rights in recent US history and an outrageous and devastating conclusion to what was already an unconstitutional removal of life-saving healthcare. "By continuing its unbridled attack on women's bodies and forcing them to carry pregnancies to term, the highest court in the land has reached its lowest point, robbing millions of their liberty, bodily autonomy and freedom - the very values the United States prides itself on. "We know for a fact that banning abortion does not mean fewer abortions and that when abortion bans are enacted, women and pregnant people die, as we have seen across the globe, most recently in Poland. We also know that those who cannot access safe abortion care legally, including medical abortion pills, will be forced into unregulated and unsafe methods, potentially resulting in serious harm or even death and costing lives for decades to come." Read more: Full IPPF media release What is IPPF doing to help? For over 65 years, IPPF has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights. We stand up and fight against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. Abortion is healthcare. Period. The International Planned Parenthood Federation's (IPPF) Member Association, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), continues to provide services to all who need them where legally possible, including via telemedicine for medical abortion pills. IPPF and PPFA will also continue to work around the clock to protect the rights of all people both in the US and globally, fighting extremism at its core and ensuring that women and pregnant people will not be forced to carry a pregnancy or give birth against their will. Learn more: Abortion is healthcare What can you do to help? The single most important thing you can do to help protect abortion rights is donating to organizations like the International Planned Parenthood Federation. This helps us continue the fight for rights across the globe, supporting people to access abortion care when and where they need it. Donate to IPPF today: I'll donate now We understand that not everyone is able to donate. Stay in the know and learn about global sexual and reproductive rights and how they affect you by signing up to our newsletter. Following the International Planned Parenthood Federation on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook is a great way to stay connected with what is happening worldwide. You can also support the Planned Parenthood Federation of America's #bansoffourbodies campaign. Global statement As the US Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, global healthcare organizations call on all governments to defend access to safe and quality abortion care Ensuring access to safe, quality abortion is an imperative. Abortion is recognised as essential health care that must be provided by governments. Access to safe abortion is also a human right. Attacks against reproductive freedom are attacks on democracy and international human rights standards, on individual freedoms and the right to privacy, and they set back progress towards gender equality. As organizations dedicated to providing and supporting health care, we know that restrictive laws do not reduce the need for abortion care. Rather, such laws increase inequities in access; nurture an environment of fear, stigmatisation and criminalisation; and put women, girls and pregnant people at risk. More: Read and endorse the full statement Main photo by Gayatri Malhotra, Unsplash

「中絶を受けた人を愛しています」と書かれたプラカードを掲げる人
04 May 2022

What is Roe v. Wade? And other questions answered

What is Roe v. Wade?  Roe v. Wade is a landmark Supreme Court decision from 1973 which effectively legalized abortion across all US states.  The case focused on a woman named anonymously at the time as Texan resident Jane Roe, in her case against Henry Wade, District Attorney of Dallas County, Texas. Roe sought an abortion after discovering she was pregnant – however Texan law denied her one because it stated that an abortion would only be permitted if it would save the life of the pregnant person.  Roe’s lawyers argued that she was unable to travel out of the state to obtain an abortion, and that the law – which was vague in its wording – infringed on her constitutional rights. Their case was successfully argued, with Supreme Court judges voting 7-2 in favour of Roe. This set a precedent which effectively legalized abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy nationwide, and protected a pregnant person’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. However, in 1992, the Supreme Court revisited and modified Roe v. Wade's rulings in the case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey. This ruling reaffirmed that a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion is constitutionally protected, but scrapped the first trimester standard in favor of a vaguer one based on "fetal viability".  Why is it in the news now? The legalization of abortion in the US has seen numerous challenges over the years since Roe v. Wade, including in the case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, both of which are federal laws. At the state level, there has been a devastating rollback of abortion access including in Texas, Georgia, and Louisiana. Other states have sought to protect abortion rights without relying on Roe v. Wade, such as Maryland, Connecticut, and California.  The most significant pending case right now is that of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, a 2018 ruling which banned abortion in Mississippi after 15 weeks of pregnancy. This decision is currently being challenged for not being constitutional.  At this moment, Jackson Women’s Health Organization is the only licensed abortion clinic in Mississippi, and if the Supreme Court does not rule in their favour, it will essentially overturn Roe v Wade. 26 states are poised to enact “trigger laws” that will severely limit or ban all together abortion within that state. This would mean that over 36 million people of reproductive age risk losing abortion access, with low income people and people of color most affected.  The final ruling for Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization is expected in late June or early July 2022. However, on 3 May a leaked draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito (one of the Supreme Court judges who will vote on this case) suggested that Roe v. Wade will be overturned, a decision which will remove federal constitutional protection for abortion and allow states to decide the legality of abortion within their jurisdiction, which will lead to bans or severe restrictions on legal abortion in states across the US. (Learn more about state laws on abortion.) While this is a deeply concerning development for reproductive freedom, this remains an opinion, not law. At the time of writing, no decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization has been made, and abortion is still legal in the US. (You can find your local provider here and information about safe at-home medical abortion here).   If Roe v. Wade is overturned, what impact would this have?  We know for a fact that banning abortion does not mean fewer abortions. People who need abortions will find a way and many will be forced to turn to unsafe and unrelated methods that could result in serious harm and even death. Overturning Roe v. Wade would deny women and girls of their liberty, bodily autonomy, and freedom – values that the United States prides itself on – and this decision will harm millions of people for decades to come.  While Roe v. Wade applies to the US, the fallout of its overturning would reverberate around the world. It will embolden other anti-woman and anti-reproductive freedom movements globally to force women and girls through unwanted pregnancies. Therefore, it is crucial for us all, not only the US, that Roe v. Wade remains protected.  What can be done to stop it from being overturned? There is still time for the Supreme Court to make the right decision – one rooted in dignity, liberty, and freedom for all of its citizens seeking safe and legal abortion care. We urge all Supreme Court judges to vote in favour of Jackson Women’s Health Organization, and keep abortion legal, safe, and accessible.  You can play a role by donating to local abortion funds in the US. You can also donate to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, who are working to make sure the voice of the American people – the majority of whom support Roe v. Wade – is heard, and are keeping health centers open to continue to provide lifesaving care.  IPPF will do all it can to ensure women will not be forced through a pregnancy against their will/consent. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for further updates, and donate to us if you are able to. Can't donate right now? Learn more about the coalition of sexual and reproductive health and rights organizations in the US, and make sure this critical human rights issue doesn’t get forgotten by safely taking part in protests near you, and by talking to your friends, family and other networks about it, both in person and online. Your support is needed now more than ever.    Main image: Abortion rights protest in Washington DC, US – photo by Gayatri Malhotra, Unsplash

