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Camilo Jimenez

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Protest sign reads "keep abortion legal"

United States

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

3 May 2022

"If the reports are true, then the highest court in the land has reached its lowest point."

For media enquiries

Telephone:

+44 (0)20 2323 2323

Email IPPF:

Email: [email protected]
Protest sign reads "keep abortion legal"
media center

| 03 May 2022

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

Protest sign reads "keep abortion legal"
media_center

| 18 May 2022

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

uk flag
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| 12 April 2022

FCDO provisional 2021 UK aid spending shows grim reality of aid cuts

Today, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) published its provisional statistics report on UK aid spending for 2021.  The total overall aid spend was £11.5 billion, down from £14.5 billion in 2020 following the UK government's reduction to overseas development aid (ODA) from 0.7 per cent to 0.5 per cent of gross national income (GNI), citing the economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  ODA improves the lives of people around the world, helping them access the healthcare they deserve, including lifesaving sexual and reproductive healthcare. It also helps tackle global disease, eliminate poverty, provide humanitarian assistance during conflict and reduce the impact of climate change.  Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General for IPPF, said: “While not surprising, the provisional UK aid spend for 2021 shows the grim reality of making such severe cuts during the tremendous global upheaval of a pandemic, when continued solidarity, support and humanitarian assistance from the wealthiest nations is most needed. “The government already knew from the equalities impact assessment that these cuts to promised funds would be devastating for women, girls and diverse groups, who disproportionally experience the effects of poverty, disease and climate change while also bearing the burden of violence, especially in conflict. “Not only that, but the government also chose to distribute the dedicated aid budget to other government departments. This includes a staggering £915 million to the Home Office and counting so-called ‘donations’ of excess COVID vaccines to other countries, which could have been given to those in need instead. The aid cuts left millions of women in Ukraine with no control over their bodies, their futures, or their lives, just as it did in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Sudan and Syria. Today, the role of the UK in building a better, safer world is more critical than ever if there is any hope of reversing the impacts of the cuts and the government must return to the 0.7% as soon as possible – the lives and futures of people depend on it”. Key statistics include: The provisional ODA:GNI ratio for 2021 was 0.5 per cent, or £11.5 billion. In 2021, UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) was £11,496 million, a decrease of £2,982 million (20.6 per cent decrease) on 2020. In 2021, UK bilateral ODA was £7,086 million (a decrease of 25.7 per cent) while U.K. multilateral ODA was £4,411 million (a decrease of 10.8 per cent). The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) spent £8,308 million in 2021, compared with £10,664 million in 2020 (a decrease of £2,356 million).  Non-FCDO5 spend on ODA in 2021 was £3,189 million, compared with £3,815 million in 2020 (a decrease of £626 m). The non-FCDO share was 27.7 per cent, up from 26.3 per cent in 2020. In 2021, £550 million of UK ODA was spent on activities to address the COVID19 pandemic². The Home Office spent £915 million of ODA in 2021 (an increase of 53.3 per cent). This was mostly due to increased accommodation costs for asylum seekers to ensure the measures set out in law were adhered to in limiting the spread of COVID-19. 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.  

uk flag
media_center

| 12 April 2022

FCDO provisional 2021 UK aid spending shows grim reality of aid cuts

Today, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) published its provisional statistics report on UK aid spending for 2021.  The total overall aid spend was £11.5 billion, down from £14.5 billion in 2020 following the UK government's reduction to overseas development aid (ODA) from 0.7 per cent to 0.5 per cent of gross national income (GNI), citing the economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  ODA improves the lives of people around the world, helping them access the healthcare they deserve, including lifesaving sexual and reproductive healthcare. It also helps tackle global disease, eliminate poverty, provide humanitarian assistance during conflict and reduce the impact of climate change.  Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General for IPPF, said: “While not surprising, the provisional UK aid spend for 2021 shows the grim reality of making such severe cuts during the tremendous global upheaval of a pandemic, when continued solidarity, support and humanitarian assistance from the wealthiest nations is most needed. “The government already knew from the equalities impact assessment that these cuts to promised funds would be devastating for women, girls and diverse groups, who disproportionally experience the effects of poverty, disease and climate change while also bearing the burden of violence, especially in conflict. “Not only that, but the government also chose to distribute the dedicated aid budget to other government departments. This includes a staggering £915 million to the Home Office and counting so-called ‘donations’ of excess COVID vaccines to other countries, which could have been given to those in need instead. The aid cuts left millions of women in Ukraine with no control over their bodies, their futures, or their lives, just as it did in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Sudan and Syria. Today, the role of the UK in building a better, safer world is more critical than ever if there is any hope of reversing the impacts of the cuts and the government must return to the 0.7% as soon as possible – the lives and futures of people depend on it”. Key statistics include: The provisional ODA:GNI ratio for 2021 was 0.5 per cent, or £11.5 billion. In 2021, UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) was £11,496 million, a decrease of £2,982 million (20.6 per cent decrease) on 2020. In 2021, UK bilateral ODA was £7,086 million (a decrease of 25.7 per cent) while U.K. multilateral ODA was £4,411 million (a decrease of 10.8 per cent). The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) spent £8,308 million in 2021, compared with £10,664 million in 2020 (a decrease of £2,356 million).  Non-FCDO5 spend on ODA in 2021 was £3,189 million, compared with £3,815 million in 2020 (a decrease of £626 m). The non-FCDO share was 27.7 per cent, up from 26.3 per cent in 2020. In 2021, £550 million of UK ODA was spent on activities to address the COVID19 pandemic². The Home Office spent £915 million of ODA in 2021 (an increase of 53.3 per cent). This was mostly due to increased accommodation costs for asylum seekers to ensure the measures set out in law were adhered to in limiting the spread of COVID-19. 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.  

two women raising their fists in the air
media center

| 05 April 2022

Leading SRHR organizations issue a call to action to step up protection for frontline workers

