- - -
bank-phrom-Tzm3Oyu_6sk-unsplash

News

Latest news from IPPF

Spotlight

A selection of news from across the Federation

UN
News item

Civil Society Welcomes CPD Political Declaration

International Sexual and Reproductive Rights Coalition (ISRRC) statement on the adoption of the Political declaration by the Commission on Population and Development.

Filter our news by:

United Nations
news item

| 01 November 2018

IPPF welcomes UN Human Rights Committee assertion on access to safe abortion

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has welcomed the adoption by the UN Human Rights Committee of a General Comment on the “Right to Life” and the recognition of the unequivocal and inalienable right of a pregnant woman or girl to life. IPPF Director of Advocacy, Anamaria Bejar said:  “IPPF calls on States to revise their laws, removing barriers to ensure access to safe and legal abortion for all women and girls. Currently 25 million abortions a year are unsafe. The General Comment on the “Right to Life” is clear, States must comply with their duty to ensure that women and girls are not forced to undertake unsafe abortions.    We know it is wrong for any woman to be coerced through a full pregnancy against her wishes. The Committee’s assertion provides the legal framework to access to safe abortion care as a human right.” IPPF has also echoed the Committee’s urge for Governments to ensure access to comprehensive sexuality education and a wide range of affordable contraceptive methods for all, as well as to quality prenatal and post-abortion health care for women and girls in all circumstances and on a confidential basis.  And it has endorsed the Human Rights Committee’s call for States to guarantee that the right to life must be respected and ensured without distinction of any kind, with special measures to protect persons in situations of vulnerability, including the LGBTQI+.  The General Comment also reaffirms the fundamental principle that human rights apply only after birth. IPPF worked alongside UN member states and other non-government organizations from different backgrounds during a three-year process to uphold our international human rights standards to prevent maternal mortality, guarantee women and girls’ rights to bodily autonomy and privacy, and that access to abortion is protected under international human rights law. 

United Nations
news_item

| 01 November 2018

IPPF welcomes UN Human Rights Committee assertion on access to safe abortion

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has welcomed the adoption by the UN Human Rights Committee of a General Comment on the “Right to Life” and the recognition of the unequivocal and inalienable right of a pregnant woman or girl to life. IPPF Director of Advocacy, Anamaria Bejar said:  “IPPF calls on States to revise their laws, removing barriers to ensure access to safe and legal abortion for all women and girls. Currently 25 million abortions a year are unsafe. The General Comment on the “Right to Life” is clear, States must comply with their duty to ensure that women and girls are not forced to undertake unsafe abortions.    We know it is wrong for any woman to be coerced through a full pregnancy against her wishes. The Committee’s assertion provides the legal framework to access to safe abortion care as a human right.” IPPF has also echoed the Committee’s urge for Governments to ensure access to comprehensive sexuality education and a wide range of affordable contraceptive methods for all, as well as to quality prenatal and post-abortion health care for women and girls in all circumstances and on a confidential basis.  And it has endorsed the Human Rights Committee’s call for States to guarantee that the right to life must be respected and ensured without distinction of any kind, with special measures to protect persons in situations of vulnerability, including the LGBTQI+.  The General Comment also reaffirms the fundamental principle that human rights apply only after birth. IPPF worked alongside UN member states and other non-government organizations from different backgrounds during a three-year process to uphold our international human rights standards to prevent maternal mortality, guarantee women and girls’ rights to bodily autonomy and privacy, and that access to abortion is protected under international human rights law. 

SAAF volunteer - Uganda
news item

| 28 September 2018

Radical scale up of medical abortion needed globally urges new IPPF report

International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) today launched a new report on global medical abortion access as an urgent call to action. The Her in Charge report presses governments, health, academic and NGO sectors to take immediate steps to stop women from dying and suffering disabilities due to an unsafe abortion by radically scaling up medical abortion efforts. Nearly one in every two abortions that occur is unsafe – 25 million women each year are forced to find their own, often dangerous, solutions to an unintended pregnancy. The knowledge, the technology, and the experience to make all abortions safe abortions exist. Yet tens of millions of women each year still lack access to completely safe abortions. Medical abortion – the use of the medicines misoprostol alone or in combination with mifepristone to opt out of a pregnancy – is safe, cheap and simple to administer. Dr Alvaro Bermejo, IPPF Director General said: “Medical abortion is not new, but its full potential has not been reached due to the lack of action and prioritisation by governments, donors, medical professionals and private and civil society health providers. The fact we’ve had this technology for so long but is still not as accessible, is a global tragedy.   The report shows that medical abortion has the potential to revolutionise the delivery of safe abortion globally. Without medical abortion, women are denied proper care.They should not be forced to take risks with their health. For all abortions to be a safe abortion, action is needed now”. IPPF’s Her In Charge report demonstrates how medical abortion access can exponentially increase access to safe abortion, enabling women to be in charge about the decisions about their bodies. An essential part of women’s rights.  Medical abortion facilitates task-sharing, which is transformational in low-resource settings where primary-care level and lay workers are trained and equipped to administer abortion.   Key recommendations: Governments should create a supportive environment to ensure women can access safe and legal abortion, including the political, social, economic, health and legal frameworks.   Medical abortion should be embedded in health systems. Governments can ensure the quality, availability and affordability of medical abortion drugs by registering misoprostol and mifepristone in the list of essential medicines of their countries.   Women must be supported by health systems in accessing the information they need to have a medical abortion safely and to access post-abortion care. This includes medical abortion without medical supervision. Health systems should include self-administered medical abortion. Women must have full information about medical abortion risks factors, dosage and have access to post-abortion care and contraception.   Women must have all options available to them: either medical or surgical abortion, in a health facility or at home – whatever they prefer. It is their right.   The full report can be found here. More information on the 'I decide' campaign can be found here.