Protest sign reads "keep abortion legal"

Statement on the US Supreme Court's draft opinion on Roe v Wade

On the US Supreme Court's draft opinion on Roe v Wade, Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General for IPPF, said: "If the reports are true, then the highest court in the land has reached its lowest point. If they continue down the road of overturning Roe v Wade, they will rob millions of people of their liberty, bodily autonomy, and their freedom – the very values the United States prides itself on. "This decision will also embolden other Conservative extremist movements around the world, looking to deny women their reproductive freedom. Make no mistake, this ruling will cost millions of lives for years to come. "The Supreme Court still has time to do the right thing and uphold Roe v Wade. IPPF will do all it can to ensure people can safely end their pregnancy."  For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]  About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.   For over 65 years, IPPF through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners, has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs that are currently unmet. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights, and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity – no matter what. Main image: Abortion rights protest in Washington DC, US – photo by Gayatri Malhotra, Unsplash

USAID logo

IPPF Part of Team Funded by USAID to Implement Global Health Equity Project

The International Planned Parenthood Federation has joined an international network to promote and sustain improved health and agency in low- and middle-income countries through Agency for All Project The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has funded a $38 million, five-year project led by the Center on Gender Equity and Health (GEH) at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science. The project is an international, multi-institutional effort to understand and promote agency for individuals, communities and local organizations in low- and middle-income countries. “Agency for All” is intended to develop and foster social and behavioral research resulting in a better understanding of how to promote the voices of local people within their own communities and within health and development programming. It addresses multiple dimensions of health and well-being, including maternal and child health, infectious disease, HIV/AIDS, family planning and reproductive health. The program will work with diverse populations across the globe, with a focus on Africa and South Asia. GEH will coordinate the consortium of global, regional and local leaders to conduct research and implement solutions, informed by local priorities and agendas, said Rebecka Lundgren, PhD, an applied anthropologist and associate professor of infectious diseases and global public health, who will serve as project director.  “Agency for All will look at the complex questions of ‘agency,’ and what that means for different people, organizations and systems around the world, as well as for our own consortium partners,” said Lundgren. “We are honored to bring together a global consortium of world class researchers and implementers to discover what works to convert intention into action within social and behavior change programs and make it work for real people.” The initiative will concentrate on three geographical areas or hubs in East Africa, West Africa and South Asia, collaborating with specific organizations and networks in those regions. In addition to the International Planned Parenthood Federation, these partners include the Centre for Catalyzing Change (India), Evidence for Sustainable Human Development Systems in Africa (Cameroon), Makerere University (Uganda), Matchboxology (South Africa), Sambodhi (India), Shujaaz, Inc. (Kenya), University of Witwatersrand (South Africa), CORE Group, Promundo-US, Save the Children and Viamo. “These locally-led partnerships are critical,” said Paul Bukuluki, PhD, director of research for Agency for All and an associate professor at Makerere University. “We hope to develop context-specific mechanisms for measuring agency, and more effectively evaluate the approaches that help us improve the quality of life of women and men at the margins of society.” About the Center on Gender Equity and Health  The GEH conducts multidisciplinary research to understand and eliminate gender inequities, specifically in the areas of child marriage, unpaid labor, gender-based violence and gender social norms.  It is directed by Anita Raj, PhD, professor of infectious diseases and global public health in the UC San Diego School of Medicine. 