Today, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), IPAS Partners for Reproductive Justice (IPAS), and MSI Reproductive Choices (MSI) launched “Defend the Frontline Defenders of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” - a joint initiative to strengthen protection of frontline sexual and reproductive health workers and advocates.  The five global organizations called on the wider health sector and authorities around the world to step up efforts  to ensure that all health workers and advocates are able to go about their daily work without stigma, fear, threat or intimidation.a joint initiative to strengthen protection of frontline sexual and reproductive health workers and advocates.  The five global organizations called on the wider health sector and authorities around the world to step up efforts  to ensure that all health workers and advocates are able to go about their daily work without stigma, fear, threat or intimidation. Hostility directed against frontline healthcare workers and advocates reportedly occurs most often at the hands of patients and their families and visitors.  Notably however, those working in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) often face hostility also from their colleagues, institutions, local communities and public figures too.   The five organizations, global leaders in the field of SRHR, highlighted that in their experience, wherever stigma is associated with provision of, or advocacy for, services and information about, for example, safe abortion, contraception, HIV/AIDs, or LGBTQI+ persons, that stigma also attaches to the professionals concerned. The organizations stressed that, around the world, health workers and advocates face greater discrimination, harassment and, at times, even physical attack, in settings and contexts where laws, public policies, government leaders and other public authorities are hostile to sexual and reproductive health and rights.   Dr. Alvaro Bermejo, Director General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: “IPPF sexual and reproductive health service providers around the world are regularly subjected to threats and abuse as they tirelessly work to deliver life-saving services. This is an unacceptable situation that must stop. Anti-rights and anti-gender perpetrators should not prevent people from accessing essential care or from making decisions about their sexuality and reproduction. All human beings should enjoy bodily autonomy to the full. As a major service provider and leading advocate of SRHR with members in over 120 countries, IPPF joins this call to action and urges Governments to ensure the safety of all health care providers and advocates as human rights defenders, without harassment, discrimination and abuse” Public debates about SRHR and associated health services are among the most ideologically charged. Narratives opposed to SRHR from political and community leaders, alongside regressive policies and laws, mean greater hostility directed against those who provide, protect and promote SRHR for us all.  Facing discrimination, belittlement, harassment and even violence not only against themselves, but their places of work, and even their families, frontline SRHR workers and advocates, across the globe, must draw on their own reserves of courage, commitment and resilience just to continue their daily work. Dr. Jeanne Conry, President of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, explained: “It is unacceptable that those on the frontline providing essential sexual and reproductive health care are on the receiving end of discrimination and violence for simply doing their jobs. We all know colleagues who have battled with stigma, career blocking, physical attack and other forms of harassment, forfeiting their mental and physical health and wellbeing in the process. This cannot go on. Alongside our partners, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) is determined to raise awareness of this issue, and commits to effecting change for our colleagues providing sexual and reproductive health services around the world.”    Designed to help strengthen support and protection for the human rights of those on the frontlines, providing and advocating for sexual and reproductive health services and the needed policy and legal reforms, this new joint initiative aims to: Establish better standards for workplace response to hostility against workers and advocates in recognition of their human rights to work without stigma, discrimination, threat, attack etc.;  Initiate closer global monitoring of the incidence and prevalence of such threats and attacks; and,  Raise public awareness of the consequences of unchecked public hostility against SRHR for frontline workers and advocates Dr. Franka Cadée, President of the International Confederation of Midwives, said: “ICM is in regular communication with many of its more than 140 midwives' associations located in over 120 countries. We know that every day, midwives suffer from gender-based abuse and harassment on the job and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this type of discriminatory treatment in new ways. When midwives’ rights are abused or taken advantage of, women and girls everywhere suffer. Robust investments are needed in policies, pay and protections that allow midwives to perform their full scope of practice.” This new joint initiative - “Defend the Frontline Defenders of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” will also undertake ground-breaking research to establish better understanding of what public hostility to SRHR means for those on the frontlines.  While there is anecdotal evidence across the sector, to date little data has been gathered on the extent of the hostility faced, and none on its direct causes and consequences.  Nor has there been benchmarking against which to assess global trends over time.  Dr. Anu Kumar, Ipas President and CEO, said: "Around the world, abortion providers and advocates bring dedication, compassion and courage to their work--often in the face of harassment, stigma, and even violence. Just as sexual and reproductive health and rights are essential, the people who care for us are essential. Frontline SRHR defenders are our partners for reproductive justice, and at Ipas we are committed to ensuring their human rights are respected and protected." Frontline workers provide services essential for us all, explained the five organizations, recalling how vital health workers were shown to be throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.  Ensuring SRHR workers and advocates are safe, treated with respect, and are able to go about their work with dignity, means respecting their fundamental human rights, including their labour rights and their rights to redress when attacked.  It also means challenging the impunity more often enjoyed by those who incite such attacks.  The five organizations issued a Call To Action, published by BMJ Global Health, urging the wider health sector to join them in stepping up attention and focus on the dignity of their staff, particularly in circumstances and contexts of hostility to SRHR.  It is past time for our sector to also tackle directly the impunity enjoyed by those who, through speech and action, fester hostility to SRHR and thus to frontline workers, the organizations said. Kate Austen, MSI Reproductive Choices’ Institutional Resilience Lead, said: “At MSI, we are committed to expanding access to reproductive choice because we believe in every woman’s right to make choices about her body and her life. This work is only possible because of the courage of our frontline healthcare workers who work tirelessly to protect sexual and reproductive rights despite facing daily harassment, stigma and abuse.  It’s time to say enough is enough. Alongside our partners, we pledge to do everything we can to step up, respect and protect the rights of our colleagues to work and advocate free from fear, threat, and intimidation.” 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.

two women raising their fists in the air
media_center

| 05 April 2022

Leading SRHR organizations issue a call to action to step up protection for frontline workers

Today, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), IPAS Partners for Reproductive Justice (IPAS), and MSI Reproductive Choices (MSI) launched “Defend the Frontline Defenders of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” - a joint initiative to strengthen protection of frontline sexual and reproductive health workers and advocates.  The five global organizations called on the wider health sector and authorities around the world to step up efforts  to ensure that all health workers and advocates are able to go about their daily work without stigma, fear, threat or intimidation.a joint initiative to strengthen protection of frontline sexual and reproductive health workers and advocates.  The five global organizations called on the wider health sector and authorities around the world to step up efforts  to ensure that all health workers and advocates are able to go about their daily work without stigma, fear, threat or intimidation. Hostility directed against frontline healthcare workers and advocates reportedly occurs most often at the hands of patients and their families and visitors.  Notably however, those working in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) often face hostility also from their colleagues, institutions, local communities and public figures too.   The five organizations, global leaders in the field of SRHR, highlighted that in their experience, wherever stigma is associated with provision of, or advocacy for, services and information about, for example, safe abortion, contraception, HIV/AIDs, or LGBTQI+ persons, that stigma also attaches to the professionals concerned. The organizations stressed that, around the world, health workers and advocates face greater discrimination, harassment and, at times, even physical attack, in settings and contexts where laws, public policies, government leaders and other public authorities are hostile to sexual and reproductive health and rights.   Dr. Alvaro Bermejo, Director General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: “IPPF sexual and reproductive health service providers around the world are regularly subjected to threats and abuse as they tirelessly work to deliver life-saving services. This is an unacceptable situation that must stop. Anti-rights and anti-gender perpetrators should not prevent people from accessing essential care or from making decisions about their sexuality and reproduction. All human beings should enjoy bodily autonomy to the full. As a major service provider and leading advocate of SRHR with members in over 120 countries, IPPF joins this call to action and urges Governments to ensure the safety of all health care providers and advocates as human rights defenders, without harassment, discrimination and abuse” Public debates about SRHR and associated health services are among the most ideologically charged. Narratives opposed to SRHR from political and community leaders, alongside regressive policies and laws, mean greater hostility directed against those who provide, protect and promote SRHR for us all.  Facing discrimination, belittlement, harassment and even violence not only against themselves, but their places of work, and even their families, frontline SRHR workers and advocates, across the globe, must draw on their own reserves of courage, commitment and resilience just to continue their daily work. Dr. Jeanne Conry, President of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, explained: “It is unacceptable that those on the frontline providing essential sexual and reproductive health care are on the receiving end of discrimination and violence for simply doing their jobs. We all know colleagues who have battled with stigma, career blocking, physical attack and other forms of harassment, forfeiting their mental and physical health and wellbeing in the process. This cannot go on. Alongside our partners, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) is determined to raise awareness of this issue, and commits to effecting change for our colleagues providing sexual and reproductive health services around the world.”    Designed to help strengthen support and protection for the human rights of those on the frontlines, providing and advocating for sexual and reproductive health services and the needed policy and legal reforms, this new joint initiative aims to: Establish better standards for workplace response to hostility against workers and advocates in recognition of their human rights to work without stigma, discrimination, threat, attack etc.;  Initiate closer global monitoring of the incidence and prevalence of such threats and attacks; and,  Raise public awareness of the consequences of unchecked public hostility against SRHR for frontline workers and advocates Dr. Franka Cadée, President of the International Confederation of Midwives, said: “ICM is in regular communication with many of its more than 140 midwives' associations located in over 120 countries. We know that every day, midwives suffer from gender-based abuse and harassment on the job and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this type of discriminatory treatment in new ways. When midwives’ rights are abused or taken advantage of, women and girls everywhere suffer. Robust investments are needed in policies, pay and protections that allow midwives to perform their full scope of practice.” This new joint initiative - “Defend the Frontline Defenders of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” will also undertake ground-breaking research to establish better understanding of what public hostility to SRHR means for those on the frontlines.  While there is anecdotal evidence across the sector, to date little data has been gathered on the extent of the hostility faced, and none on its direct causes and consequences.  Nor has there been benchmarking against which to assess global trends over time.  Dr. Anu Kumar, Ipas President and CEO, said: "Around the world, abortion providers and advocates bring dedication, compassion and courage to their work--often in the face of harassment, stigma, and even violence. Just as sexual and reproductive health and rights are essential, the people who care for us are essential. Frontline SRHR defenders are our partners for reproductive justice, and at Ipas we are committed to ensuring their human rights are respected and protected." Frontline workers provide services essential for us all, explained the five organizations, recalling how vital health workers were shown to be throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.  Ensuring SRHR workers and advocates are safe, treated with respect, and are able to go about their work with dignity, means respecting their fundamental human rights, including their labour rights and their rights to redress when attacked.  It also means challenging the impunity more often enjoyed by those who incite such attacks.  The five organizations issued a Call To Action, published by BMJ Global Health, urging the wider health sector to join them in stepping up attention and focus on the dignity of their staff, particularly in circumstances and contexts of hostility to SRHR.  It is past time for our sector to also tackle directly the impunity enjoyed by those who, through speech and action, fester hostility to SRHR and thus to frontline workers, the organizations said. Kate Austen, MSI Reproductive Choices’ Institutional Resilience Lead, said: “At MSI, we are committed to expanding access to reproductive choice because we believe in every woman’s right to make choices about her body and her life. This work is only possible because of the courage of our frontline healthcare workers who work tirelessly to protect sexual and reproductive rights despite facing daily harassment, stigma and abuse.  It’s time to say enough is enough. Alongside our partners, we pledge to do everything we can to step up, respect and protect the rights of our colleagues to work and advocate free from fear, threat, and intimidation.” For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]g  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.