SAAF volunteer - Uganda
news_item

| 28 September 2018

Radical scale up of medical abortion needed globally urges new IPPF report

International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) today launched a new report on global medical abortion access as an urgent call to action. The Her in Charge report presses governments, health, academic and NGO sectors to take immediate steps to stop women from dying and suffering disabilities due to an unsafe abortion by radically scaling up medical abortion efforts. Nearly one in every two abortions that occur is unsafe – 25 million women each year are forced to find their own, often dangerous, solutions to an unintended pregnancy. The knowledge, the technology, and the experience to make all abortions safe abortions exist. Yet tens of millions of women each year still lack access to completely safe abortions. Medical abortion – the use of the medicines misoprostol alone or in combination with mifepristone to opt out of a pregnancy – is safe, cheap and simple to administer. Dr Alvaro Bermejo, IPPF Director General said: “Medical abortion is not new, but its full potential has not been reached due to the lack of action and prioritisation by governments, donors, medical professionals and private and civil society health providers. The fact we’ve had this technology for so long but is still not as accessible, is a global tragedy.   The report shows that medical abortion has the potential to revolutionise the delivery of safe abortion globally. Without medical abortion, women are denied proper care.They should not be forced to take risks with their health. For all abortions to be a safe abortion, action is needed now”. IPPF’s Her In Charge report demonstrates how medical abortion access can exponentially increase access to safe abortion, enabling women to be in charge about the decisions about their bodies. An essential part of women’s rights.  Medical abortion facilitates task-sharing, which is transformational in low-resource settings where primary-care level and lay workers are trained and equipped to administer abortion.   Key recommendations: Governments should create a supportive environment to ensure women can access safe and legal abortion, including the political, social, economic, health and legal frameworks.   Medical abortion should be embedded in health systems. Governments can ensure the quality, availability and affordability of medical abortion drugs by registering misoprostol and mifepristone in the list of essential medicines of their countries.   Women must be supported by health systems in accessing the information they need to have a medical abortion safely and to access post-abortion care. This includes medical abortion without medical supervision. Health systems should include self-administered medical abortion. Women must have full information about medical abortion risks factors, dosage and have access to post-abortion care and contraception.   Women must have all options available to them: either medical or surgical abortion, in a health facility or at home – whatever they prefer. It is their right.   The full report can be found here. More information on the 'I decide' campaign can be found here.

Dr Leana Wen
news item

| 13 September 2018

IPPF welcomes Dr. Leana Wen as the new president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America

I am absolutely delighted that Dr. Leana Wen has been appointed as President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Dr. Wen is a dynamic public health leader, a practising physician and not least, a formidable woman. As the first doctor to lead Planned Parenthood in nearly 50 years, we send a clear sign that sexual and reproductive healthcare is an essential part of healthcare. This exciting appointment comes at a critical time for Planned Parenthood. Not only will Dr. Wen help Planned Parenthood continue to provide high-quality care to the people who need it across the United States, she will be a powerful voice in our fight to ensure women have the ability to make their own healthcare decisions.    Dr. Wen has dedicated her career to expanding access to healthcare for the most vulnerable communities, reducing health disparities, and finding innovative solutions to address public health problems. She currently serves as the Commissioner of Health for the City of Baltimore. Over the last 18 months, Dr. Wen has fought to protect women and families in Baltimore from the Trump administration’s rollbacks of basic healthcare protections. In March 2018, on behalf of Dr. Wen and the Baltimore City Health Department, the City of Baltimore sued the Trump administration for cutting funds for adolescent pregnancy prevention, which resulted in a federal judge ordering the restoration of $5 million in grant funding to two Baltimore-based adolescent pregnancy prevention programmes. She has also fought the Trump administration changes to Title X — the nation’s family planning programme — to protect funding for 23 health clinics in Baltimore providing reproductive health care for women with low-incomes. As a practising physician, Dr. Wen has helped organize thousands of doctors and health professionals against President Trump’s proposed domestic gag rule, saying it fundamentally alters the nature of the doctor-patient relationship and will dramatically reduce the quality of care for thousands of women. “For more than 100 years, no organization has done more for women’s health than Planned Parenthood, and I’m truly honored to be named its president,” said Dr. Leana Wen.  “As a patient, I depended on Planned Parenthood for medical care at various times in my own life, and as a public health leader, I have seen first-hand the lifesaving work it does for our most vulnerable communities. As a doctor, I will ensure we continue to provide high-quality health care, including the full range of reproductive care, and will fight with everything I have to protect the access of millions of patients who rely on Planned Parenthood.” - Dr Leana Wen On behalf of the IPPF family, I want to welcome Dr Wen to the Federation and I’m very much looking forward to working with her when she joins PPFA in November. -  Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General, IPPF

Dr Leana Wen
news_item

| 13 September 2018

IPPF welcomes Dr. Leana Wen as the new president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America