US AID LOGO

IPPF Part of Team Funded by USAID to Implement Global Health Equity Project

The International Planned Parenthood Federation has joined an international network to promote and sustain improved health and agency in low- and middle-income countries through Agency for All Project The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has funded a $38 million, five-year project led by the Center on Gender Equity and Health (GEH) at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science. The project is an international, multi-institutional effort to understand and promote agency for individuals, communities and local organizations in low- and middle-income countries. “Agency for All” is intended to develop and foster social and behavioral research resulting in a better understanding of how to promote the voices of local people within their own communities and within health and development programming. It addresses multiple dimensions of health and well-being, including maternal and child health, infectious disease, HIV/AIDS, family planning and reproductive health. The program will work with diverse populations across the globe, with a focus on Africa and South Asia. GEH will coordinate the consortium of global, regional and local leaders to conduct research and implement solutions, informed by local priorities and agendas, said Rebecka Lundgren, PhD, an applied anthropologist and associate professor of infectious diseases and global public health, who will serve as project director.  “Agency for All will look at the complex questions of ‘agency,’ and what that means for different people, organizations and systems around the world, as well as for our own consortium partners,” said Lundgren. “We are honored to bring together a global consortium of world class researchers and implementers to discover what works to convert intention into action within social and behavior change programs and make it work for real people.” The initiative will concentrate on three geographical areas or hubs in East Africa, West Africa and South Asia, collaborating with specific organizations and networks in those regions. In addition to the International Planned Parenthood Federation, these partners include the Centre for Catalyzing Change (India), Evidence for Sustainable Human Development Systems in Africa (Cameroon), Makerere University (Uganda), Matchboxology (South Africa), Sambodhi (India), Shujaaz, Inc. (Kenya), University of Witwatersrand (South Africa), CORE Group, Promundo-US, Save the Children and Viamo. “These locally-led partnerships are critical,” said Paul Bukuluki, PhD, director of research for Agency for All and an associate professor at Makerere University. “We hope to develop context-specific mechanisms for measuring agency, and more effectively evaluate the approaches that help us improve the quality of life of women and men at the margins of society.” About the Center on Gender Equity and Health  The GEH conducts multidisciplinary research to understand and eliminate gender inequities, specifically in the areas of child marriage, unpaid labor, gender-based violence and gender social norms.  It is directed by Anita Raj, PhD, professor of infectious diseases and global public health in the UC San Diego School of Medicine. 

The American flag with stars and stripes

Statement on the U.S Congress' FY22 spending bill which fails to permanently repeal the global gag rule

U.S congressional leaders have announced they have reached a final spending deal for the fiscal year 2022. This bill results from months of negotiations over funding and policy decisions, including those that impact sexual and reproductive healthcare globally. Despite the inclusion of language to permanently repeal the global gag rule passed in the House and introduced in the Senate, the final legislation fails to permanently end the harmful policy that has destroyed the lives of women and girls around the world for so many years. It also does not remove discriminatory abortion bans like the Hyde, Helms, and Weldon amendments or include much-needed new investments in sexual and reproductive healthcare and international family planning programs. Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: “We are outraged to learn that the long-awaited U.S spending bill failed to permanently repeal the global gag rule, nor did it include other areas of sexual and reproductive health and rights progress on which advocates had built strong momentum. The bill fell foul to anti-choice Congress members whose primary goal is to control the bodies and reproductive rights of women and girls they will never know, whose lives they could never imagine. “Failure to utilize this golden opportunity risks the continuation of the flip-flopping of American policy that has played with the lives of millions across the globe for nearly 40 years. Ultimately the global gag rule destroys long-term access to lifesaving contraception, maternal health and HIV/STI services and forces vulnerable women and girls to carry pregnancies to term or make the agonizing decision to get a potentially deadly unsafe abortion. It also manipulates the ability of international organizations, like IPPF, to use their own funding to provide legal, safe abortion, which unethically denies women care and imposes neo-colonial policies around the world. “While the global gag rule poses serious challenges to sustained engagement with USAID, especially at a time when anti-choice movements continue to attack the rights of people worldwide, IPPF is grateful to the Biden-Harris administration for the current rescission of the policy. We will continue to engage with U.S Government global health assistance programs when possible. We are also thankful to our relentless Member Association, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Despite the challenges, they have worked tirelessly alongside thousands of women’s rights campaigners across the United States and worldwide to advocate for vulnerable women and girls everywhere. 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.” Santos Siminone, Executive Director at Associação Moçambicana para Desenvolvimento da Família (AMODEFA), said: “We are deeply saddened by the failure to permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule. For AMODEFA, IPPF’s Member Association in Mozambique, a national provider of sexual and reproductive healthcare in the country since 1989, the impact of the global gag rule meant a $2 million gap in funding - about 60% of our total budget. “The impact was almost instantaneous, forcing the closure of six programs across 12 districts in Mozambique. This denied nearly 390,000 clients access to contraception, STIs, HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis services. Almost every local population was affected, with closures impacting adolescents, youths, women, and marginalized people. “For the people we serve, the permanent repeal of the policy would have meant an end to the violation of human rights. It would have meant dignity and that women’s lives would no longer be at risk. It would have meant an end to fear, pain, tears, and chaos, especially for black and brown women from low-income countries who bear the brunt of restrictive abortion policies.” For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]  

womens rights are human rights

IPPF welcomes President Biden’s decision to repeal the Global Gag Rule

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) welcomes the news of President Biden’s decision to keep his promise and repeal the harmful Global Gag Rule (GGR) – also known as the Mexico City Policy.    Since its expanded reintroduction in 2017 by the previous administration, the Global Gag Rule has contributed to an increase in unintended and high-risk pregnancies, unsafe abortions – culminating in unnecessary maternal deaths. For IPPF, 53 healthcare projects in 32 countries were impacted by GGR, with some Member Associations losing up to 60% of their funding.   IPPF’s Director-General, Dr Alvaro Bermejo said:    “I welcome the decision by President Biden to repeal the Global Gag Rule.   “The expanded reintroduction of the gag was callously designed to deny women the right to decide what happens to their body. Whilst we know this policy is intended as a tool to attack abortion care by the anti-choice movement, not only has it led to reproductive coercion, it has cut deeper into healthcare provision: from HIV prevention programs to maternal health to contraceptive access – no one was spared the fallout of this policy.     “What lies ahead of us is years of work to undo the harm caused by Global Gag Rule, and to build back a better and stronger relationship with the US – one where our work is not under threat from future anti-sexual and reproductive health administrations. To protect the rights of future generations of women and girls, we ask that the Biden-Harris administration take the necessary steps to permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule. Without a permanent repeal, the global gag remains a constant threat to women, girls, youth and marginalized communities. Reproductive rights, bodily autonomy and the human right to decide what happens to your body cannot be at the mercy of a pen stroke.     “IPPF looks on with hope and welcomes the opportunity to work closely with the Biden-Harris administration to protect and advance sexual and reproductive healthcare for all.”   And President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Alexis McGill Johnson said:  “Over the past four years, the United States didn’t just fail to support global reproductive health care access – it actively blocked it. Today, we applaud the beginning of a new chapter, as the Biden-Harris administration puts an end to the devastating global gag rule, which has prevented millions of people around the world from receiving essential health care. We look forward to working alongside the administration and Congress to pass the Global HER Act, to permanently protect access to sexual and reproductive health care across the globe from changes in White House political control. It is long past time that the United States proudly declares to the world that reproductive rights are human rights.”     IPPF would like to thank the international community who stepped in and stepped up to help fill the funding gap that was left by the Global Gag Rule. Together, we will continue to fight and deliver sexual and reproductive health and rights. For media inquiries please contact [email protected] (+44) 2079398227 