US AID LOGO
media center

| 30 March 2022

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
media_center

| 15 March 2022

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. 

Gaza, Palestine/IPPF Humanitarian/Samar Abu Elouf
media center

| 29 March 2022

Government of Japan, through its support for IPPF, will provide life-saving health care services to the most vulnerable populations in Palestine

With support from the Government of Japan, the IPPF Member Association in Palestine (PFPPA) is launching a new project in Palestine targeting the most vulnerable populations that have been severely affected by the humanitarian crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. It is estimated that at least 1.45 million people in Palestine are in need of healthcare-related humanitarian assistance. The escalation of the conflict in Gaza in May 2021, in addition to the long-standing severe restrictions on movement and inadequate healthcare systems, have resulted in the loss of many lives, the destruction of the healthcare system, and negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Together these have increased poverty levels and strained the healthcare system resulting in increased humanitarian and medical assistance needs. In 2022, it is estimated that 63% of the population living in Gaza and 23% in the West Bank will continue to need humanitarian assistance. The vulnerability of women and girls in particular is even greater, with serious and sometimes life-threatening health consequences. In this context, PFPPA will reach vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations (especially women and girls) with sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services, including sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) related services. This will focus on five locations: Gaza, Hebron, Halhoul, Bethlehem and Ramallah. By the end of February 2023, PFPPA aims to: Deliver quality SRHR and SGBV-related services to approximately 36,000 women and young people through PFPPA clinics in the 5 project target areas. Deliver a Minimum Initial Service Package for reproductive health in crisis situation (MISP: sexual and gender-based violence response, HIV and sexually transmitted disease prevention and treatment, emergency obstetric newborn care, family planning, comprehensive abortion care, etc.) to 4,800 people through mobile clinics in project target areas in Gaza and the West Bank.  Deliver prenatal and postpartum door-to-door services to 160 women, including counselling and services to promote healthy pregnancies and prepare women for childbirth.  Deliver "birth preparedness" services to 30 women and distribute kits consisting of basic supplies for pre- and postpartum preparation, including essential newborn care. Deliver SRH and SGBV services to 2,000 women and girls through mobile apps and telecommunication projects. H.E. Hajime Hayashi, Ambassador of Japan to the United Kingdom, said: “We are delighted to be working with the IPPF to improve the health of women in Palestine, who are increasingly vulnerable to the humanitarian crisis and the impact of the new coronavirus outbreak. This effort will not only contribute to the realization of Japan's emphasis on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), but will also have a direct effect on human security.” Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Executive Director of IPPF, said: “With the support of the Japanese government, IPPF will be able to provide health and life-saving services to vulnerable women in Palestine. We are very grateful for the opportunity to work with the Japanese government to stand with those affected by the conflict and the COVID-19 to ensure that no one is left behind.” Ms Ammal Awadallah, Executive Director of PFPPA, said: “PFPPA is committed to ensuring that all services provided by their team to the population, regardless of each individual's circumstances, are of high quality and are provided securely, with dignity and respect, protecting all those involved from any form of harm. Furthermore, through the generous support of the Japanese government, for which we are greatly appreciative, PFPPA will be able to deliver essential services related to Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (including SGBV) to those living in marginalized and remote areas most in need of such services.” International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF):  Founded in 1952 in Bombay, India, IPPF’s founding members included Madam Shizue Kato, one of Japan's first female parliamentarians and the leader of the family planning movement. Today, IPPF is one of the world's largest international NGOs working to defend sexual and reproductive health and rights and to deliver SRH services and information to all people (especially vulnerable people) through its grassroots network of 120 Member Associations and Collaborative Partners working in 140 countries including Palestine around the world. Contact: Yuri Taniguchi, Chief Strategic Partnerships and Development Advisor (S.E.Asia), International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) London Office 

Gaza, Palestine/IPPF Humanitarian/Samar Abu Elouf
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| 28 March 2022

Government of Japan, through its support for IPPF, will provide life-saving health care services to the most vulnerable populations in Palestine

With support from the Government of Japan, the IPPF Member Association in Palestine (PFPPA) is launching a new project in Palestine targeting the most vulnerable populations that have been severely affected by the humanitarian crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. It is estimated that at least 1.45 million people in Palestine are in need of healthcare-related humanitarian assistance. The escalation of the conflict in Gaza in May 2021, in addition to the long-standing severe restrictions on movement and inadequate healthcare systems, have resulted in the loss of many lives, the destruction of the healthcare system, and negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Together these have increased poverty levels and strained the healthcare system resulting in increased humanitarian and medical assistance needs. In 2022, it is estimated that 63% of the population living in Gaza and 23% in the West Bank will continue to need humanitarian assistance. The vulnerability of women and girls in particular is even greater, with serious and sometimes life-threatening health consequences. In this context, PFPPA will reach vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations (especially women and girls) with sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services, including sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) related services. This will focus on five locations: Gaza, Hebron, Halhoul, Bethlehem and Ramallah. By the end of February 2023, PFPPA aims to: Deliver quality SRHR and SGBV-related services to approximately 36,000 women and young people through PFPPA clinics in the 5 project target areas. Deliver a Minimum Initial Service Package for reproductive health in crisis situation (MISP: sexual and gender-based violence response, HIV and sexually transmitted disease prevention and treatment, emergency obstetric newborn care, family planning, comprehensive abortion care, etc.) to 4,800 people through mobile clinics in project target areas in Gaza and the West Bank.  Deliver prenatal and postpartum door-to-door services to 160 women, including counselling and services to promote healthy pregnancies and prepare women for childbirth.  Deliver "birth preparedness" services to 30 women and distribute kits consisting of basic supplies for pre- and postpartum preparation, including essential newborn care. Deliver SRH and SGBV services to 2,000 women and girls through mobile apps and telecommunication projects. H.E. Hajime Hayashi, Ambassador of Japan to the United Kingdom, said: “We are delighted to be working with the IPPF to improve the health of women in Palestine, who are increasingly vulnerable to the humanitarian crisis and the impact of the new coronavirus outbreak. This effort will not only contribute to the realization of Japan's emphasis on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), but will also have a direct effect on human security.” Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Executive Director of IPPF, said: “With the support of the Japanese government, IPPF will be able to provide health and life-saving services to vulnerable women in Palestine. We are very grateful for the opportunity to work with the Japanese government to stand with those affected by the conflict and the COVID-19 to ensure that no one is left behind.” Ms Ammal Awadallah, Executive Director of PFPPA, said: “PFPPA is committed to ensuring that all services provided by their team to the population, regardless of each individual's circumstances, are of high quality and are provided securely, with dignity and respect, protecting all those involved from any form of harm. Furthermore, through the generous support of the Japanese government, for which we are greatly appreciative, PFPPA will be able to deliver essential services related to Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (including SGBV) to those living in marginalized and remote areas most in need of such services.” International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF):  Founded in 1952 in Bombay, India, IPPF’s founding members included Madam Shizue Kato, one of Japan's first female parliamentarians and the leader of the family planning movement. Today, IPPF is one of the world's largest international NGOs working to defend sexual and reproductive health and rights and to deliver SRH services and information to all people (especially vulnerable people) through its grassroots network of 120 Member Associations and Collaborative Partners working in 140 countries including Palestine around the world. Contact: Yuri Taniguchi, Chief Strategic Partnerships and Development Advisor (S.E.Asia), International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) London Office 

The Kenynan flag - black, red and green horizontal stripes with a shield in the middle
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| 28 March 2022