I am absolutely delighted that Dr. Leana Wen has been appointed as President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Dr. Wen is a dynamic public health leader, a practising physician and not least, a formidable woman. As the first doctor to lead Planned Parenthood in nearly 50 years, we send a clear sign that sexual and reproductive healthcare is an essential part of healthcare. This exciting appointment comes at a critical time for Planned Parenthood. Not only will Dr. Wen help Planned Parenthood continue to provide high-quality care to the people who need it across the United States, she will be a powerful voice in our fight to ensure women have the ability to make their own healthcare decisions.    Dr. Wen has dedicated her career to expanding access to healthcare for the most vulnerable communities, reducing health disparities, and finding innovative solutions to address public health problems. She currently serves as the Commissioner of Health for the City of Baltimore. Over the last 18 months, Dr. Wen has fought to protect women and families in Baltimore from the Trump administration’s rollbacks of basic healthcare protections. In March 2018, on behalf of Dr. Wen and the Baltimore City Health Department, the City of Baltimore sued the Trump administration for cutting funds for adolescent pregnancy prevention, which resulted in a federal judge ordering the restoration of $5 million in grant funding to two Baltimore-based adolescent pregnancy prevention programmes. She has also fought the Trump administration changes to Title X — the nation’s family planning programme — to protect funding for 23 health clinics in Baltimore providing reproductive health care for women with low-incomes. As a practising physician, Dr. Wen has helped organize thousands of doctors and health professionals against President Trump’s proposed domestic gag rule, saying it fundamentally alters the nature of the doctor-patient relationship and will dramatically reduce the quality of care for thousands of women. “For more than 100 years, no organization has done more for women’s health than Planned Parenthood, and I’m truly honored to be named its president,” said Dr. Leana Wen.  “As a patient, I depended on Planned Parenthood for medical care at various times in my own life, and as a public health leader, I have seen first-hand the lifesaving work it does for our most vulnerable communities. As a doctor, I will ensure we continue to provide high-quality health care, including the full range of reproductive care, and will fight with everything I have to protect the access of millions of patients who rely on Planned Parenthood.” - Dr Leana Wen On behalf of the IPPF family, I want to welcome Dr Wen to the Federation and I’m very much looking forward to working with her when she joins PPFA in November. -  Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General, IPPF

Courtesy photo - pride flag
news item

| 06 September 2018

IPPF welcomes India’s Supreme Court historic decision to free LGBTI communities from persecution

After generations of oppression under a colonial-era law, today the LGBTI community in India celebrated the scrapping of key provisions in Section 377 from the Indian Penal Code, which had previously outlawed consensual same-sex sexual relations. Following multiple legal challenges, the Supreme Court finally recognised that “158 years ago, the law deprived people of love”, and ruled that all people should be free from prejudice and persecution. A historic win for communities that have been pushed into the shadows, Chief Justice Dipak Mishra made it clear that  “any discrimination on basis of sexual orientation amounts to a violation of fundamental rights.” Welcoming this ruling, IPPF Director-General Dr Alvaro Bermejo said: “Today is a historical victory for the LGBTI community in India. No longer will their human right to love, and to show that love, be violated by archaic laws. IPPF hopes that is this the first step of many to ensure that the LGBTI community are guaranteed their full fundamental rights and that social, economical, financial cultural and political inclusion of the LGBTI community becomes woven into the fabric of India’s national identity.   Today's decision will bring new-found hope and energy to those LGBTI communities that are still suffering under repressive laws. I would like to thank the individuals and organizations that have fought tirelessly to make this happen. Without people fighting for change, change cannot happen.” Image by Courtesy Photo

Courtesy photo - pride flag
news_item

| 06 September 2018

IPPF welcomes India’s Supreme Court historic decision to free LGBTI communities from persecution

After generations of oppression under a colonial-era law, today the LGBTI community in India celebrated the scrapping of key provisions in Section 377 from the Indian Penal Code, which had previously outlawed consensual same-sex sexual relations. Following multiple legal challenges, the Supreme Court finally recognised that “158 years ago, the law deprived people of love”, and ruled that all people should be free from prejudice and persecution. A historic win for communities that have been pushed into the shadows, Chief Justice Dipak Mishra made it clear that  “any discrimination on basis of sexual orientation amounts to a violation of fundamental rights.” Welcoming this ruling, IPPF Director-General Dr Alvaro Bermejo said: “Today is a historical victory for the LGBTI community in India. No longer will their human right to love, and to show that love, be violated by archaic laws. IPPF hopes that is this the first step of many to ensure that the LGBTI community are guaranteed their full fundamental rights and that social, economical, financial cultural and political inclusion of the LGBTI community becomes woven into the fabric of India’s national identity.   Today's decision will bring new-found hope and energy to those LGBTI communities that are still suffering under repressive laws. I would like to thank the individuals and organizations that have fought tirelessly to make this happen. Without people fighting for change, change cannot happen.” Image by Courtesy Photo

Argentina activists
news item

| 09 August 2018

The Argentinian Senate voted narrowly against a bill that would have legalized abortion up to 14 weeks

The Argentinian Senate voted narrowly against a bill that would have legalized abortion up to 14 weeks. The vote tally was 31 in favour, 38 against, 2 abstentions, and 1 absence.     Giselle Carino, IPPF Western Hemisphere Region’s Director (IPPF/WHR) and CEO, issued the following statement:   "Today, the Argentinian Senate failed women by voting to maintain a status quo that leads to anguish, forced pregnancy, and preventable death. This compassionless vote denies women’s lived experiences, evidence-based public health policies and international agreements. While the senate has demonstrated that they are out of touch, women will not retreat. Tens of thousands of women organized, mobilized, and took to the streets to support this bill, and their courage have inspired activists across Latin America to share their stories and take on the stigma that too often keeps abortion care out of public discourse. We stand firmly and in solidarity with all women until forced pregnancies become a thing of the past—until all women are treated as equals.”       While current law in Argentina technically permits a woman access to abortion services when her life is in danger, or when the pregnancy is the result of rape, the true issue is one of accessibility: Women with fewer economic and social resources have less access to care than upper-class women in urban centers.   Dr Alvaro Bermejo, IPPF’s Director General:  “Poor women bear the brunt of these restrictive laws and will continue to pay with their health and lives until abortion is decriminalized and becomes an integral part of sexual and reproductive health care. IPPF congratulates our partners, civil society and all the activists who fought so valiantly for women’s rights. We will continue working closely with our partners and allies in Argentina in the fight for sexual and reproductive rights for all. ”  