US flag

IPPF Statement on the White House Executive Order to Protect Access to Reproductive Health Care Services

Today’s Executive Order Protecting Access to Reproductive Health Care Services signed by President Biden signals the US government’s intent to protect women, girls, and all people who may be denied an abortion or criminalized for seeking one.   IPPF’s Director-General, Dr Alvaro Bermejo said:   "Sadly, these efforts provide scant actual protection. The Biden administration is surely sincere in their desire to help women, but today’s meagre offerings demonstrate a shocking lack of imagination and preparation in advance of the current reality. We’ve had over eight months to prepare for the outcome of this Supreme Court."   "Today’s Executive Order should have been the starting line when the judgement first dropped. It should have offered a clear, tangible pathway. It should not be a statement of work in progress, weeks after the loss of constitutional protections. Much of what is being proposed is already being done by non-state actors, many of whom have long been signalling this reality."  The announcement of the Interagency Task Force on Reproductive Health Care Access is also another missed opportunity. We are asking the White House to share how it will direct the State Department and USAID to mitigate the impact of the denial of rights to those who need them further afield. Though the focus on ensuring abortion services within the US remains critical, the Administration must begin work right now with its partners to ensure that the impact on those most vulnerable outside of the US will be mitigated.    Main image by Paul Weaver on Unsplash

Women holding sign saying bans off our bodies

US Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade in devastating blow to women's health and rights

The US Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade in the biggest blow to women's health and rights in recent US history, removing 50 years of constitutional protection for abortion across America, meaning individual states will now decide the legality of abortion within their jurisdiction. Twenty-six states, including Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas and Georgia, are now poised to enact "trigger laws" that will severely limit or ban abortion, putting approximately 40 million women and girls of reproductive age at risk of losing abortion access, with lower-income people and people of color most severely affected.  The patchwork of state abortion bans means those without funds to travel for safe and legal abortion services or access medical abortion pills will be forced underground to unsafe and unregulated methods, with no guarantee of quality of care or aftercare if things go wrong. The devastating rollback of reproductive rights resulted from the Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization case, a 2018 ruling that banned abortion in Mississippi after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Of the nine federal Supreme Court Justices, six voted to uphold the Mississippi law, effectively overturning Roe v. Wade, and three dissented. Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: "The Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is the biggest blow to women's health and rights in recent US history and an outrageous and devastating conclusion to what was already an unconstitutional removal of life-saving healthcare. "By continuing its unbridled attack on women's bodies and forcing them to carry pregnancies to term, the highest court in the land has reached its lowest point, robbing millions of their liberty, bodily autonomy and freedom – the very values the United States prides itself on. "We know for a fact that banning abortion does not mean fewer abortions and that when abortion bans are enacted, women and pregnant people die, as we have seen across the globe, most recently in Poland. We also know that those who cannot access safe abortion care legally, including medical abortion pills, will be forced into unregulated and unsafe methods, potentially resulting in serious harm or even death and costing lives for decades to come. "The fallout from this calculated decision will also reverberate worldwide, emboldening other anti-abortion, anti-woman and anti-gender movements and impacting other reproductive freedoms. The justices who put their personal beliefs ahead of American will, precedent, and law will soon have blood on their hands, and we are devastated for the millions of people who will suffer from this cruel judgment." The overturning of Roe v. Wade also flies in the face of democracy and against the values of those the Supreme Court is meant to represent and protect, with the majority (60%) of Americans supporting Roe v. Wade and 70% believing the decision to end a pregnancy is between a woman or pregnant person and their doctor. Elizabeth Schlachter, Director of Advocacy and US representative for the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: "The Supreme Court's perilous ruling is not just regressive but also wildly out of step with most Americans, who we know support access to abortion care. It is also at odds with much of the world, where access to abortion is expanding to reach all who need this vital health service. "By overriding the constitutional right to abortion across the US and handing the decision to each state, many parts of the US will now join El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Poland with some of the most restrictive, extremist, and life-threatening bans on abortion care in the world. "But this is not just about the anti-abortion movement in the US; this is concerted and calculated global effort by anti-women, anti-gender, anti-LGBTQI+ conservative and religious, white supremacist extremists, who are using dark money and undemocratic means to deny people their human right to healthcare, equality, bodily autonomy and ultimately, freedom. "With long-held rights under sustained attack, the International Planned Parenthood Federation is imploring governments across the globe to do more to protect democracy and peoples' freedoms from the interference and influence of these extremist groups." The International Planned Parenthood Federation's (IPPF) Member Association, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), continues to provide services to all who need them where legally possible, including via telemedicine for medical abortion pills. IPPF and PPFA will also continue to work around the clock to protect the rights of all people both in the US and globally, fighting extremism at its core and ensuring that women and pregnant people will not be forced to carry a pregnancy or give birth against their will. To help keep abortion legal, safe, and accessible, you can donate to the International Planned Parenthood Federation or Planned Parenthood Federation of America. For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]   About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.   For over 65 years, IPPF, through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners, has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs that are currently unmet. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care rooted in rights, respect, and dignity - no matter what.