Kenyan High Court makes landmark ruling on safe abortion care

In a landmark verdict today, the High Court of Malindi has ruled that safe abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers, for seeking or offering such services, is completely illegal. Specifically, the Court ruled that: Abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers seeking or offering such services is illegal. Protecting access to abortion impacts vital Constitutional values, including dignity, autonomy, equality, and bodily integrity. Criminalizing abortion under Penal Code without Constitutional statutory framework is an impairment to the enjoyment of women’s reproductive right. For years, women and girls in Kenya have faced sustained and pervasive discrimination hampering their access to seeking reproductive healthcare services; the 1963 Penal Code criminalizes all abortion care, including those allowed under the Constitution 2010, which guarantees the right to healthcare, including access to reproductive health services. The Constitution only permits safe abortion if in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is at risk/in danger. The court case in question, filed in November 2020, involved PAK, a minor 16 years of age from Kilifi County. PAK experienced complications during pregnancy and immediately sought medical care at a nearby clinic where a trained clinical officer attended to her. Upon examining her, the clinical officer determined that she had lost the pregnancy and proceeded to provide her with essential and life-saving post-abortion care. Policy officers stormed the clinic, in the midst of the treatment, stopping the medical procedure and confiscating PAK’s treatment records. They then proceeded to illegally arrest both PAK and the clinical officer. Both were taken to Ganze Police Patrol Base where PAK was not allowed to access further medical care for the next two days and was forced to sign a statement which was contrary to PAK’s description of the events. The police also forced PAK to undergo another detailed medical examination at Kilifi County Hospital to obtain evidence to prove the alleged offence of abortion. The clinical officer was detained for one week while PAK was remanded to a juvenile remand for more than a month, whilst she and her family sought to secure the cash bail for her release. The Malindi High Court has further directed the Parliament to enact an abortion law and public policy framework that aligns with the Kenyan Constitution. Additionally, the Court has confirmed that communication between a patient and the healthcare provider is confidential, which is guaranteed and protected under the Constitution and other enabling laws, save for where the disclosure is consented to by the patient or is in the public interest in line with the limitations as provided for in the Constitution. In its decision, the Court also ruled that PAK was recovering from medical procedure and police did not have the medical qualifications to determine and confirm that she was medically-fit to leave the clinic, regardless of her admission status at the clinic. Additionally, the Court found that PAK’s arrest was inhuman and degrading, and being a minor, she ought not to have been interrogated without legal representation. Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Africa Regional Director from the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: “We are absolutely delighted to hear this news and applaud the High Court of Malindi's ruling confirming that abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers for seeking or offering such services is illegal. We are also very pleased to hear that the Court has directed Parliament to enact an abortion law and public policy framework that aligns with the Constitution. This is a victory for women and girls not only in Kenya, but across Africa! Access to quality abortion is essential to guarantee the health and reproductive rights of women and girls everywhere. At IPPF, we are committed to reducing the number of deaths of women and girls who are forced to turn to unsafe abortion methods for fear of arrests and harassment. We will continue to supply and support safe and legal abortion services and care for women and girls everywhere.” The petitioners were represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights a network of reproductive health providers whose member was the second petitioner in this case and a collaborative partner of IPPF. The advocates were Martin Onyango, Head of Legal Strategies for Africa, and Prudence Mutiso, Legal Advisor for Africa. Nelly Munyasia, Executive Director of Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK), , welcomed the court’s decision: “Many qualified reproductive healthcare practitioners continue to be arrested, detained, and prosecuted for providing legal medical care. The court’s decision confirms that prosecution against health providers cannot hold where the prosecution has not established that; the health professional in question was unqualified to conduct the procedure; the life or health of the woman was not in danger or the woman was not in need of emergency treatment,” Ms. Munyasia said. Evelyne Opondo, Senior Regional Director for Africa at Center for Reproductive Rights said: “Today’s victory is for all women, girls, and healthcare providers who have been treated as criminals for seeking and providing abortion care. The court has vindicated our position by affirming that forcing a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term or to seek out an unsafe abortion is a gross violation of her rights to privacy and bodily autonomy. Further, the continued restrictive abortion laws inhibit quality improvement possible to protect women with unintended pregnancies.” Center fact sheet: “The Impact of the Misalignment Between Kenya’s Constitution and the Penal Code on Access to Reproductive Health Care”

The Kenynan flag - black, red and green horizontal stripes with a shield in the middle
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| 26 March 2022

Kenyan High Court makes landmark ruling on safe abortion care

In a landmark verdict today, the High Court of Malindi has ruled that safe abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers, for seeking or offering such services, is completely illegal. Specifically, the Court ruled that: Abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers seeking or offering such services is illegal. Protecting access to abortion impacts vital Constitutional values, including dignity, autonomy, equality, and bodily integrity. Criminalizing abortion under Penal Code without Constitutional statutory framework is an impairment to the enjoyment of women’s reproductive right. For years, women and girls in Kenya have faced sustained and pervasive discrimination hampering their access to seeking reproductive healthcare services; the 1963 Penal Code criminalizes all abortion care, including those allowed under the Constitution 2010, which guarantees the right to healthcare, including access to reproductive health services. The Constitution only permits safe abortion if in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is at risk/in danger. The court case in question, filed in November 2020, involved PAK, a minor 16 years of age from Kilifi County. PAK experienced complications during pregnancy and immediately sought medical care at a nearby clinic where a trained clinical officer attended to her. Upon examining her, the clinical officer determined that she had lost the pregnancy and proceeded to provide her with essential and life-saving post-abortion care. Policy officers stormed the clinic, in the midst of the treatment, stopping the medical procedure and confiscating PAK’s treatment records. They then proceeded to illegally arrest both PAK and the clinical officer. Both were taken to Ganze Police Patrol Base where PAK was not allowed to access further medical care for the next two days and was forced to sign a statement which was contrary to PAK’s description of the events. The police also forced PAK to undergo another detailed medical examination at Kilifi County Hospital to obtain evidence to prove the alleged offence of abortion. The clinical officer was detained for one week while PAK was remanded to a juvenile remand for more than a month, whilst she and her family sought to secure the cash bail for her release. The Malindi High Court has further directed the Parliament to enact an abortion law and public policy framework that aligns with the Kenyan Constitution. Additionally, the Court has confirmed that communication between a patient and the healthcare provider is confidential, which is guaranteed and protected under the Constitution and other enabling laws, save for where the disclosure is consented to by the patient or is in the public interest in line with the limitations as provided for in the Constitution. In its decision, the Court also ruled that PAK was recovering from medical procedure and police did not have the medical qualifications to determine and confirm that she was medically-fit to leave the clinic, regardless of her admission status at the clinic. Additionally, the Court found that PAK’s arrest was inhuman and degrading, and being a minor, she ought not to have been interrogated without legal representation. Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Africa Regional Director from the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: “We are absolutely delighted to hear this news and applaud the High Court of Malindi's ruling confirming that abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers for seeking or offering such services is illegal. We are also very pleased to hear that the Court has directed Parliament to enact an abortion law and public policy framework that aligns with the Constitution. This is a victory for women and girls not only in Kenya, but across Africa! Access to quality abortion is essential to guarantee the health and reproductive rights of women and girls everywhere. At IPPF, we are committed to reducing the number of deaths of women and girls who are forced to turn to unsafe abortion methods for fear of arrests and harassment. We will continue to supply and support safe and legal abortion services and care for women and girls everywhere.” The petitioners were represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights a network of reproductive health providers whose member was the second petitioner in this case and a collaborative partner of IPPF. The advocates were Martin Onyango, Head of Legal Strategies for Africa, and Prudence Mutiso, Legal Advisor for Africa. Nelly Munyasia, Executive Director of Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK), , welcomed the court’s decision: “Many qualified reproductive healthcare practitioners continue to be arrested, detained, and prosecuted for providing legal medical care. The court’s decision confirms that prosecution against health providers cannot hold where the prosecution has not established that; the health professional in question was unqualified to conduct the procedure; the life or health of the woman was not in danger or the woman was not in need of emergency treatment,” Ms. Munyasia said. Evelyne Opondo, Senior Regional Director for Africa at Center for Reproductive Rights said: “Today’s victory is for all women, girls, and healthcare providers who have been treated as criminals for seeking and providing abortion care. The court has vindicated our position by affirming that forcing a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term or to seek out an unsafe abortion is a gross violation of her rights to privacy and bodily autonomy. Further, the continued restrictive abortion laws inhibit quality improvement possible to protect women with unintended pregnancies.” Center fact sheet: “The Impact of the Misalignment Between Kenya’s Constitution and the Penal Code on Access to Reproductive Health Care”