Argentina activists
news_item

| 09 August 2018

The Argentinian Senate voted narrowly against a bill that would have legalized abortion up to 14 weeks

The Argentinian Senate voted narrowly against a bill that would have legalized abortion up to 14 weeks. The vote tally was 31 in favour, 38 against, 2 abstentions, and 1 absence.     Giselle Carino, IPPF Western Hemisphere Region’s Director (IPPF/WHR) and CEO, issued the following statement:   "Today, the Argentinian Senate failed women by voting to maintain a status quo that leads to anguish, forced pregnancy, and preventable death. This compassionless vote denies women’s lived experiences, evidence-based public health policies and international agreements. While the senate has demonstrated that they are out of touch, women will not retreat. Tens of thousands of women organized, mobilized, and took to the streets to support this bill, and their courage have inspired activists across Latin America to share their stories and take on the stigma that too often keeps abortion care out of public discourse. We stand firmly and in solidarity with all women until forced pregnancies become a thing of the past—until all women are treated as equals.”       While current law in Argentina technically permits a woman access to abortion services when her life is in danger, or when the pregnancy is the result of rape, the true issue is one of accessibility: Women with fewer economic and social resources have less access to care than upper-class women in urban centers.   Dr Alvaro Bermejo, IPPF’s Director General:  “Poor women bear the brunt of these restrictive laws and will continue to pay with their health and lives until abortion is decriminalized and becomes an integral part of sexual and reproductive health care. IPPF congratulates our partners, civil society and all the activists who fought so valiantly for women’s rights. We will continue working closely with our partners and allies in Argentina in the fight for sexual and reproductive rights for all. ”  

Drug treatment for HIV
news item

| 27 July 2018

No coercion in treatment options for women living with HIV

International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) responds to new World Health Organization (WHO) antiretroviral treatment guidelines recommending dolutegravir (DTG)-based treatment for women and girls. The drug’s high success rate has led to DTG rollout in many countries for people living with HIV globally than other current first-line treatment options. IPPF is concerned the guidelines could result in women living with HIV being coerced to use contraception or take less effective HIV treatment options. Organizations led by women living with HIV have raised concerns that the WHO recommendation undermines choice for women by placing reproductive success above treatment success. All women should make informed choices about both their HIV treatment and contraception options, including the potential risks and benefits. Alvaro Bermejo, IPPF Director General said: "We support the need for more effective HIV treatment options to be available and that the WHO guidelines have been reviewed due to safety and efficacy during pregnancy.  But with the rollout of DTG in more countries, it is vital that governments and health providers ensure that treatment options are offered through a women-centred approach. Free from any coercion of contraceptive use over HIV treatment options.    "We know that sexual and reproductive ill-health and HIV share root causes.  Better integration of HIV and sexual health care means that more women and girls can make the best choices about their health and wellbeing."  As stated in the WHO consolidated guidelines on sexual and reproductive health and rights of women living with HIV, care should be provided in ways that respect women’s autonomy in decision-making about their health, and women should have the information and options to enable informed choices. Dolutegravir is a highly effective HIV integrase inhibitor with a high barrier to the development of drug resistance. Countries are shifting to dolutegravir as first-line treatment, including Botswana, Brazil and Kenya adopting DTG with many more to follow. IPPF is developing a technical brief on this new treatment guidance to be distributed to all Member Associations, and will follow the evidence and updated information as it becomes available. Latest WHO guidelines on DTG  

Drug treatment for HIV
news_item

| 27 July 2018

No coercion in treatment options for women living with HIV

International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) responds to new World Health Organization (WHO) antiretroviral treatment guidelines recommending dolutegravir (DTG)-based treatment for women and girls. The drug’s high success rate has led to DTG rollout in many countries for people living with HIV globally than other current first-line treatment options. IPPF is concerned the guidelines could result in women living with HIV being coerced to use contraception or take less effective HIV treatment options. Organizations led by women living with HIV have raised concerns that the WHO recommendation undermines choice for women by placing reproductive success above treatment success. All women should make informed choices about both their HIV treatment and contraception options, including the potential risks and benefits. Alvaro Bermejo, IPPF Director General said: "We support the need for more effective HIV treatment options to be available and that the WHO guidelines have been reviewed due to safety and efficacy during pregnancy.  But with the rollout of DTG in more countries, it is vital that governments and health providers ensure that treatment options are offered through a women-centred approach. Free from any coercion of contraceptive use over HIV treatment options.    "We know that sexual and reproductive ill-health and HIV share root causes.  Better integration of HIV and sexual health care means that more women and girls can make the best choices about their health and wellbeing."  As stated in the WHO consolidated guidelines on sexual and reproductive health and rights of women living with HIV, care should be provided in ways that respect women’s autonomy in decision-making about their health, and women should have the information and options to enable informed choices. Dolutegravir is a highly effective HIV integrase inhibitor with a high barrier to the development of drug resistance. Countries are shifting to dolutegravir as first-line treatment, including Botswana, Brazil and Kenya adopting DTG with many more to follow. IPPF is developing a technical brief on this new treatment guidance to be distributed to all Member Associations, and will follow the evidence and updated information as it becomes available. Latest WHO guidelines on DTG  