Protest sign reads "bans off our bodies"

As the US Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, global healthcare organizations call on all governments to defend access to safe and quality abortion care

Ensuring access to safe, quality abortion is an imperative. Abortion is recognised as essential health care that must be provided by governments. Access to safe abortion is also a human right. Attacks against reproductive freedom are attacks on democracy and international human rights standards, on individual freedoms and the right to privacy, and they set back progress towards gender equality.   The United States Supreme Court decision to dismantle Roe v Wade and roll back 50 years of access to safe abortion care is a catastrophic blow to the lives of millions of women, girls and pregnant people who now face the prospect of being forced to continue pregnancies. It is a decision that will cost lives for years to come. The US joins just a handful of countries that have actively reduced access to abortion care in recent years. This is out of step with the global community’s commitment to advance human rights and fails to take into account the overwhelming global medical evidence that supports abortion as essential health care.    Around the world, progress is being made to remove restrictions to care for example Latin America’s ‘green wave’ (Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Chile) in Africa (Benin, Mozambique, Kenya), Asia and the Pacific (Thailand, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand) and Europe (France, Ireland, England). Governments are responding to feminist grassroots movements and acting upon evidence-based findings and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines that draw on clinical and technological advancements, including telemedicine and self-management of abortion care, in order to guarantee their populations’ rights to essential health care.    As organizations dedicated to providing and supporting health care, we know that restrictive laws do not reduce the need for abortion care. Rather, such laws increase inequities in access; nurture an environment of fear, stigmatisation and criminalisation; and put women, girls and pregnant people at risk.  Abortion laws not based on scientific evidence harm health care workers. Countries with total bans or highly restrictive abortion law prevent and criminalise the provision of essential health care services and support to those that require abortion care. Many individuals supporting abortion care experience abuse, threats and even violence. In the United States, such incidents are commonplace and have even resulted in the murder of health care professionals. Further isolating these dedicated health care workers with restrictive laws will put them at even greater risk. Lack of access to safe abortion care is one of the leading causes of preventable maternal death and disability. Each year 47,000 women in the world die as a result of unsafe abortion  and an estimated five million are hospitalised for the treatment of serious complications such as bleeding or infection.   Supporting safe and high-quality abortion care is a demonstration of a government’s commitment to reproductive and social justice. Abortion care is an integral part of comprehensive health care provision – the need for this care will not go away. Limiting access to abortion care takes the greatest toll on the lives of women, girls and pregnant people; those living in poverty; those with marginalised racial, ethnic identities; adolescents; and those living in rural areas. A denial of abortion care further exacerbates their historical discrimination and mistreatment, and places them at the greatest risk of preventable maternal death and disability.  As national, regional and global health care organizations, we urge all governments to take immediate action to:  Create and protect legal and regulatory environments that support health care professionals to provide access to safe and affordable abortion care. Access to abortion care should be protected and supported as an inalienable reproductive right.  Decriminalise abortion care and regulate it like any other health care provision. Decriminalising abortion refers to the removal of specific criminal and/or civil sanctions against abortion from the law, so that no one is punished for having, providing or supporting access to abortion.  Utilise the full benefit of the safety and efficacy of abortion medication, as well as the advancement of technology, to allow telemedicine and self-management access to abortion, as recommended by the WHO Abortion Care Guideline. Invest in robust health systems that are human rights-centred for abortion care information, counselling and services. Prioritise training on abortion care as an essential part of professional development for health care professionals – integrate it into lifelong learning to ensure health services are universally available. Such approaches should be linked to reproductive and social justice movements, and should include actions that address the needs and rights of communities that have been historically discriminated against.  Want to take action? Endorse this global statement condemning the Roe v. Wade decision Main image by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

Protest sign reads "bans off our bodies"
24 June 2022

Roe v. Wade overturned

Top Impact so far Articles Director-Generals Message Key Messages Donate US Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade The US Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade in the biggest blow to women's health and rights in recent US history, removing 50 years of constitutional protection for abortion across America, meaning individual states will now decide the legality of abortion within their jurisdiction. Twenty-six states, including Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas and Georgia, are now poised to enact "trigger laws" that will severely limit or ban abortion, putting approximately 40 million women and girls of reproductive age at risk of losing abortion access, with lower-income people and people of color most severely affected. Statement from IPPF Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: "The Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is the biggest blow to women's health and rights in recent US history and an outrageous and devastating conclusion to what was already an unconstitutional removal of life-saving healthcare. "By continuing its unbridled attack on women's bodies and forcing them to carry pregnancies to term, the highest court in the land has reached its lowest point, robbing millions of their liberty, bodily autonomy and freedom - the very values the United States prides itself on. "We know for a fact that banning abortion does not mean fewer abortions and that when abortion bans are enacted, women and pregnant people die, as we have seen across the globe, most recently in Poland. We also know that those who cannot access safe abortion care legally, including medical abortion pills, will be forced into unregulated and unsafe methods, potentially resulting in serious harm or even death and costing lives for decades to come." Read more: Full IPPF media release What is IPPF doing to help? For over 65 years, IPPF has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights. We stand up and fight against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. Abortion is healthcare. Period. The International Planned Parenthood Federation's (IPPF) Member Association, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), continues to provide services to all who need them where legally possible, including via telemedicine for medical abortion pills. IPPF and PPFA will also continue to work around the clock to protect the rights of all people both in the US and globally, fighting extremism at its core and ensuring that women and pregnant people will not be forced to carry a pregnancy or give birth against their will. Learn more: Abortion is healthcare What can you do to help? The single most important thing you can do to help protect abortion rights is donating to organizations like the International Planned Parenthood Federation. This helps us continue the fight for rights across the globe, supporting people to access abortion care when and where they need it. Donate to IPPF today: I'll donate now We understand that not everyone is able to donate. Stay in the know and learn about global sexual and reproductive rights and how they affect you by signing up to our newsletter. Following the International Planned Parenthood Federation on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook is a great way to stay connected with what is happening worldwide. You can also support the Planned Parenthood Federation of America's #bansoffourbodies campaign. Global statement As the US Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, global healthcare organizations call on all governments to defend access to safe and quality abortion care Ensuring access to safe, quality abortion is an imperative. Abortion is recognised as essential health care that must be provided by governments. Access to safe abortion is also a human right. Attacks against reproductive freedom are attacks on democracy and international human rights standards, on individual freedoms and the right to privacy, and they set back progress towards gender equality. As organizations dedicated to providing and supporting health care, we know that restrictive laws do not reduce the need for abortion care. Rather, such laws increase inequities in access; nurture an environment of fear, stigmatisation and criminalisation; and put women, girls and pregnant people at risk. More: Read and endorse the full statement Main photo by Gayatri Malhotra, Unsplash

