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Camilo Jimenez

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Latest news from across the federation and our partners

Latest press releases

A selection of stories from across the Federation

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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."

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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”

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| 18 March 2022

Equalities Assessment: UK Government knew 2021 aid cuts would significantly impact women and girls

The Government’s Equalities Assessment shows that the government was well aware that the scale of the 2021 aid cuts to specific gender interventions, including Violence Against Women and Girls and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, would disproportionately impact women, girls and people with protected characteristics such as those living with disabilities.  The U.K. government were also aware that the aid cuts would reduce services available to survivors of sexual violence, including sexual exploitation, abuse and sexual harassment. Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: “We are pleased to see the long-awaited equalities assessment and are hopeful that public scrutiny will encourage the Government to double down on its efforts to champion and support equality. Government commitments are especially significant for 2022, given the scale of the 2021 aid cuts to specific gender interventions, including those helping to end Violence Against Women and Girls, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights programmes and targeted interventions aimed at reaching those left furthest behind – including people living with disabilities. “Today, the role of international aid in building a better, safer and equal world is more relevant than ever as the Ukrainian people look to governments across the globe to support them during the most severe humanitarian crisis Europe has seen in years. With the EU predicting up to 7 million displaced people and vulnerable refugee populations requiring distinct and personalised care, we ask the U.K Government to step up for the international community and return to the 0.7% aid target as soon as possible – the lives and futures of people across the globe depend on it.” Manuelle Hurwitz, Director of Programmes for IPPF, added:   "The government knew the reduction to development programmes would completely contradict its priorities of getting 40 million more girls into education by 2025 flies in the face of achieving gender equality and yet it chose to proceed with them anyway.   For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]  

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| 09 March 2022

Equalities Assessment: UK Government knew 2021 aid cuts would significantly impact women and girls

The Government’s Equalities Assessment shows that the government was well aware that the scale of the 2021 aid cuts to specific gender interventions, including Violence Against Women and Girls and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, would disproportionately impact women, girls and people with protected characteristics such as those living with disabilities.  The U.K. government were also aware that the aid cuts would reduce services available to survivors of sexual violence, including sexual exploitation, abuse and sexual harassment. Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: “We are pleased to see the long-awaited equalities assessment and are hopeful that public scrutiny will encourage the Government to double down on its efforts to champion and support equality. Government commitments are especially significant for 2022, given the scale of the 2021 aid cuts to specific gender interventions, including those helping to end Violence Against Women and Girls, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights programmes and targeted interventions aimed at reaching those left furthest behind – including people living with disabilities. “Today, the role of international aid in building a better, safer and equal world is more relevant than ever as the Ukrainian people look to governments across the globe to support them during the most severe humanitarian crisis Europe has seen in years. With the EU predicting up to 7 million displaced people and vulnerable refugee populations requiring distinct and personalised care, we ask the U.K Government to step up for the international community and return to the 0.7% aid target as soon as possible – the lives and futures of people across the globe depend on it.” Manuelle Hurwitz, Director of Programmes for IPPF, added:   "The government knew the reduction to development programmes would completely contradict its priorities of getting 40 million more girls into education by 2025 flies in the face of achieving gender equality and yet it chose to proceed with them anyway.   For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]  

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| 10 March 2022

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

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

The American flag with stars and stripes
media_center

| 10 March 2022

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

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

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media center

| 09 March 2022

Statement on the Guatemalan law on 'Protection of the Life and the Family'