United Nations
news item

| 01 November 2018

IPPF welcomes UN Human Rights Committee assertion on access to safe abortion

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has welcomed the adoption by the UN Human Rights Committee of a General Comment on the “Right to Life” and the recognition of the unequivocal and inalienable right of a pregnant woman or girl to life. IPPF Director of Advocacy, Anamaria Bejar said:  “IPPF calls on States to revise their laws, removing barriers to ensure access to safe and legal abortion for all women and girls. Currently 25 million abortions a year are unsafe. The General Comment on the “Right to Life” is clear, States must comply with their duty to ensure that women and girls are not forced to undertake unsafe abortions.    We know it is wrong for any woman to be coerced through a full pregnancy against her wishes. The Committee’s assertion provides the legal framework to access to safe abortion care as a human right.” IPPF has also echoed the Committee’s urge for Governments to ensure access to comprehensive sexuality education and a wide range of affordable contraceptive methods for all, as well as to quality prenatal and post-abortion health care for women and girls in all circumstances and on a confidential basis.  And it has endorsed the Human Rights Committee’s call for States to guarantee that the right to life must be respected and ensured without distinction of any kind, with special measures to protect persons in situations of vulnerability, including the LGBTQI+.  The General Comment also reaffirms the fundamental principle that human rights apply only after birth. IPPF worked alongside UN member states and other non-government organizations from different backgrounds during a three-year process to uphold our international human rights standards to prevent maternal mortality, guarantee women and girls’ rights to bodily autonomy and privacy, and that access to abortion is protected under international human rights law. 

United Nations
news_item

| 01 November 2018

IPPF welcomes UN Human Rights Committee assertion on access to safe abortion

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has welcomed the adoption by the UN Human Rights Committee of a General Comment on the “Right to Life” and the recognition of the unequivocal and inalienable right of a pregnant woman or girl to life. IPPF Director of Advocacy, Anamaria Bejar said:  “IPPF calls on States to revise their laws, removing barriers to ensure access to safe and legal abortion for all women and girls. Currently 25 million abortions a year are unsafe. The General Comment on the “Right to Life” is clear, States must comply with their duty to ensure that women and girls are not forced to undertake unsafe abortions.    We know it is wrong for any woman to be coerced through a full pregnancy against her wishes. The Committee’s assertion provides the legal framework to access to safe abortion care as a human right.” IPPF has also echoed the Committee’s urge for Governments to ensure access to comprehensive sexuality education and a wide range of affordable contraceptive methods for all, as well as to quality prenatal and post-abortion health care for women and girls in all circumstances and on a confidential basis.  And it has endorsed the Human Rights Committee’s call for States to guarantee that the right to life must be respected and ensured without distinction of any kind, with special measures to protect persons in situations of vulnerability, including the LGBTQI+.  The General Comment also reaffirms the fundamental principle that human rights apply only after birth. IPPF worked alongside UN member states and other non-government organizations from different backgrounds during a three-year process to uphold our international human rights standards to prevent maternal mortality, guarantee women and girls’ rights to bodily autonomy and privacy, and that access to abortion is protected under international human rights law. 

SAAF volunteer - Uganda
news item

| 28 September 2018

Radical scale up of medical abortion needed globally urges new IPPF report

International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) today launched a new report on global medical abortion access as an urgent call to action. The Her in Charge report presses governments, health, academic and NGO sectors to take immediate steps to stop women from dying and suffering disabilities due to an unsafe abortion by radically scaling up medical abortion efforts. Nearly one in every two abortions that occur is unsafe – 25 million women each year are forced to find their own, often dangerous, solutions to an unintended pregnancy. The knowledge, the technology, and the experience to make all abortions safe abortions exist. Yet tens of millions of women each year still lack access to completely safe abortions. Medical abortion – the use of the medicines misoprostol alone or in combination with mifepristone to opt out of a pregnancy – is safe, cheap and simple to administer. Dr Alvaro Bermejo, IPPF Director General said: “Medical abortion is not new, but its full potential has not been reached due to the lack of action and prioritisation by governments, donors, medical professionals and private and civil society health providers. The fact we’ve had this technology for so long but is still not as accessible, is a global tragedy.   The report shows that medical abortion has the potential to revolutionise the delivery of safe abortion globally. Without medical abortion, women are denied proper care.They should not be forced to take risks with their health. For all abortions to be a safe abortion, action is needed now”. IPPF’s Her In Charge report demonstrates how medical abortion access can exponentially increase access to safe abortion, enabling women to be in charge about the decisions about their bodies. An essential part of women’s rights.  Medical abortion facilitates task-sharing, which is transformational in low-resource settings where primary-care level and lay workers are trained and equipped to administer abortion.   Key recommendations: Governments should create a supportive environment to ensure women can access safe and legal abortion, including the political, social, economic, health and legal frameworks.   Medical abortion should be embedded in health systems. Governments can ensure the quality, availability and affordability of medical abortion drugs by registering misoprostol and mifepristone in the list of essential medicines of their countries.   Women must be supported by health systems in accessing the information they need to have a medical abortion safely and to access post-abortion care. This includes medical abortion without medical supervision. Health systems should include self-administered medical abortion. Women must have full information about medical abortion risks factors, dosage and have access to post-abortion care and contraception.   Women must have all options available to them: either medical or surgical abortion, in a health facility or at home – whatever they prefer. It is their right.   The full report can be found here. More information on the 'I decide' campaign can be found here.