「中絶を受けた人を愛しています」と書かれたプラカードを掲げる人
04 May 2022

What is Roe v. Wade? And other questions answered

What is Roe v. Wade?  Roe v. Wade is a landmark Supreme Court decision from 1973 which effectively legalized abortion across all US states.  The case focused on a woman named anonymously at the time as Texan resident Jane Roe, in her case against Henry Wade, District Attorney of Dallas County, Texas. Roe sought an abortion after discovering she was pregnant – however Texan law denied her one because it stated that an abortion would only be permitted if it would save the life of the pregnant person.  Roe’s lawyers argued that she was unable to travel out of the state to obtain an abortion, and that the law – which was vague in its wording – infringed on her constitutional rights. Their case was successfully argued, with Supreme Court judges voting 7-2 in favour of Roe. This set a precedent which effectively legalized abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy nationwide, and protected a pregnant person’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. However, in 1992, the Supreme Court revisited and modified Roe v. Wade's rulings in the case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey. This ruling reaffirmed that a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion is constitutionally protected, but scrapped the first trimester standard in favor of a vaguer one based on "fetal viability".  Why is it in the news now? The legalization of abortion in the US has seen numerous challenges over the years since Roe v. Wade, including in the case of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, both of which are federal laws. At the state level, there has been a devastating rollback of abortion access including in Texas, Georgia, and Louisiana. Other states have sought to protect abortion rights without relying on Roe v. Wade, such as Maryland, Connecticut, and California.  The most significant pending case right now is that of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, a 2018 ruling which banned abortion in Mississippi after 15 weeks of pregnancy. This decision is currently being challenged for not being constitutional.  At this moment, Jackson Women’s Health Organization is the only licensed abortion clinic in Mississippi, and if the Supreme Court does not rule in their favour, it will essentially overturn Roe v Wade. 26 states are poised to enact “trigger laws” that will severely limit or ban all together abortion within that state. This would mean that over 36 million people of reproductive age risk losing abortion access, with low income people and people of color most affected.  The final ruling for Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization is expected in late June or early July 2022. However, on 3 May a leaked draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito (one of the Supreme Court judges who will vote on this case) suggested that Roe v. Wade will be overturned, a decision which will remove federal constitutional protection for abortion and allow states to decide the legality of abortion within their jurisdiction, which will lead to bans or severe restrictions on legal abortion in states across the US. (Learn more about state laws on abortion.) While this is a deeply concerning development for reproductive freedom, this remains an opinion, not law. At the time of writing, no decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization has been made, and abortion is still legal in the US. (You can find your local provider here and information about safe at-home medical abortion here).   If Roe v. Wade is overturned, what impact would this have?  We know for a fact that banning abortion does not mean fewer abortions. People who need abortions will find a way and many will be forced to turn to unsafe and unrelated methods that could result in serious harm and even death. Overturning Roe v. Wade would deny women and girls of their liberty, bodily autonomy, and freedom – values that the United States prides itself on – and this decision will harm millions of people for decades to come.  While Roe v. Wade applies to the US, the fallout of its overturning would reverberate around the world. It will embolden other anti-woman and anti-reproductive freedom movements globally to force women and girls through unwanted pregnancies. Therefore, it is crucial for us all, not only the US, that Roe v. Wade remains protected.  What can be done to stop it from being overturned? There is still time for the Supreme Court to make the right decision – one rooted in dignity, liberty, and freedom for all of its citizens seeking safe and legal abortion care. We urge all Supreme Court judges to vote in favour of Jackson Women’s Health Organization, and keep abortion legal, safe, and accessible.  You can play a role by donating to local abortion funds in the US. You can also donate to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, who are working to make sure the voice of the American people – the majority of whom support Roe v. Wade – is heard, and are keeping health centers open to continue to provide lifesaving care.  IPPF will do all it can to ensure women will not be forced through a pregnancy against their will/consent. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for further updates, and donate to us if you are able to. Can't donate right now? Learn more about the coalition of sexual and reproductive health and rights organizations in the US, and make sure this critical human rights issue doesn’t get forgotten by safely taking part in protests near you, and by talking to your friends, family and other networks about it, both in person and online. Your support is needed now more than ever.    Main image: Abortion rights protest in Washington DC, US – photo by Gayatri Malhotra, Unsplash