On International Women's Day 2022, Guatemala's Congress passed a law which triples the prison sentences for women seeking abortion care, prohibits same-sex marriage and further bans the teaching of comprehensive sexuality education and sexual diversity in schools, saying that teaching "anything other than heterosexuality is normal" is against the law.  The "Life and Family Protection Law" was passed by an overwhelming majority of 160 - 8 in the conservative-led Congress, but still needs to be signed by Guatemala's president, Alejandro Giammattei, in order to come into force. Under the new law, women who "have induced their own abortion or given their consent to another person to carry it out" will face a minimum of five years in jail, but the sentences could reach a maximum of 25 years. Abortion is illegal in Guatemala except in cases where the woman's life is at risk. This law is the latest of a series of laws to attack human rights across the country, including gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights. The initiative goes against human rights agreements, especially for women and LGBTI+ people and condemns and denies the diversity of families including mono-parental homes.  Eugenia Lopez Uribe, IPPF's Regional Director for Americas and the Caribbean Region, said: "It is disturbing that on International Women's Day 2022, the Guatemalan Congress passed a law that completely violates the human, sexual and reproductive rights of women, girls and marginalized people. "While countries across Latin America were celebrating the lives and rights of women, Guatemala has chosen to criminalize those making the best decision for themselves and their families, while also risking imprisoning vulnerable women and girls who have experienced sexual violence or suffered pregnancy loss. By severely limiting access to safe and post-abortion care, the law will undoubtedly lead to an increase in unsafe abortions and a decrease in prenatal care, resulting in life-long disabilities for some women and a rise in maternal deaths. "At the same time, by prohibiting same-sex marriage, limiting comprehensive sexuality education and enabling the discrimination of sexual diversity, the Guatemalan government is creating a society that fosters miseducation, stigma, intolerance and homophobia and fuelling the persecution of LGBTI and non-binary people. "IPPF strongly condemns the passing of this archaic law and demands that the Guatemalan government fulfils international human rights agreements. We stand in solidarity with affected people across Guatemala and the organizations working tirelessly to ensure that all people have the freedom to make their own choices." For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]  

The Guatemalan Flag - striped light blue either side with a white stripe in the middle and a wreath
media_center

| 09 March 2022

Statement on the Guatemalan law on 'Protection of the Life and the Family'

On International Women's Day 2022, Guatemala's Congress passed a law which triples the prison sentences for women seeking abortion care, prohibits same-sex marriage and further bans the teaching of comprehensive sexuality education and sexual diversity in schools, saying that teaching "anything other than heterosexuality is normal" is against the law.  The "Life and Family Protection Law" was passed by an overwhelming majority of 160 - 8 in the conservative-led Congress, but still needs to be signed by Guatemala's president, Alejandro Giammattei, in order to come into force. Under the new law, women who "have induced their own abortion or given their consent to another person to carry it out" will face a minimum of five years in jail, but the sentences could reach a maximum of 25 years. Abortion is illegal in Guatemala except in cases where the woman's life is at risk. This law is the latest of a series of laws to attack human rights across the country, including gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights. The initiative goes against human rights agreements, especially for women and LGBTI+ people and condemns and denies the diversity of families including mono-parental homes.  Eugenia Lopez Uribe, IPPF's Regional Director for Americas and the Caribbean Region, said: "It is disturbing that on International Women's Day 2022, the Guatemalan Congress passed a law that completely violates the human, sexual and reproductive rights of women, girls and marginalized people. "While countries across Latin America were celebrating the lives and rights of women, Guatemala has chosen to criminalize those making the best decision for themselves and their families, while also risking imprisoning vulnerable women and girls who have experienced sexual violence or suffered pregnancy loss. By severely limiting access to safe and post-abortion care, the law will undoubtedly lead to an increase in unsafe abortions and a decrease in prenatal care, resulting in life-long disabilities for some women and a rise in maternal deaths. "At the same time, by prohibiting same-sex marriage, limiting comprehensive sexuality education and enabling the discrimination of sexual diversity, the Guatemalan government is creating a society that fosters miseducation, stigma, intolerance and homophobia and fuelling the persecution of LGBTI and non-binary people. "IPPF strongly condemns the passing of this archaic law and demands that the Guatemalan government fulfils international human rights agreements. We stand in solidarity with affected people across Guatemala and the organizations working tirelessly to ensure that all people have the freedom to make their own choices." For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]  

A healthcare worker with a client
media center

| 09 March 2022

IPPF statement on the WHO Abortion Care Guidelines 2022

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

A healthcare worker with a client
media_center

| 23 May 2022

IPPF statement on the WHO Abortion Care Guidelines 2022

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

A picture of someone making a love heart with their hands. One hand is blue, the other yellow in the colours of the Ukrainian
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| 03 March 2022