Protest sign reads "keep abortion legal"
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| 03 May 2022

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

Protest sign reads "keep abortion legal"
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| 18 May 2022

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

uk flag
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| 12 April 2022

FCDO provisional 2021 UK aid spending shows grim reality of aid cuts

Today, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) published its provisional statistics report on UK aid spending for 2021.  The total overall aid spend was £11.5 billion, down from £14.5 billion in 2020 following the UK government's reduction to overseas development aid (ODA) from 0.7 per cent to 0.5 per cent of gross national income (GNI), citing the economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  ODA improves the lives of people around the world, helping them access the healthcare they deserve, including lifesaving sexual and reproductive healthcare. It also helps tackle global disease, eliminate poverty, provide humanitarian assistance during conflict and reduce the impact of climate change.  Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General for IPPF, said: “While not surprising, the provisional UK aid spend for 2021 shows the grim reality of making such severe cuts during the tremendous global upheaval of a pandemic, when continued solidarity, support and humanitarian assistance from the wealthiest nations is most needed. “The government already knew from the equalities impact assessment that these cuts to promised funds would be devastating for women, girls and diverse groups, who disproportionally experience the effects of poverty, disease and climate change while also bearing the burden of violence, especially in conflict. “Not only that, but the government also chose to distribute the dedicated aid budget to other government departments. This includes a staggering £915 million to the Home Office and counting so-called ‘donations’ of excess COVID vaccines to other countries, which could have been given to those in need instead. The aid cuts left millions of women in Ukraine with no control over their bodies, their futures, or their lives, just as it did in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Sudan and Syria. Today, the role of the UK in building a better, safer world is more critical than ever if there is any hope of reversing the impacts of the cuts and the government must return to the 0.7% as soon as possible – the lives and futures of people depend on it”. Key statistics include: The provisional ODA:GNI ratio for 2021 was 0.5 per cent, or £11.5 billion. In 2021, UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) was £11,496 million, a decrease of £2,982 million (20.6 per cent decrease) on 2020. In 2021, UK bilateral ODA was £7,086 million (a decrease of 25.7 per cent) while U.K. multilateral ODA was £4,411 million (a decrease of 10.8 per cent). The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) spent £8,308 million in 2021, compared with £10,664 million in 2020 (a decrease of £2,356 million).  Non-FCDO5 spend on ODA in 2021 was £3,189 million, compared with £3,815 million in 2020 (a decrease of £626 m). The non-FCDO share was 27.7 per cent, up from 26.3 per cent in 2020. In 2021, £550 million of UK ODA was spent on activities to address the COVID19 pandemic². The Home Office spent £915 million of ODA in 2021 (an increase of 53.3 per cent). This was mostly due to increased accommodation costs for asylum seekers to ensure the measures set out in law were adhered to in limiting the spread of COVID-19. 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.  

uk flag
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| 12 April 2022

FCDO provisional 2021 UK aid spending shows grim reality of aid cuts

Today, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) published its provisional statistics report on UK aid spending for 2021.  The total overall aid spend was £11.5 billion, down from £14.5 billion in 2020 following the UK government's reduction to overseas development aid (ODA) from 0.7 per cent to 0.5 per cent of gross national income (GNI), citing the economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  ODA improves the lives of people around the world, helping them access the healthcare they deserve, including lifesaving sexual and reproductive healthcare. It also helps tackle global disease, eliminate poverty, provide humanitarian assistance during conflict and reduce the impact of climate change.  Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General for IPPF, said: “While not surprising, the provisional UK aid spend for 2021 shows the grim reality of making such severe cuts during the tremendous global upheaval of a pandemic, when continued solidarity, support and humanitarian assistance from the wealthiest nations is most needed. “The government already knew from the equalities impact assessment that these cuts to promised funds would be devastating for women, girls and diverse groups, who disproportionally experience the effects of poverty, disease and climate change while also bearing the burden of violence, especially in conflict. “Not only that, but the government also chose to distribute the dedicated aid budget to other government departments. This includes a staggering £915 million to the Home Office and counting so-called ‘donations’ of excess COVID vaccines to other countries, which could have been given to those in need instead. The aid cuts left millions of women in Ukraine with no control over their bodies, their futures, or their lives, just as it did in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Sudan and Syria. Today, the role of the UK in building a better, safer world is more critical than ever if there is any hope of reversing the impacts of the cuts and the government must return to the 0.7% as soon as possible – the lives and futures of people depend on it”. Key statistics include: The provisional ODA:GNI ratio for 2021 was 0.5 per cent, or £11.5 billion. In 2021, UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) was £11,496 million, a decrease of £2,982 million (20.6 per cent decrease) on 2020. In 2021, UK bilateral ODA was £7,086 million (a decrease of 25.7 per cent) while U.K. multilateral ODA was £4,411 million (a decrease of 10.8 per cent). The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) spent £8,308 million in 2021, compared with £10,664 million in 2020 (a decrease of £2,356 million).  Non-FCDO5 spend on ODA in 2021 was £3,189 million, compared with £3,815 million in 2020 (a decrease of £626 m). The non-FCDO share was 27.7 per cent, up from 26.3 per cent in 2020. In 2021, £550 million of UK ODA was spent on activities to address the COVID19 pandemic². The Home Office spent £915 million of ODA in 2021 (an increase of 53.3 per cent). This was mostly due to increased accommodation costs for asylum seekers to ensure the measures set out in law were adhered to in limiting the spread of COVID-19. 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.  

two women raising their fists in the air
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| 05 April 2022

Leading SRHR organizations issue a call to action to step up protection for frontline workers