SAAF volunteer - Uganda
news_item

| 28 September 2018

Radical scale up of medical abortion needed globally urges new IPPF report

International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) today launched a new report on global medical abortion access as an urgent call to action. The Her in Charge report presses governments, health, academic and NGO sectors to take immediate steps to stop women from dying and suffering disabilities due to an unsafe abortion by radically scaling up medical abortion efforts. Nearly one in every two abortions that occur is unsafe – 25 million women each year are forced to find their own, often dangerous, solutions to an unintended pregnancy. The knowledge, the technology, and the experience to make all abortions safe abortions exist. Yet tens of millions of women each year still lack access to completely safe abortions. Medical abortion – the use of the medicines misoprostol alone or in combination with mifepristone to opt out of a pregnancy – is safe, cheap and simple to administer. Dr Alvaro Bermejo, IPPF Director General said: “Medical abortion is not new, but its full potential has not been reached due to the lack of action and prioritisation by governments, donors, medical professionals and private and civil society health providers. The fact we’ve had this technology for so long but is still not as accessible, is a global tragedy.   The report shows that medical abortion has the potential to revolutionise the delivery of safe abortion globally. Without medical abortion, women are denied proper care.They should not be forced to take risks with their health. For all abortions to be a safe abortion, action is needed now”. IPPF’s Her In Charge report demonstrates how medical abortion access can exponentially increase access to safe abortion, enabling women to be in charge about the decisions about their bodies. An essential part of women’s rights.  Medical abortion facilitates task-sharing, which is transformational in low-resource settings where primary-care level and lay workers are trained and equipped to administer abortion.   Key recommendations: Governments should create a supportive environment to ensure women can access safe and legal abortion, including the political, social, economic, health and legal frameworks.   Medical abortion should be embedded in health systems. Governments can ensure the quality, availability and affordability of medical abortion drugs by registering misoprostol and mifepristone in the list of essential medicines of their countries.   Women must be supported by health systems in accessing the information they need to have a medical abortion safely and to access post-abortion care. This includes medical abortion without medical supervision. Health systems should include self-administered medical abortion. Women must have full information about medical abortion risks factors, dosage and have access to post-abortion care and contraception.   Women must have all options available to them: either medical or surgical abortion, in a health facility or at home – whatever they prefer. It is their right.   The full report can be found here. More information on the 'I decide' campaign can be found here.

Dr Leana Wen
news item

| 13 September 2018

IPPF welcomes Dr. Leana Wen as the new president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America

I am absolutely delighted that Dr. Leana Wen has been appointed as President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Dr. Wen is a dynamic public health leader, a practising physician and not least, a formidable woman. As the first doctor to lead Planned Parenthood in nearly 50 years, we send a clear sign that sexual and reproductive healthcare is an essential part of healthcare. This exciting appointment comes at a critical time for Planned Parenthood. Not only will Dr. Wen help Planned Parenthood continue to provide high-quality care to the people who need it across the United States, she will be a powerful voice in our fight to ensure women have the ability to make their own healthcare decisions.    Dr. Wen has dedicated her career to expanding access to healthcare for the most vulnerable communities, reducing health disparities, and finding innovative solutions to address public health problems. She currently serves as the Commissioner of Health for the City of Baltimore. Over the last 18 months, Dr. Wen has fought to protect women and families in Baltimore from the Trump administration’s rollbacks of basic healthcare protections. In March 2018, on behalf of Dr. Wen and the Baltimore City Health Department, the City of Baltimore sued the Trump administration for cutting funds for adolescent pregnancy prevention, which resulted in a federal judge ordering the restoration of $5 million in grant funding to two Baltimore-based adolescent pregnancy prevention programmes. She has also fought the Trump administration changes to Title X — the nation’s family planning programme — to protect funding for 23 health clinics in Baltimore providing reproductive health care for women with low-incomes. As a practising physician, Dr. Wen has helped organize thousands of doctors and health professionals against President Trump’s proposed domestic gag rule, saying it fundamentally alters the nature of the doctor-patient relationship and will dramatically reduce the quality of care for thousands of women. “For more than 100 years, no organization has done more for women’s health than Planned Parenthood, and I’m truly honored to be named its president,” said Dr. Leana Wen.  “As a patient, I depended on Planned Parenthood for medical care at various times in my own life, and as a public health leader, I have seen first-hand the lifesaving work it does for our most vulnerable communities. As a doctor, I will ensure we continue to provide high-quality health care, including the full range of reproductive care, and will fight with everything I have to protect the access of millions of patients who rely on Planned Parenthood.” - Dr Leana Wen On behalf of the IPPF family, I want to welcome Dr Wen to the Federation and I’m very much looking forward to working with her when she joins PPFA in November. -  Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General, IPPF

Dr Leana Wen
news_item

| 13 September 2018

IPPF welcomes Dr. Leana Wen as the new president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America