Statement on the growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine

Over the past few days, the world has watched in horror and disbelief at the events unfolding in Ukraine. It is estimated that over 500,000 people have now fled – many of whom are women and children – into neighbouring countries such as Poland, Hungary and Romania. The UN anticipates 4 million refugees by July 2022. During Humanitarian crises, sexual and reproductive healthcare is often overlooked. But the reality is daily sexual and reproductive healthcare needs such as essential care for pregnant people, access to menstruation products for people who menstruate, as well as ensuring people who need sexual and reproductive health assistance have access to the right information, remains an urgent priority. IPPF is working with partners on the ground in Poland to link those fleeing the conflict with critical sexual and reproductive health services as well as provide them with essential items.  Julie Taft,  Director of Humanitarian for the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said "As we mark one week since the invasion of Ukraine, the complex humanitarian situation has become even more apparent. Right now, millions across the country are fighting for their survival, while food, medical supplies and essential hygiene products run dangerously low, including equipment needed to provide life-saving sexual and reproductive healthcare. The destruction of healthcare infrastructure also means that women are forced to deliver their babies in bomb shelters. At the same time, sick and vulnerable new-borns must receive care in the basements of hospitals.   "In response to the growing humanitarian crisis, the International Planned Parenthood Federation has partnered with the All-Poland's Women's Strike, a Polish women's rights movement currently supporting people displaced by the war. The $50,000 USD grant will go towards dignity kits, consisting of basic hygiene supplies, menstrual-hygiene products, blankets, food, diapers and baby clothes. Items will be distributed to Ukrainians who have fled into Poland as well as transported cross-border into Ukraine. The funds will also support the All-Poland's women's strike to link refugees who have crossed the Ukraine-Poland border with essential healthcare services. "IPPF is proud to partner with such a brave and unyielding organisation on the frontline and will continue to work closely with other NGOs to facilitate care for those who need it most. However, NGOs cannot operate efficiently without the support of the international community, which must guarantee the safe passage of humanitarian aid into Ukraine. The urgent need for unhindered humanitarian access is especially significant for unaccompanied minors and those left behind, who are often the most vulnerable populations and who will require distinct care during this tragic situation." Marta Lempart, Founder of the All-Poland Women's Strike, said: "We are deeply committed to helping displaced people flee the invasion of our neighbour, Ukraine. Our teams across Poland are working around the clock to support vulnerable people crossing both at the border, including unaccompanied minors at-risk of trafficking and those left behind or heading back to Ukraine. Both groups will require personalised care and support. "We are pleased to partner with the International Planned Parenthood Federation, so we can continue delivering dignity kits to those who need them most; for displaced people arriving with just the clothes on their back, access to even simple necessities are a lifeline. We are also thankful for the outpouring of support from across Europe - the funding will help care for exhausted families who have made it safely across the border, covering transport, rent, bills and other expenses as they begin to build their futures outside of Ukraine. "Disasters reinforce, perpetuate, and increase existing inequalities, making bad situations even more tragic and resulting in consequences that will carry down for generations. But with the international community's support, we can ensure that organisations like Women's Strike and IPPF are there for people every step of the way." Click here if you would like to donate to IPPF's Ukraine Appeal.  For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]

A picture of someone making a love heart with their hands. One hand is blue, the other yellow in the colours of the Ukrainian
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| 03 March 2022