Today, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), IPAS Partners for Reproductive Justice (IPAS), and MSI Reproductive Choices (MSI) launched “Defend the Frontline Defenders of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” - a joint initiative to strengthen protection of frontline sexual and reproductive health workers and advocates.  The five global organizations called on the wider health sector and authorities around the world to step up efforts  to ensure that all health workers and advocates are able to go about their daily work without stigma, fear, threat or intimidation.a joint initiative to strengthen protection of frontline sexual and reproductive health workers and advocates.  The five global organizations called on the wider health sector and authorities around the world to step up efforts  to ensure that all health workers and advocates are able to go about their daily work without stigma, fear, threat or intimidation. Hostility directed against frontline healthcare workers and advocates reportedly occurs most often at the hands of patients and their families and visitors.  Notably however, those working in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) often face hostility also from their colleagues, institutions, local communities and public figures too.   The five organizations, global leaders in the field of SRHR, highlighted that in their experience, wherever stigma is associated with provision of, or advocacy for, services and information about, for example, safe abortion, contraception, HIV/AIDs, or LGBTQI+ persons, that stigma also attaches to the professionals concerned. The organizations stressed that, around the world, health workers and advocates face greater discrimination, harassment and, at times, even physical attack, in settings and contexts where laws, public policies, government leaders and other public authorities are hostile to sexual and reproductive health and rights.   Dr. Alvaro Bermejo, Director General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: “IPPF sexual and reproductive health service providers around the world are regularly subjected to threats and abuse as they tirelessly work to deliver life-saving services. This is an unacceptable situation that must stop. Anti-rights and anti-gender perpetrators should not prevent people from accessing essential care or from making decisions about their sexuality and reproduction. All human beings should enjoy bodily autonomy to the full. As a major service provider and leading advocate of SRHR with members in over 120 countries, IPPF joins this call to action and urges Governments to ensure the safety of all health care providers and advocates as human rights defenders, without harassment, discrimination and abuse” Public debates about SRHR and associated health services are among the most ideologically charged. Narratives opposed to SRHR from political and community leaders, alongside regressive policies and laws, mean greater hostility directed against those who provide, protect and promote SRHR for us all.  Facing discrimination, belittlement, harassment and even violence not only against themselves, but their places of work, and even their families, frontline SRHR workers and advocates, across the globe, must draw on their own reserves of courage, commitment and resilience just to continue their daily work. Dr. Jeanne Conry, President of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, explained: “It is unacceptable that those on the frontline providing essential sexual and reproductive health care are on the receiving end of discrimination and violence for simply doing their jobs. We all know colleagues who have battled with stigma, career blocking, physical attack and other forms of harassment, forfeiting their mental and physical health and wellbeing in the process. This cannot go on. Alongside our partners, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) is determined to raise awareness of this issue, and commits to effecting change for our colleagues providing sexual and reproductive health services around the world.”    Designed to help strengthen support and protection for the human rights of those on the frontlines, providing and advocating for sexual and reproductive health services and the needed policy and legal reforms, this new joint initiative aims to: Establish better standards for workplace response to hostility against workers and advocates in recognition of their human rights to work without stigma, discrimination, threat, attack etc.;  Initiate closer global monitoring of the incidence and prevalence of such threats and attacks; and,  Raise public awareness of the consequences of unchecked public hostility against SRHR for frontline workers and advocates Dr. Franka Cadée, President of the International Confederation of Midwives, said: “ICM is in regular communication with many of its more than 140 midwives' associations located in over 120 countries. We know that every day, midwives suffer from gender-based abuse and harassment on the job and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this type of discriminatory treatment in new ways. When midwives’ rights are abused or taken advantage of, women and girls everywhere suffer. Robust investments are needed in policies, pay and protections that allow midwives to perform their full scope of practice.” This new joint initiative - “Defend the Frontline Defenders of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” will also undertake ground-breaking research to establish better understanding of what public hostility to SRHR means for those on the frontlines.  While there is anecdotal evidence across the sector, to date little data has been gathered on the extent of the hostility faced, and none on its direct causes and consequences.  Nor has there been benchmarking against which to assess global trends over time.  Dr. Anu Kumar, Ipas President and CEO, said: "Around the world, abortion providers and advocates bring dedication, compassion and courage to their work--often in the face of harassment, stigma, and even violence. Just as sexual and reproductive health and rights are essential, the people who care for us are essential. Frontline SRHR defenders are our partners for reproductive justice, and at Ipas we are committed to ensuring their human rights are respected and protected." Frontline workers provide services essential for us all, explained the five organizations, recalling how vital health workers were shown to be throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.  Ensuring SRHR workers and advocates are safe, treated with respect, and are able to go about their work with dignity, means respecting their fundamental human rights, including their labour rights and their rights to redress when attacked.  It also means challenging the impunity more often enjoyed by those who incite such attacks.  The five organizations issued a Call To Action, published by BMJ Global Health, urging the wider health sector to join them in stepping up attention and focus on the dignity of their staff, particularly in circumstances and contexts of hostility to SRHR.  It is past time for our sector to also tackle directly the impunity enjoyed by those who, through speech and action, fester hostility to SRHR and thus to frontline workers, the organizations said. Kate Austen, MSI Reproductive Choices’ Institutional Resilience Lead, said: “At MSI, we are committed to expanding access to reproductive choice because we believe in every woman’s right to make choices about her body and her life. This work is only possible because of the courage of our frontline healthcare workers who work tirelessly to protect sexual and reproductive rights despite facing daily harassment, stigma and abuse.  It’s time to say enough is enough. Alongside our partners, we pledge to do everything we can to step up, respect and protect the rights of our colleagues to work and advocate free from fear, threat, and intimidation.” 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.

two women raising their fists in the air
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| 05 April 2022

Leading SRHR organizations issue a call to action to step up protection for frontline workers

Today, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), IPAS Partners for Reproductive Justice (IPAS), and MSI Reproductive Choices (MSI) launched “Defend the Frontline Defenders of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” - a joint initiative to strengthen protection of frontline sexual and reproductive health workers and advocates.  The five global organizations called on the wider health sector and authorities around the world to step up efforts  to ensure that all health workers and advocates are able to go about their daily work without stigma, fear, threat or intimidation.a joint initiative to strengthen protection of frontline sexual and reproductive health workers and advocates.  The five global organizations called on the wider health sector and authorities around the world to step up efforts  to ensure that all health workers and advocates are able to go about their daily work without stigma, fear, threat or intimidation. Hostility directed against frontline healthcare workers and advocates reportedly occurs most often at the hands of patients and their families and visitors.  Notably however, those working in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) often face hostility also from their colleagues, institutions, local communities and public figures too.   The five organizations, global leaders in the field of SRHR, highlighted that in their experience, wherever stigma is associated with provision of, or advocacy for, services and information about, for example, safe abortion, contraception, HIV/AIDs, or LGBTQI+ persons, that stigma also attaches to the professionals concerned. The organizations stressed that, around the world, health workers and advocates face greater discrimination, harassment and, at times, even physical attack, in settings and contexts where laws, public policies, government leaders and other public authorities are hostile to sexual and reproductive health and rights.   Dr. Alvaro Bermejo, Director General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: “IPPF sexual and reproductive health service providers around the world are regularly subjected to threats and abuse as they tirelessly work to deliver life-saving services. This is an unacceptable situation that must stop. Anti-rights and anti-gender perpetrators should not prevent people from accessing essential care or from making decisions about their sexuality and reproduction. All human beings should enjoy bodily autonomy to the full. As a major service provider and leading advocate of SRHR with members in over 120 countries, IPPF joins this call to action and urges Governments to ensure the safety of all health care providers and advocates as human rights defenders, without harassment, discrimination and abuse” Public debates about SRHR and associated health services are among the most ideologically charged. Narratives opposed to SRHR from political and community leaders, alongside regressive policies and laws, mean greater hostility directed against those who provide, protect and promote SRHR for us all.  Facing discrimination, belittlement, harassment and even violence not only against themselves, but their places of work, and even their families, frontline SRHR workers and advocates, across the globe, must draw on their own reserves of courage, commitment and resilience just to continue their daily work. Dr. Jeanne Conry, President of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, explained: “It is unacceptable that those on the frontline providing essential sexual and reproductive health care are on the receiving end of discrimination and violence for simply doing their jobs. We all know colleagues who have battled with stigma, career blocking, physical attack and other forms of harassment, forfeiting their mental and physical health and wellbeing in the process. This cannot go on. Alongside our partners, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) is determined to raise awareness of this issue, and commits to effecting change for our colleagues providing sexual and reproductive health services around the world.”    Designed to help strengthen support and protection for the human rights of those on the frontlines, providing and advocating for sexual and reproductive health services and the needed policy and legal reforms, this new joint initiative aims to: Establish better standards for workplace response to hostility against workers and advocates in recognition of their human rights to work without stigma, discrimination, threat, attack etc.;  Initiate closer global monitoring of the incidence and prevalence of such threats and attacks; and,  Raise public awareness of the consequences of unchecked public hostility against SRHR for frontline workers and advocates Dr. Franka Cadée, President of the International Confederation of Midwives, said: “ICM is in regular communication with many of its more than 140 midwives' associations located in over 120 countries. We know that every day, midwives suffer from gender-based abuse and harassment on the job and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this type of discriminatory treatment in new ways. When midwives’ rights are abused or taken advantage of, women and girls everywhere suffer. Robust investments are needed in policies, pay and protections that allow midwives to perform their full scope of practice.” This new joint initiative - “Defend the Frontline Defenders of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” will also undertake ground-breaking research to establish better understanding of what public hostility to SRHR means for those on the frontlines.  While there is anecdotal evidence across the sector, to date little data has been gathered on the extent of the hostility faced, and none on its direct causes and consequences.  Nor has there been benchmarking against which to assess global trends over time.  Dr. Anu Kumar, Ipas President and CEO, said: "Around the world, abortion providers and advocates bring dedication, compassion and courage to their work--often in the face of harassment, stigma, and even violence. Just as sexual and reproductive health and rights are essential, the people who care for us are essential. Frontline SRHR defenders are our partners for reproductive justice, and at Ipas we are committed to ensuring their human rights are respected and protected." Frontline workers provide services essential for us all, explained the five organizations, recalling how vital health workers were shown to be throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.  Ensuring SRHR workers and advocates are safe, treated with respect, and are able to go about their work with dignity, means respecting their fundamental human rights, including their labour rights and their rights to redress when attacked.  It also means challenging the impunity more often enjoyed by those who incite such attacks.  The five organizations issued a Call To Action, published by BMJ Global Health, urging the wider health sector to join them in stepping up attention and focus on the dignity of their staff, particularly in circumstances and contexts of hostility to SRHR.  It is past time for our sector to also tackle directly the impunity enjoyed by those who, through speech and action, fester hostility to SRHR and thus to frontline workers, the organizations said. Kate Austen, MSI Reproductive Choices’ Institutional Resilience Lead, said: “At MSI, we are committed to expanding access to reproductive choice because we believe in every woman’s right to make choices about her body and her life. This work is only possible because of the courage of our frontline healthcare workers who work tirelessly to protect sexual and reproductive rights despite facing daily harassment, stigma and abuse.  It’s time to say enough is enough. Alongside our partners, we pledge to do everything we can to step up, respect and protect the rights of our colleagues to work and advocate free from fear, threat, and intimidation.” 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.

