The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) welcomes the newly released World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines on abortion care, launched on Wednesday 9 March. Developed by WHO, with the support of partners including IPPF, these evidence-based guidelines are critical for ensuring the provision of quality abortion care for all women, girls and people who can become pregnant.
The WHO Abortion Care Guidelines consolidate and bring together over 50 recommendations spanning clinical practice, health service delivery, and legal and policy interventions to support quality abortion care. They present a holistic and interconnected approach to abortion care, firmly grounded in principles of human rights.
IPPF particularly welcomes clear recommendations provided on simple primary care level interventions including task sharing by a wide range of health workers and access to medical abortion pills, as well as the inclusion of recommendations on abortion self-care and for the first time the use of telemedicine to support access to abortion care. We also applaud the recommendation to remove medically unnecessary policy barriers to safe abortion, which put women and girls at risk and are tantamount to reproductive coercion.
IPPF’s Director General, Dr Alvaro Bermejo, welcomed the new guidelines:
“Access to quality abortion care is essential to guarantee the health and reproductive rights of women and girls everywhere. At IPPF, we are committed to ensuring that every person can choose whether or not to be pregnant, and the WHO Abortion Care Guidelines are vital for helping us reach this goal.
“These guidelines represent the latest, evidence-based best practice in abortion care. They provide essential recommendations to guide and support health systems, organizations, and health workers to provide abortion care to the best quality and with the person at the centre.
“We will work closely with WHO to ensure the wide implementation and use of these new guidelines, both within IPPF and with governments and partners. IPPF and our network of Member Associations will use these guidelines to expand access to quality, person-centred abortion care and to create an enabling environment for abortion care. Together, we will continue improving access to quality abortion care for all.”
The WHO abortion care guideline updates the former edition, released in 2012, and consolidates existing and new recommendations. The digital version is available at https://srhr.org/abortioncare