Statement on the growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine

Over the past few days, the world has watched in horror and disbelief at the events unfolding in Ukraine. It is estimated that over 500,000 people have now fled – many of whom are women and children – into neighbouring countries such as Poland, Hungary and Romania. The UN anticipates 4 million refugees by July 2022. During Humanitarian crises, sexual and reproductive healthcare is often overlooked. But the reality is daily sexual and reproductive healthcare needs such as essential care for pregnant people, access to menstruation products for people who menstruate, as well as ensuring people who need sexual and reproductive health assistance have access to the right information, remains an urgent priority. IPPF is working with partners on the ground in Poland to link those fleeing the conflict with critical sexual and reproductive health services as well as provide them with essential items.  Julie Taft,  Director of Humanitarian for the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said "As we mark one week since the invasion of Ukraine, the complex humanitarian situation has become even more apparent. Right now, millions across the country are fighting for their survival, while food, medical supplies and essential hygiene products run dangerously low, including equipment needed to provide life-saving sexual and reproductive healthcare. The destruction of healthcare infrastructure also means that women are forced to deliver their babies in bomb shelters. At the same time, sick and vulnerable new-borns must receive care in the basements of hospitals.   "In response to the growing humanitarian crisis, the International Planned Parenthood Federation has partnered with the All-Poland's Women's Strike, a Polish women's rights movement currently supporting people displaced by the war. The $50,000 USD grant will go towards dignity kits, consisting of basic hygiene supplies, menstrual-hygiene products, blankets, food, diapers and baby clothes. Items will be distributed to Ukrainians who have fled into Poland as well as transported cross-border into Ukraine. The funds will also support the All-Poland's women's strike to link refugees who have crossed the Ukraine-Poland border with essential healthcare services. "IPPF is proud to partner with such a brave and unyielding organisation on the frontline and will continue to work closely with other NGOs to facilitate care for those who need it most. However, NGOs cannot operate efficiently without the support of the international community, which must guarantee the safe passage of humanitarian aid into Ukraine. The urgent need for unhindered humanitarian access is especially significant for unaccompanied minors and those left behind, who are often the most vulnerable populations and who will require distinct care during this tragic situation." Marta Lempart, Founder of the All-Poland Women's Strike, said: "We are deeply committed to helping displaced people flee the invasion of our neighbour, Ukraine. Our teams across Poland are working around the clock to support vulnerable people crossing both at the border, including unaccompanied minors at-risk of trafficking and those left behind or heading back to Ukraine. Both groups will require personalised care and support. "We are pleased to partner with the International Planned Parenthood Federation, so we can continue delivering dignity kits to those who need them most; for displaced people arriving with just the clothes on their back, access to even simple necessities are a lifeline. We are also thankful for the outpouring of support from across Europe - the funding will help care for exhausted families who have made it safely across the border, covering transport, rent, bills and other expenses as they begin to build their futures outside of Ukraine. "Disasters reinforce, perpetuate, and increase existing inequalities, making bad situations even more tragic and resulting in consequences that will carry down for generations. But with the international community's support, we can ensure that organisations like Women's Strike and IPPF are there for people every step of the way." Click here if you would like to donate to IPPF's Ukraine Appeal.  For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]

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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”

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| 18 March 2022

Equalities Assessment: UK Government knew 2021 aid cuts would significantly impact women and girls

The Government’s Equalities Assessment shows that the government was well aware that the scale of the 2021 aid cuts to specific gender interventions, including Violence Against Women and Girls and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, would disproportionately impact women, girls and people with protected characteristics such as those living with disabilities.  The U.K. government were also aware that the aid cuts would reduce services available to survivors of sexual violence, including sexual exploitation, abuse and sexual harassment. Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: “We are pleased to see the long-awaited equalities assessment and are hopeful that public scrutiny will encourage the Government to double down on its efforts to champion and support equality. Government commitments are especially significant for 2022, given the scale of the 2021 aid cuts to specific gender interventions, including those helping to end Violence Against Women and Girls, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights programmes and targeted interventions aimed at reaching those left furthest behind – including people living with disabilities. “Today, the role of international aid in building a better, safer and equal world is more relevant than ever as the Ukrainian people look to governments across the globe to support them during the most severe humanitarian crisis Europe has seen in years. With the EU predicting up to 7 million displaced people and vulnerable refugee populations requiring distinct and personalised care, we ask the U.K Government to step up for the international community and return to the 0.7% aid target as soon as possible – the lives and futures of people across the globe depend on it.” Manuelle Hurwitz, Director of Programmes for IPPF, added:   "The government knew the reduction to development programmes would completely contradict its priorities of getting 40 million more girls into education by 2025 flies in the face of achieving gender equality and yet it chose to proceed with them anyway.   For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]  

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| 09 March 2022

Equalities Assessment: UK Government knew 2021 aid cuts would significantly impact women and girls