Protest sign reads "keep abortion legal"

Statement on the US Supreme Court's draft opinion on Roe v Wade

On the US Supreme Court's draft opinion on Roe v Wade, Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General for IPPF, said: "If the reports are true, then the highest court in the land has reached its lowest point. If they continue down the road of overturning Roe v Wade, they will rob millions of people of their liberty, bodily autonomy, and their freedom – the very values the United States prides itself on. "This decision will also embolden other Conservative extremist movements around the world, looking to deny women their reproductive freedom. Make no mistake, this ruling will cost millions of lives for years to come. "The Supreme Court still has time to do the right thing and uphold Roe v Wade. IPPF will do all it can to ensure people can safely end their pregnancy."  For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]  About the International Planned Parenthood Federation The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.   For over 65 years, IPPF through its 118 Member Associations and 15 partners, has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs that are currently unmet. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organizations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context. We advocate for a world where people are provided with the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights, and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity – no matter what. Main image: Abortion rights protest in Washington DC, US – photo by Gayatri Malhotra, Unsplash

USAID logo

IPPF Part of Team Funded by USAID to Implement Global Health Equity Project

The International Planned Parenthood Federation has joined an international network to promote and sustain improved health and agency in low- and middle-income countries through Agency for All Project The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has funded a $38 million, five-year project led by the Center on Gender Equity and Health (GEH) at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science. The project is an international, multi-institutional effort to understand and promote agency for individuals, communities and local organizations in low- and middle-income countries. “Agency for All” is intended to develop and foster social and behavioral research resulting in a better understanding of how to promote the voices of local people within their own communities and within health and development programming. It addresses multiple dimensions of health and well-being, including maternal and child health, infectious disease, HIV/AIDS, family planning and reproductive health. The program will work with diverse populations across the globe, with a focus on Africa and South Asia. GEH will coordinate the consortium of global, regional and local leaders to conduct research and implement solutions, informed by local priorities and agendas, said Rebecka Lundgren, PhD, an applied anthropologist and associate professor of infectious diseases and global public health, who will serve as project director.  “Agency for All will look at the complex questions of ‘agency,’ and what that means for different people, organizations and systems around the world, as well as for our own consortium partners,” said Lundgren. “We are honored to bring together a global consortium of world class researchers and implementers to discover what works to convert intention into action within social and behavior change programs and make it work for real people.” The initiative will concentrate on three geographical areas or hubs in East Africa, West Africa and South Asia, collaborating with specific organizations and networks in those regions. In addition to the International Planned Parenthood Federation, these partners include the Centre for Catalyzing Change (India), Evidence for Sustainable Human Development Systems in Africa (Cameroon), Makerere University (Uganda), Matchboxology (South Africa), Sambodhi (India), Shujaaz, Inc. (Kenya), University of Witwatersrand (South Africa), CORE Group, Promundo-US, Save the Children and Viamo. “These locally-led partnerships are critical,” said Paul Bukuluki, PhD, director of research for Agency for All and an associate professor at Makerere University. “We hope to develop context-specific mechanisms for measuring agency, and more effectively evaluate the approaches that help us improve the quality of life of women and men at the margins of society.” About the Center on Gender Equity and Health  The GEH conducts multidisciplinary research to understand and eliminate gender inequities, specifically in the areas of child marriage, unpaid labor, gender-based violence and gender social norms.  It is directed by Anita Raj, PhD, professor of infectious diseases and global public health in the UC San Diego School of Medicine. 

US AID LOGO

IPPF Part of Team Funded by USAID to Implement Global Health Equity Project

The International Planned Parenthood Federation has joined an international network to promote and sustain improved health and agency in low- and middle-income countries through Agency for All Project The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has funded a $38 million, five-year project led by the Center on Gender Equity and Health (GEH) at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science. The project is an international, multi-institutional effort to understand and promote agency for individuals, communities and local organizations in low- and middle-income countries. “Agency for All” is intended to develop and foster social and behavioral research resulting in a better understanding of how to promote the voices of local people within their own communities and within health and development programming. It addresses multiple dimensions of health and well-being, including maternal and child health, infectious disease, HIV/AIDS, family planning and reproductive health. The program will work with diverse populations across the globe, with a focus on Africa and South Asia. GEH will coordinate the consortium of global, regional and local leaders to conduct research and implement solutions, informed by local priorities and agendas, said Rebecka Lundgren, PhD, an applied anthropologist and associate professor of infectious diseases and global public health, who will serve as project director.  “Agency for All will look at the complex questions of ‘agency,’ and what that means for different people, organizations and systems around the world, as well as for our own consortium partners,” said Lundgren. “We are honored to bring together a global consortium of world class researchers and implementers to discover what works to convert intention into action within social and behavior change programs and make it work for real people.” The initiative will concentrate on three geographical areas or hubs in East Africa, West Africa and South Asia, collaborating with specific organizations and networks in those regions. In addition to the International Planned Parenthood Federation, these partners include the Centre for Catalyzing Change (India), Evidence for Sustainable Human Development Systems in Africa (Cameroon), Makerere University (Uganda), Matchboxology (South Africa), Sambodhi (India), Shujaaz, Inc. (Kenya), University of Witwatersrand (South Africa), CORE Group, Promundo-US, Save the Children and Viamo. “These locally-led partnerships are critical,” said Paul Bukuluki, PhD, director of research for Agency for All and an associate professor at Makerere University. “We hope to develop context-specific mechanisms for measuring agency, and more effectively evaluate the approaches that help us improve the quality of life of women and men at the margins of society.” About the Center on Gender Equity and Health  The GEH conducts multidisciplinary research to understand and eliminate gender inequities, specifically in the areas of child marriage, unpaid labor, gender-based violence and gender social norms.  It is directed by Anita Raj, PhD, professor of infectious diseases and global public health in the UC San Diego School of Medicine. 