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| 30 March 2022

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. 

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| 15 March 2022

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. 

Gaza, Palestine/IPPF Humanitarian/Samar Abu Elouf
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| 29 March 2022

Government of Japan, through its support for IPPF, will provide life-saving health care services to the most vulnerable populations in Palestine

With support from the Government of Japan, the IPPF Member Association in Palestine (PFPPA) is launching a new project in Palestine targeting the most vulnerable populations that have been severely affected by the humanitarian crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. It is estimated that at least 1.45 million people in Palestine are in need of healthcare-related humanitarian assistance. The escalation of the conflict in Gaza in May 2021, in addition to the long-standing severe restrictions on movement and inadequate healthcare systems, have resulted in the loss of many lives, the destruction of the healthcare system, and negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Together these have increased poverty levels and strained the healthcare system resulting in increased humanitarian and medical assistance needs. In 2022, it is estimated that 63% of the population living in Gaza and 23% in the West Bank will continue to need humanitarian assistance. The vulnerability of women and girls in particular is even greater, with serious and sometimes life-threatening health consequences. In this context, PFPPA will reach vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations (especially women and girls) with sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services, including sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) related services. This will focus on five locations: Gaza, Hebron, Halhoul, Bethlehem and Ramallah. By the end of February 2023, PFPPA aims to: Deliver quality SRHR and SGBV-related services to approximately 36,000 women and young people through PFPPA clinics in the 5 project target areas. Deliver a Minimum Initial Service Package for reproductive health in crisis situation (MISP: sexual and gender-based violence response, HIV and sexually transmitted disease prevention and treatment, emergency obstetric newborn care, family planning, comprehensive abortion care, etc.) to 4,800 people through mobile clinics in project target areas in Gaza and the West Bank.  Deliver prenatal and postpartum door-to-door services to 160 women, including counselling and services to promote healthy pregnancies and prepare women for childbirth.  Deliver "birth preparedness" services to 30 women and distribute kits consisting of basic supplies for pre- and postpartum preparation, including essential newborn care. Deliver SRH and SGBV services to 2,000 women and girls through mobile apps and telecommunication projects. H.E. Hajime Hayashi, Ambassador of Japan to the United Kingdom, said: “We are delighted to be working with the IPPF to improve the health of women in Palestine, who are increasingly vulnerable to the humanitarian crisis and the impact of the new coronavirus outbreak. This effort will not only contribute to the realization of Japan's emphasis on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), but will also have a direct effect on human security.” Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Executive Director of IPPF, said: “With the support of the Japanese government, IPPF will be able to provide health and life-saving services to vulnerable women in Palestine. We are very grateful for the opportunity to work with the Japanese government to stand with those affected by the conflict and the COVID-19 to ensure that no one is left behind.” Ms Ammal Awadallah, Executive Director of PFPPA, said: “PFPPA is committed to ensuring that all services provided by their team to the population, regardless of each individual's circumstances, are of high quality and are provided securely, with dignity and respect, protecting all those involved from any form of harm. Furthermore, through the generous support of the Japanese government, for which we are greatly appreciative, PFPPA will be able to deliver essential services related to Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (including SGBV) to those living in marginalized and remote areas most in need of such services.” International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF):  Founded in 1952 in Bombay, India, IPPF’s founding members included Madam Shizue Kato, one of Japan's first female parliamentarians and the leader of the family planning movement. Today, IPPF is one of the world's largest international NGOs working to defend sexual and reproductive health and rights and to deliver SRH services and information to all people (especially vulnerable people) through its grassroots network of 120 Member Associations and Collaborative Partners working in 140 countries including Palestine around the world. Contact: Yuri Taniguchi, Chief Strategic Partnerships and Development Advisor (S.E.Asia), International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) London Office 

Gaza, Palestine/IPPF Humanitarian/Samar Abu Elouf
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| 28 March 2022

Government of Japan, through its support for IPPF, will provide life-saving health care services to the most vulnerable populations in Palestine

With support from the Government of Japan, the IPPF Member Association in Palestine (PFPPA) is launching a new project in Palestine targeting the most vulnerable populations that have been severely affected by the humanitarian crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. It is estimated that at least 1.45 million people in Palestine are in need of healthcare-related humanitarian assistance. The escalation of the conflict in Gaza in May 2021, in addition to the long-standing severe restrictions on movement and inadequate healthcare systems, have resulted in the loss of many lives, the destruction of the healthcare system, and negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Together these have increased poverty levels and strained the healthcare system resulting in increased humanitarian and medical assistance needs. In 2022, it is estimated that 63% of the population living in Gaza and 23% in the West Bank will continue to need humanitarian assistance. The vulnerability of women and girls in particular is even greater, with serious and sometimes life-threatening health consequences. In this context, PFPPA will reach vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations (especially women and girls) with sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services, including sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) related services. This will focus on five locations: Gaza, Hebron, Halhoul, Bethlehem and Ramallah. By the end of February 2023, PFPPA aims to: Deliver quality SRHR and SGBV-related services to approximately 36,000 women and young people through PFPPA clinics in the 5 project target areas. Deliver a Minimum Initial Service Package for reproductive health in crisis situation (MISP: sexual and gender-based violence response, HIV and sexually transmitted disease prevention and treatment, emergency obstetric newborn care, family planning, comprehensive abortion care, etc.) to 4,800 people through mobile clinics in project target areas in Gaza and the West Bank.  Deliver prenatal and postpartum door-to-door services to 160 women, including counselling and services to promote healthy pregnancies and prepare women for childbirth.  Deliver "birth preparedness" services to 30 women and distribute kits consisting of basic supplies for pre- and postpartum preparation, including essential newborn care. Deliver SRH and SGBV services to 2,000 women and girls through mobile apps and telecommunication projects. H.E. Hajime Hayashi, Ambassador of Japan to the United Kingdom, said: “We are delighted to be working with the IPPF to improve the health of women in Palestine, who are increasingly vulnerable to the humanitarian crisis and the impact of the new coronavirus outbreak. This effort will not only contribute to the realization of Japan's emphasis on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), but will also have a direct effect on human security.” Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Executive Director of IPPF, said: “With the support of the Japanese government, IPPF will be able to provide health and life-saving services to vulnerable women in Palestine. We are very grateful for the opportunity to work with the Japanese government to stand with those affected by the conflict and the COVID-19 to ensure that no one is left behind.” Ms Ammal Awadallah, Executive Director of PFPPA, said: “PFPPA is committed to ensuring that all services provided by their team to the population, regardless of each individual's circumstances, are of high quality and are provided securely, with dignity and respect, protecting all those involved from any form of harm. Furthermore, through the generous support of the Japanese government, for which we are greatly appreciative, PFPPA will be able to deliver essential services related to Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (including SGBV) to those living in marginalized and remote areas most in need of such services.” International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF):  Founded in 1952 in Bombay, India, IPPF’s founding members included Madam Shizue Kato, one of Japan's first female parliamentarians and the leader of the family planning movement. Today, IPPF is one of the world's largest international NGOs working to defend sexual and reproductive health and rights and to deliver SRH services and information to all people (especially vulnerable people) through its grassroots network of 120 Member Associations and Collaborative Partners working in 140 countries including Palestine around the world. Contact: Yuri Taniguchi, Chief Strategic Partnerships and Development Advisor (S.E.Asia), International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) London Office 

The Kenynan flag - black, red and green horizontal stripes with a shield in the middle
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| 28 March 2022