The Government’s Equalities Assessment shows that the government was well aware that the scale of the 2021 aid cuts to specific gender interventions, including Violence Against Women and Girls and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, would disproportionately impact women, girls and people with protected characteristics such as those living with disabilities.  The U.K. government were also aware that the aid cuts would reduce services available to survivors of sexual violence, including sexual exploitation, abuse and sexual harassment. Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said: “We are pleased to see the long-awaited equalities assessment and are hopeful that public scrutiny will encourage the Government to double down on its efforts to champion and support equality. Government commitments are especially significant for 2022, given the scale of the 2021 aid cuts to specific gender interventions, including those helping to end Violence Against Women and Girls, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights programmes and targeted interventions aimed at reaching those left furthest behind – including people living with disabilities. “Today, the role of international aid in building a better, safer and equal world is more relevant than ever as the Ukrainian people look to governments across the globe to support them during the most severe humanitarian crisis Europe has seen in years. With the EU predicting up to 7 million displaced people and vulnerable refugee populations requiring distinct and personalised care, we ask the U.K Government to step up for the international community and return to the 0.7% aid target as soon as possible – the lives and futures of people across the globe depend on it.” Manuelle Hurwitz, Director of Programmes for IPPF, added:   "The government knew the reduction to development programmes would completely contradict its priorities of getting 40 million more girls into education by 2025 flies in the face of achieving gender equality and yet it chose to proceed with them anyway.   For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]  

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| 10 March 2022

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

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

The American flag with stars and stripes
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| 10 March 2022

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

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

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media center

| 09 March 2022

Statement on the Guatemalan law on 'Protection of the Life and the Family'

On International Women's Day 2022, Guatemala's Congress passed a law which triples the prison sentences for women seeking abortion care, prohibits same-sex marriage and further bans the teaching of comprehensive sexuality education and sexual diversity in schools, saying that teaching "anything other than heterosexuality is normal" is against the law.  The "Life and Family Protection Law" was passed by an overwhelming majority of 160 - 8 in the conservative-led Congress, but still needs to be signed by Guatemala's president, Alejandro Giammattei, in order to come into force. Under the new law, women who "have induced their own abortion or given their consent to another person to carry it out" will face a minimum of five years in jail, but the sentences could reach a maximum of 25 years. Abortion is illegal in Guatemala except in cases where the woman's life is at risk. This law is the latest of a series of laws to attack human rights across the country, including gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights. The initiative goes against human rights agreements, especially for women and LGBTI+ people and condemns and denies the diversity of families including mono-parental homes.  Eugenia Lopez Uribe, IPPF's Regional Director for Americas and the Caribbean Region, said: "It is disturbing that on International Women's Day 2022, the Guatemalan Congress passed a law that completely violates the human, sexual and reproductive rights of women, girls and marginalized people. "While countries across Latin America were celebrating the lives and rights of women, Guatemala has chosen to criminalize those making the best decision for themselves and their families, while also risking imprisoning vulnerable women and girls who have experienced sexual violence or suffered pregnancy loss. By severely limiting access to safe and post-abortion care, the law will undoubtedly lead to an increase in unsafe abortions and a decrease in prenatal care, resulting in life-long disabilities for some women and a rise in maternal deaths. "At the same time, by prohibiting same-sex marriage, limiting comprehensive sexuality education and enabling the discrimination of sexual diversity, the Guatemalan government is creating a society that fosters miseducation, stigma, intolerance and homophobia and fuelling the persecution of LGBTI and non-binary people. "IPPF strongly condemns the passing of this archaic law and demands that the Guatemalan government fulfils international human rights agreements. We stand in solidarity with affected people across Guatemala and the organizations working tirelessly to ensure that all people have the freedom to make their own choices." For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]  

The Guatemalan Flag - striped light blue either side with a white stripe in the middle and a wreath
media_center

| 09 March 2022

Statement on the Guatemalan law on 'Protection of the Life and the Family'