The American flag with stars and stripes

Statement on the U.S Congress' FY22 spending bill which fails to permanently repeal the global gag rule

U.S congressional leaders have announced they have reached a final spending deal for the fiscal year 2022. This bill results from months of negotiations over funding and policy decisions, including those that impact sexual and reproductive healthcare globally. Despite the inclusion of language to permanently repeal the global gag rule passed in the House and introduced in the Senate, the final legislation fails to permanently end the harmful policy that has destroyed the lives of women and girls around the world for so many years. It also does not remove discriminatory abortion bans like the Hyde, Helms, and Weldon amendments or include much-needed new investments in sexual and reproductive healthcare and international family planning programs. Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: “We are outraged to learn that the long-awaited U.S spending bill failed to permanently repeal the global gag rule, nor did it include other areas of sexual and reproductive health and rights progress on which advocates had built strong momentum. The bill fell foul to anti-choice Congress members whose primary goal is to control the bodies and reproductive rights of women and girls they will never know, whose lives they could never imagine. “Failure to utilize this golden opportunity risks the continuation of the flip-flopping of American policy that has played with the lives of millions across the globe for nearly 40 years. Ultimately the global gag rule destroys long-term access to lifesaving contraception, maternal health and HIV/STI services and forces vulnerable women and girls to carry pregnancies to term or make the agonizing decision to get a potentially deadly unsafe abortion. It also manipulates the ability of international organizations, like IPPF, to use their own funding to provide legal, safe abortion, which unethically denies women care and imposes neo-colonial policies around the world. “While the global gag rule poses serious challenges to sustained engagement with USAID, especially at a time when anti-choice movements continue to attack the rights of people worldwide, IPPF is grateful to the Biden-Harris administration for the current rescission of the policy. We will continue to engage with U.S Government global health assistance programs when possible. We are also thankful to our relentless Member Association, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Despite the challenges, they have worked tirelessly alongside thousands of women’s rights campaigners across the United States and worldwide to advocate for vulnerable women and girls everywhere. 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.” Santos Siminone, Executive Director at Associação Moçambicana para Desenvolvimento da Família (AMODEFA), said: “We are deeply saddened by the failure to permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule. For AMODEFA, IPPF’s Member Association in Mozambique, a national provider of sexual and reproductive healthcare in the country since 1989, the impact of the global gag rule meant a $2 million gap in funding - about 60% of our total budget. “The impact was almost instantaneous, forcing the closure of six programs across 12 districts in Mozambique. This denied nearly 390,000 clients access to contraception, STIs, HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis services. Almost every local population was affected, with closures impacting adolescents, youths, women, and marginalized people. “For the people we serve, the permanent repeal of the policy would have meant an end to the violation of human rights. It would have meant dignity and that women’s lives would no longer be at risk. It would have meant an end to fear, pain, tears, and chaos, especially for black and brown women from low-income countries who bear the brunt of restrictive abortion policies.” For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]  

womens rights are human rights

IPPF welcomes President Biden’s decision to repeal the Global Gag Rule

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) welcomes the news of President Biden’s decision to keep his promise and repeal the harmful Global Gag Rule (GGR) – also known as the Mexico City Policy.    Since its expanded reintroduction in 2017 by the previous administration, the Global Gag Rule has contributed to an increase in unintended and high-risk pregnancies, unsafe abortions – culminating in unnecessary maternal deaths. For IPPF, 53 healthcare projects in 32 countries were impacted by GGR, with some Member Associations losing up to 60% of their funding.   IPPF’s Director-General, Dr Alvaro Bermejo said:    “I welcome the decision by President Biden to repeal the Global Gag Rule.   “The expanded reintroduction of the gag was callously designed to deny women the right to decide what happens to their body. Whilst we know this policy is intended as a tool to attack abortion care by the anti-choice movement, not only has it led to reproductive coercion, it has cut deeper into healthcare provision: from HIV prevention programs to maternal health to contraceptive access – no one was spared the fallout of this policy.     “What lies ahead of us is years of work to undo the harm caused by Global Gag Rule, and to build back a better and stronger relationship with the US – one where our work is not under threat from future anti-sexual and reproductive health administrations. To protect the rights of future generations of women and girls, we ask that the Biden-Harris administration take the necessary steps to permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule. Without a permanent repeal, the global gag remains a constant threat to women, girls, youth and marginalized communities. Reproductive rights, bodily autonomy and the human right to decide what happens to your body cannot be at the mercy of a pen stroke.     “IPPF looks on with hope and welcomes the opportunity to work closely with the Biden-Harris administration to protect and advance sexual and reproductive healthcare for all.”   And President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Alexis McGill Johnson said:  “Over the past four years, the United States didn’t just fail to support global reproductive health care access – it actively blocked it. Today, we applaud the beginning of a new chapter, as the Biden-Harris administration puts an end to the devastating global gag rule, which has prevented millions of people around the world from receiving essential health care. We look forward to working alongside the administration and Congress to pass the Global HER Act, to permanently protect access to sexual and reproductive health care across the globe from changes in White House political control. It is long past time that the United States proudly declares to the world that reproductive rights are human rights.”     IPPF would like to thank the international community who stepped in and stepped up to help fill the funding gap that was left by the Global Gag Rule. Together, we will continue to fight and deliver sexual and reproductive health and rights. For media inquiries please contact [email protected] (+44) 2079398227