I am absolutely delighted that Dr. Leana Wen has been appointed as President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Dr. Wen is a dynamic public health leader, a practising physician and not least, a formidable woman. As the first doctor to lead Planned Parenthood in nearly 50 years, we send a clear sign that sexual and reproductive healthcare is an essential part of healthcare. This exciting appointment comes at a critical time for Planned Parenthood. Not only will Dr. Wen help Planned Parenthood continue to provide high-quality care to the people who need it across the United States, she will be a powerful voice in our fight to ensure women have the ability to make their own healthcare decisions.    Dr. Wen has dedicated her career to expanding access to healthcare for the most vulnerable communities, reducing health disparities, and finding innovative solutions to address public health problems. She currently serves as the Commissioner of Health for the City of Baltimore. Over the last 18 months, Dr. Wen has fought to protect women and families in Baltimore from the Trump administration’s rollbacks of basic healthcare protections. In March 2018, on behalf of Dr. Wen and the Baltimore City Health Department, the City of Baltimore sued the Trump administration for cutting funds for adolescent pregnancy prevention, which resulted in a federal judge ordering the restoration of $5 million in grant funding to two Baltimore-based adolescent pregnancy prevention programmes. She has also fought the Trump administration changes to Title X — the nation’s family planning programme — to protect funding for 23 health clinics in Baltimore providing reproductive health care for women with low-incomes. As a practising physician, Dr. Wen has helped organize thousands of doctors and health professionals against President Trump’s proposed domestic gag rule, saying it fundamentally alters the nature of the doctor-patient relationship and will dramatically reduce the quality of care for thousands of women. “For more than 100 years, no organization has done more for women’s health than Planned Parenthood, and I’m truly honored to be named its president,” said Dr. Leana Wen.  “As a patient, I depended on Planned Parenthood for medical care at various times in my own life, and as a public health leader, I have seen first-hand the lifesaving work it does for our most vulnerable communities. As a doctor, I will ensure we continue to provide high-quality health care, including the full range of reproductive care, and will fight with everything I have to protect the access of millions of patients who rely on Planned Parenthood.” - Dr Leana Wen On behalf of the IPPF family, I want to welcome Dr Wen to the Federation and I’m very much looking forward to working with her when she joins PPFA in November. -  Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General, IPPF

Courtesy photo - pride flag
news item

| 06 September 2018

IPPF welcomes India’s Supreme Court historic decision to free LGBTI communities from persecution

After generations of oppression under a colonial-era law, today the LGBTI community in India celebrated the scrapping of key provisions in Section 377 from the Indian Penal Code, which had previously outlawed consensual same-sex sexual relations. Following multiple legal challenges, the Supreme Court finally recognised that “158 years ago, the law deprived people of love”, and ruled that all people should be free from prejudice and persecution. A historic win for communities that have been pushed into the shadows, Chief Justice Dipak Mishra made it clear that  “any discrimination on basis of sexual orientation amounts to a violation of fundamental rights.” Welcoming this ruling, IPPF Director-General Dr Alvaro Bermejo said: “Today is a historical victory for the LGBTI community in India. No longer will their human right to love, and to show that love, be violated by archaic laws. IPPF hopes that is this the first step of many to ensure that the LGBTI community are guaranteed their full fundamental rights and that social, economical, financial cultural and political inclusion of the LGBTI community becomes woven into the fabric of India’s national identity.   Today's decision will bring new-found hope and energy to those LGBTI communities that are still suffering under repressive laws. I would like to thank the individuals and organizations that have fought tirelessly to make this happen. Without people fighting for change, change cannot happen.” Image by Courtesy Photo

Courtesy photo - pride flag
news_item

| 06 September 2018

IPPF welcomes India’s Supreme Court historic decision to free LGBTI communities from persecution

After generations of oppression under a colonial-era law, today the LGBTI community in India celebrated the scrapping of key provisions in Section 377 from the Indian Penal Code, which had previously outlawed consensual same-sex sexual relations. Following multiple legal challenges, the Supreme Court finally recognised that “158 years ago, the law deprived people of love”, and ruled that all people should be free from prejudice and persecution. A historic win for communities that have been pushed into the shadows, Chief Justice Dipak Mishra made it clear that  “any discrimination on basis of sexual orientation amounts to a violation of fundamental rights.” Welcoming this ruling, IPPF Director-General Dr Alvaro Bermejo said: “Today is a historical victory for the LGBTI community in India. No longer will their human right to love, and to show that love, be violated by archaic laws. IPPF hopes that is this the first step of many to ensure that the LGBTI community are guaranteed their full fundamental rights and that social, economical, financial cultural and political inclusion of the LGBTI community becomes woven into the fabric of India’s national identity.   Today's decision will bring new-found hope and energy to those LGBTI communities that are still suffering under repressive laws. I would like to thank the individuals and organizations that have fought tirelessly to make this happen. Without people fighting for change, change cannot happen.” Image by Courtesy Photo

Argentina activists
news item

| 09 August 2018

The Argentinian Senate voted narrowly against a bill that would have legalized abortion up to 14 weeks

The Argentinian Senate voted narrowly against a bill that would have legalized abortion up to 14 weeks. The vote tally was 31 in favour, 38 against, 2 abstentions, and 1 absence.     Giselle Carino, IPPF Western Hemisphere Region’s Director (IPPF/WHR) and CEO, issued the following statement:   "Today, the Argentinian Senate failed women by voting to maintain a status quo that leads to anguish, forced pregnancy, and preventable death. This compassionless vote denies women’s lived experiences, evidence-based public health policies and international agreements. While the senate has demonstrated that they are out of touch, women will not retreat. Tens of thousands of women organized, mobilized, and took to the streets to support this bill, and their courage have inspired activists across Latin America to share their stories and take on the stigma that too often keeps abortion care out of public discourse. We stand firmly and in solidarity with all women until forced pregnancies become a thing of the past—until all women are treated as equals.”       While current law in Argentina technically permits a woman access to abortion services when her life is in danger, or when the pregnancy is the result of rape, the true issue is one of accessibility: Women with fewer economic and social resources have less access to care than upper-class women in urban centers.   Dr Alvaro Bermejo, IPPF’s Director General:  “Poor women bear the brunt of these restrictive laws and will continue to pay with their health and lives until abortion is decriminalized and becomes an integral part of sexual and reproductive health care. IPPF congratulates our partners, civil society and all the activists who fought so valiantly for women’s rights. We will continue working closely with our partners and allies in Argentina in the fight for sexual and reproductive rights for all. ”  