On International Women's Day 2022, Guatemala's Congress passed a law which triples the prison sentences for women seeking abortion care, prohibits same-sex marriage and further bans the teaching of comprehensive sexuality education and sexual diversity in schools, saying that teaching "anything other than heterosexuality is normal" is against the law.  The "Life and Family Protection Law" was passed by an overwhelming majority of 160 - 8 in the conservative-led Congress, but still needs to be signed by Guatemala's president, Alejandro Giammattei, in order to come into force. Under the new law, women who "have induced their own abortion or given their consent to another person to carry it out" will face a minimum of five years in jail, but the sentences could reach a maximum of 25 years. Abortion is illegal in Guatemala except in cases where the woman's life is at risk. This law is the latest of a series of laws to attack human rights across the country, including gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights. The initiative goes against human rights agreements, especially for women and LGBTI+ people and condemns and denies the diversity of families including mono-parental homes.  Eugenia Lopez Uribe, IPPF's Regional Director for Americas and the Caribbean Region, said: "It is disturbing that on International Women's Day 2022, the Guatemalan Congress passed a law that completely violates the human, sexual and reproductive rights of women, girls and marginalized people. "While countries across Latin America were celebrating the lives and rights of women, Guatemala has chosen to criminalize those making the best decision for themselves and their families, while also risking imprisoning vulnerable women and girls who have experienced sexual violence or suffered pregnancy loss. By severely limiting access to safe and post-abortion care, the law will undoubtedly lead to an increase in unsafe abortions and a decrease in prenatal care, resulting in life-long disabilities for some women and a rise in maternal deaths. "At the same time, by prohibiting same-sex marriage, limiting comprehensive sexuality education and enabling the discrimination of sexual diversity, the Guatemalan government is creating a society that fosters miseducation, stigma, intolerance and homophobia and fuelling the persecution of LGBTI and non-binary people. "IPPF strongly condemns the passing of this archaic law and demands that the Guatemalan government fulfils international human rights agreements. We stand in solidarity with affected people across Guatemala and the organizations working tirelessly to ensure that all people have the freedom to make their own choices." For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]  

A healthcare worker with a client
media center

| 09 March 2022

IPPF statement on the WHO Abortion Care Guidelines 2022

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

A healthcare worker with a client
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| 23 May 2022

IPPF statement on the WHO Abortion Care Guidelines 2022

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

A picture of someone making a love heart with their hands. One hand is blue, the other yellow in the colours of the Ukrainian
media center

| 03 March 2022

Statement on the growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine

Over the past few days, the world has watched in horror and disbelief at the events unfolding in Ukraine. It is estimated that over 500,000 people have now fled – many of whom are women and children – into neighbouring countries such as Poland, Hungary and Romania. The UN anticipates 4 million refugees by July 2022. During Humanitarian crises, sexual and reproductive healthcare is often overlooked. But the reality is daily sexual and reproductive healthcare needs such as essential care for pregnant people, access to menstruation products for people who menstruate, as well as ensuring people who need sexual and reproductive health assistance have access to the right information, remains an urgent priority. IPPF is working with partners on the ground in Poland to link those fleeing the conflict with critical sexual and reproductive health services as well as provide them with essential items.  Julie Taft,  Director of Humanitarian for the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said "As we mark one week since the invasion of Ukraine, the complex humanitarian situation has become even more apparent. Right now, millions across the country are fighting for their survival, while food, medical supplies and essential hygiene products run dangerously low, including equipment needed to provide life-saving sexual and reproductive healthcare. The destruction of healthcare infrastructure also means that women are forced to deliver their babies in bomb shelters. At the same time, sick and vulnerable new-borns must receive care in the basements of hospitals.   "In response to the growing humanitarian crisis, the International Planned Parenthood Federation has partnered with the All-Poland's Women's Strike, a Polish women's rights movement currently supporting people displaced by the war. The $50,000 USD grant will go towards dignity kits, consisting of basic hygiene supplies, menstrual-hygiene products, blankets, food, diapers and baby clothes. Items will be distributed to Ukrainians who have fled into Poland as well as transported cross-border into Ukraine. The funds will also support the All-Poland's women's strike to link refugees who have crossed the Ukraine-Poland border with essential healthcare services. "IPPF is proud to partner with such a brave and unyielding organisation on the frontline and will continue to work closely with other NGOs to facilitate care for those who need it most. However, NGOs cannot operate efficiently without the support of the international community, which must guarantee the safe passage of humanitarian aid into Ukraine. The urgent need for unhindered humanitarian access is especially significant for unaccompanied minors and those left behind, who are often the most vulnerable populations and who will require distinct care during this tragic situation." Marta Lempart, Founder of the All-Poland Women's Strike, said: "We are deeply committed to helping displaced people flee the invasion of our neighbour, Ukraine. Our teams across Poland are working around the clock to support vulnerable people crossing both at the border, including unaccompanied minors at-risk of trafficking and those left behind or heading back to Ukraine. Both groups will require personalised care and support. "We are pleased to partner with the International Planned Parenthood Federation, so we can continue delivering dignity kits to those who need them most; for displaced people arriving with just the clothes on their back, access to even simple necessities are a lifeline. We are also thankful for the outpouring of support from across Europe - the funding will help care for exhausted families who have made it safely across the border, covering transport, rent, bills and other expenses as they begin to build their futures outside of Ukraine. "Disasters reinforce, perpetuate, and increase existing inequalities, making bad situations even more tragic and resulting in consequences that will carry down for generations. But with the international community's support, we can ensure that organisations like Women's Strike and IPPF are there for people every step of the way." Click here if you would like to donate to IPPF's Ukraine Appeal.  For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]