Kenyan High Court makes landmark ruling on safe abortion care

In a landmark verdict today, the High Court of Malindi has ruled that safe abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers, for seeking or offering such services, is completely illegal. Specifically, the Court ruled that: Abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers seeking or offering such services is illegal. Protecting access to abortion impacts vital Constitutional values, including dignity, autonomy, equality, and bodily integrity. Criminalizing abortion under Penal Code without Constitutional statutory framework is an impairment to the enjoyment of women’s reproductive right. For years, women and girls in Kenya have faced sustained and pervasive discrimination hampering their access to seeking reproductive healthcare services; the 1963 Penal Code criminalizes all abortion care, including those allowed under the Constitution 2010, which guarantees the right to healthcare, including access to reproductive health services. The Constitution only permits safe abortion if in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is at risk/in danger. The court case in question, filed in November 2020, involved PAK, a minor 16 years of age from Kilifi County. PAK experienced complications during pregnancy and immediately sought medical care at a nearby clinic where a trained clinical officer attended to her. Upon examining her, the clinical officer determined that she had lost the pregnancy and proceeded to provide her with essential and life-saving post-abortion care. Policy officers stormed the clinic, in the midst of the treatment, stopping the medical procedure and confiscating PAK’s treatment records. They then proceeded to illegally arrest both PAK and the clinical officer. Both were taken to Ganze Police Patrol Base where PAK was not allowed to access further medical care for the next two days and was forced to sign a statement which was contrary to PAK’s description of the events. The police also forced PAK to undergo another detailed medical examination at Kilifi County Hospital to obtain evidence to prove the alleged offence of abortion. The clinical officer was detained for one week while PAK was remanded to a juvenile remand for more than a month, whilst she and her family sought to secure the cash bail for her release. The Malindi High Court has further directed the Parliament to enact an abortion law and public policy framework that aligns with the Kenyan Constitution. Additionally, the Court has confirmed that communication between a patient and the healthcare provider is confidential, which is guaranteed and protected under the Constitution and other enabling laws, save for where the disclosure is consented to by the patient or is in the public interest in line with the limitations as provided for in the Constitution. In its decision, the Court also ruled that PAK was recovering from medical procedure and police did not have the medical qualifications to determine and confirm that she was medically-fit to leave the clinic, regardless of her admission status at the clinic. Additionally, the Court found that PAK’s arrest was inhuman and degrading, and being a minor, she ought not to have been interrogated without legal representation. Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Africa Regional Director from the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: “We are absolutely delighted to hear this news and applaud the High Court of Malindi's ruling confirming that abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers for seeking or offering such services is illegal. We are also very pleased to hear that the Court has directed Parliament to enact an abortion law and public policy framework that aligns with the Constitution. This is a victory for women and girls not only in Kenya, but across Africa! Access to quality abortion is essential to guarantee the health and reproductive rights of women and girls everywhere. At IPPF, we are committed to reducing the number of deaths of women and girls who are forced to turn to unsafe abortion methods for fear of arrests and harassment. We will continue to supply and support safe and legal abortion services and care for women and girls everywhere.” The petitioners were represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights a network of reproductive health providers whose member was the second petitioner in this case and a collaborative partner of IPPF. The advocates were Martin Onyango, Head of Legal Strategies for Africa, and Prudence Mutiso, Legal Advisor for Africa. Nelly Munyasia, Executive Director of Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK), , welcomed the court’s decision: “Many qualified reproductive healthcare practitioners continue to be arrested, detained, and prosecuted for providing legal medical care. The court’s decision confirms that prosecution against health providers cannot hold where the prosecution has not established that; the health professional in question was unqualified to conduct the procedure; the life or health of the woman was not in danger or the woman was not in need of emergency treatment,” Ms. Munyasia said. Evelyne Opondo, Senior Regional Director for Africa at Center for Reproductive Rights said: “Today’s victory is for all women, girls, and healthcare providers who have been treated as criminals for seeking and providing abortion care. The court has vindicated our position by affirming that forcing a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term or to seek out an unsafe abortion is a gross violation of her rights to privacy and bodily autonomy. Further, the continued restrictive abortion laws inhibit quality improvement possible to protect women with unintended pregnancies.” Center fact sheet: “The Impact of the Misalignment Between Kenya’s Constitution and the Penal Code on Access to Reproductive Health Care”

The Kenynan flag - black, red and green horizontal stripes with a shield in the middle
media_center

| 26 March 2022

Kenyan High Court makes landmark ruling on safe abortion care

In a landmark verdict today, the High Court of Malindi has ruled that safe abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers, for seeking or offering such services, is completely illegal. Specifically, the Court ruled that: Abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers seeking or offering such services is illegal. Protecting access to abortion impacts vital Constitutional values, including dignity, autonomy, equality, and bodily integrity. Criminalizing abortion under Penal Code without Constitutional statutory framework is an impairment to the enjoyment of women’s reproductive right. For years, women and girls in Kenya have faced sustained and pervasive discrimination hampering their access to seeking reproductive healthcare services; the 1963 Penal Code criminalizes all abortion care, including those allowed under the Constitution 2010, which guarantees the right to healthcare, including access to reproductive health services. The Constitution only permits safe abortion if in the opinion of a trained health professional, there is need for emergency treatment, or the life or health of the mother is at risk/in danger. The court case in question, filed in November 2020, involved PAK, a minor 16 years of age from Kilifi County. PAK experienced complications during pregnancy and immediately sought medical care at a nearby clinic where a trained clinical officer attended to her. Upon examining her, the clinical officer determined that she had lost the pregnancy and proceeded to provide her with essential and life-saving post-abortion care. Policy officers stormed the clinic, in the midst of the treatment, stopping the medical procedure and confiscating PAK’s treatment records. They then proceeded to illegally arrest both PAK and the clinical officer. Both were taken to Ganze Police Patrol Base where PAK was not allowed to access further medical care for the next two days and was forced to sign a statement which was contrary to PAK’s description of the events. The police also forced PAK to undergo another detailed medical examination at Kilifi County Hospital to obtain evidence to prove the alleged offence of abortion. The clinical officer was detained for one week while PAK was remanded to a juvenile remand for more than a month, whilst she and her family sought to secure the cash bail for her release. The Malindi High Court has further directed the Parliament to enact an abortion law and public policy framework that aligns with the Kenyan Constitution. Additionally, the Court has confirmed that communication between a patient and the healthcare provider is confidential, which is guaranteed and protected under the Constitution and other enabling laws, save for where the disclosure is consented to by the patient or is in the public interest in line with the limitations as provided for in the Constitution. In its decision, the Court also ruled that PAK was recovering from medical procedure and police did not have the medical qualifications to determine and confirm that she was medically-fit to leave the clinic, regardless of her admission status at the clinic. Additionally, the Court found that PAK’s arrest was inhuman and degrading, and being a minor, she ought not to have been interrogated without legal representation. Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, Africa Regional Director from the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: “We are absolutely delighted to hear this news and applaud the High Court of Malindi's ruling confirming that abortion care is a fundamental right under the Constitution of Kenya and that arbitrary arrests and prosecution of patients and healthcare providers for seeking or offering such services is illegal. We are also very pleased to hear that the Court has directed Parliament to enact an abortion law and public policy framework that aligns with the Constitution. This is a victory for women and girls not only in Kenya, but across Africa! Access to quality abortion is essential to guarantee the health and reproductive rights of women and girls everywhere. At IPPF, we are committed to reducing the number of deaths of women and girls who are forced to turn to unsafe abortion methods for fear of arrests and harassment. We will continue to supply and support safe and legal abortion services and care for women and girls everywhere.” The petitioners were represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights a network of reproductive health providers whose member was the second petitioner in this case and a collaborative partner of IPPF. The advocates were Martin Onyango, Head of Legal Strategies for Africa, and Prudence Mutiso, Legal Advisor for Africa. Nelly Munyasia, Executive Director of Reproductive Health Network Kenya (RHNK), , welcomed the court’s decision: “Many qualified reproductive healthcare practitioners continue to be arrested, detained, and prosecuted for providing legal medical care. The court’s decision confirms that prosecution against health providers cannot hold where the prosecution has not established that; the health professional in question was unqualified to conduct the procedure; the life or health of the woman was not in danger or the woman was not in need of emergency treatment,” Ms. Munyasia said. Evelyne Opondo, Senior Regional Director for Africa at Center for Reproductive Rights said: “Today’s victory is for all women, girls, and healthcare providers who have been treated as criminals for seeking and providing abortion care. The court has vindicated our position by affirming that forcing a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term or to seek out an unsafe abortion is a gross violation of her rights to privacy and bodily autonomy. Further, the continued restrictive abortion laws inhibit quality improvement possible to protect women with unintended pregnancies.” Center fact sheet: “The Impact of the Misalignment Between Kenya’s Constitution and the Penal Code on Access to Reproductive Health Care”