A picture of someone making a love heart with their hands. One hand is blue, the other yellow in the colours of the Ukrainian
media_center

| 03 March 2022

Statement on the growing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine

Over the past few days, the world has watched in horror and disbelief at the events unfolding in Ukraine. It is estimated that over 500,000 people have now fled – many of whom are women and children – into neighbouring countries such as Poland, Hungary and Romania. The UN anticipates 4 million refugees by July 2022. During Humanitarian crises, sexual and reproductive healthcare is often overlooked. But the reality is daily sexual and reproductive healthcare needs such as essential care for pregnant people, access to menstruation products for people who menstruate, as well as ensuring people who need sexual and reproductive health assistance have access to the right information, remains an urgent priority. IPPF is working with partners on the ground in Poland to link those fleeing the conflict with critical sexual and reproductive health services as well as provide them with essential items.  Julie Taft,  Director of Humanitarian for the International Planned Parenthood Federation, said "As we mark one week since the invasion of Ukraine, the complex humanitarian situation has become even more apparent. Right now, millions across the country are fighting for their survival, while food, medical supplies and essential hygiene products run dangerously low, including equipment needed to provide life-saving sexual and reproductive healthcare. The destruction of healthcare infrastructure also means that women are forced to deliver their babies in bomb shelters. At the same time, sick and vulnerable new-borns must receive care in the basements of hospitals.   "In response to the growing humanitarian crisis, the International Planned Parenthood Federation has partnered with the All-Poland's Women's Strike, a Polish women's rights movement currently supporting people displaced by the war. The $50,000 USD grant will go towards dignity kits, consisting of basic hygiene supplies, menstrual-hygiene products, blankets, food, diapers and baby clothes. Items will be distributed to Ukrainians who have fled into Poland as well as transported cross-border into Ukraine. The funds will also support the All-Poland's women's strike to link refugees who have crossed the Ukraine-Poland border with essential healthcare services. "IPPF is proud to partner with such a brave and unyielding organisation on the frontline and will continue to work closely with other NGOs to facilitate care for those who need it most. However, NGOs cannot operate efficiently without the support of the international community, which must guarantee the safe passage of humanitarian aid into Ukraine. The urgent need for unhindered humanitarian access is especially significant for unaccompanied minors and those left behind, who are often the most vulnerable populations and who will require distinct care during this tragic situation." Marta Lempart, Founder of the All-Poland Women's Strike, said: "We are deeply committed to helping displaced people flee the invasion of our neighbour, Ukraine. Our teams across Poland are working around the clock to support vulnerable people crossing both at the border, including unaccompanied minors at-risk of trafficking and those left behind or heading back to Ukraine. Both groups will require personalised care and support. "We are pleased to partner with the International Planned Parenthood Federation, so we can continue delivering dignity kits to those who need them most; for displaced people arriving with just the clothes on their back, access to even simple necessities are a lifeline. We are also thankful for the outpouring of support from across Europe - the funding will help care for exhausted families who have made it safely across the border, covering transport, rent, bills and other expenses as they begin to build their futures outside of Ukraine. "Disasters reinforce, perpetuate, and increase existing inequalities, making bad situations even more tragic and resulting in consequences that will carry down for generations. But with the international community's support, we can ensure that organisations like Women's Strike and IPPF are there for people every step of the way." Click here if you would like to donate to IPPF's Ukraine Appeal.  For media enquiries, please contact Karmen Ivey on [email protected] or [email protected]