Argentina activists
news_item

| 09 August 2018

The Argentinian Senate voted narrowly against a bill that would have legalized abortion up to 14 weeks

The Argentinian Senate voted narrowly against a bill that would have legalized abortion up to 14 weeks. The vote tally was 31 in favour, 38 against, 2 abstentions, and 1 absence.     Giselle Carino, IPPF Western Hemisphere Region’s Director (IPPF/WHR) and CEO, issued the following statement:   "Today, the Argentinian Senate failed women by voting to maintain a status quo that leads to anguish, forced pregnancy, and preventable death. This compassionless vote denies women’s lived experiences, evidence-based public health policies and international agreements. While the senate has demonstrated that they are out of touch, women will not retreat. Tens of thousands of women organized, mobilized, and took to the streets to support this bill, and their courage have inspired activists across Latin America to share their stories and take on the stigma that too often keeps abortion care out of public discourse. We stand firmly and in solidarity with all women until forced pregnancies become a thing of the past—until all women are treated as equals.”       While current law in Argentina technically permits a woman access to abortion services when her life is in danger, or when the pregnancy is the result of rape, the true issue is one of accessibility: Women with fewer economic and social resources have less access to care than upper-class women in urban centers.   Dr Alvaro Bermejo, IPPF’s Director General:  “Poor women bear the brunt of these restrictive laws and will continue to pay with their health and lives until abortion is decriminalized and becomes an integral part of sexual and reproductive health care. IPPF congratulates our partners, civil society and all the activists who fought so valiantly for women’s rights. We will continue working closely with our partners and allies in Argentina in the fight for sexual and reproductive rights for all. ”  

Drug treatment for HIV
news item

| 27 July 2018

No coercion in treatment options for women living with HIV

International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) responds to new World Health Organization (WHO) antiretroviral treatment guidelines recommending dolutegravir (DTG)-based treatment for women and girls. The drug’s high success rate has led to DTG rollout in many countries for people living with HIV globally than other current first-line treatment options. IPPF is concerned the guidelines could result in women living with HIV being coerced to use contraception or take less effective HIV treatment options. Organizations led by women living with HIV have raised concerns that the WHO recommendation undermines choice for women by placing reproductive success above treatment success. All women should make informed choices about both their HIV treatment and contraception options, including the potential risks and benefits. Alvaro Bermejo, IPPF Director General said: "We support the need for more effective HIV treatment options to be available and that the WHO guidelines have been reviewed due to safety and efficacy during pregnancy.  But with the rollout of DTG in more countries, it is vital that governments and health providers ensure that treatment options are offered through a women-centred approach. Free from any coercion of contraceptive use over HIV treatment options.    "We know that sexual and reproductive ill-health and HIV share root causes.  Better integration of HIV and sexual health care means that more women and girls can make the best choices about their health and wellbeing."  As stated in the WHO consolidated guidelines on sexual and reproductive health and rights of women living with HIV, care should be provided in ways that respect women’s autonomy in decision-making about their health, and women should have the information and options to enable informed choices. Dolutegravir is a highly effective HIV integrase inhibitor with a high barrier to the development of drug resistance. Countries are shifting to dolutegravir as first-line treatment, including Botswana, Brazil and Kenya adopting DTG with many more to follow. IPPF is developing a technical brief on this new treatment guidance to be distributed to all Member Associations, and will follow the evidence and updated information as it becomes available. Latest WHO guidelines on DTG  

Drug treatment for HIV
news_item

| 27 July 2018

No coercion in treatment options for women living with HIV

International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) responds to new World Health Organization (WHO) antiretroviral treatment guidelines recommending dolutegravir (DTG)-based treatment for women and girls. The drug’s high success rate has led to DTG rollout in many countries for people living with HIV globally than other current first-line treatment options. IPPF is concerned the guidelines could result in women living with HIV being coerced to use contraception or take less effective HIV treatment options. Organizations led by women living with HIV have raised concerns that the WHO recommendation undermines choice for women by placing reproductive success above treatment success. All women should make informed choices about both their HIV treatment and contraception options, including the potential risks and benefits. Alvaro Bermejo, IPPF Director General said: "We support the need for more effective HIV treatment options to be available and that the WHO guidelines have been reviewed due to safety and efficacy during pregnancy.  But with the rollout of DTG in more countries, it is vital that governments and health providers ensure that treatment options are offered through a women-centred approach. Free from any coercion of contraceptive use over HIV treatment options.    "We know that sexual and reproductive ill-health and HIV share root causes.  Better integration of HIV and sexual health care means that more women and girls can make the best choices about their health and wellbeing."  As stated in the WHO consolidated guidelines on sexual and reproductive health and rights of women living with HIV, care should be provided in ways that respect women’s autonomy in decision-making about their health, and women should have the information and options to enable informed choices. Dolutegravir is a highly effective HIV integrase inhibitor with a high barrier to the development of drug resistance. Countries are shifting to dolutegravir as first-line treatment, including Botswana, Brazil and Kenya adopting DTG with many more to follow. IPPF is developing a technical brief on this new treatment guidance to be distributed to all Member Associations, and will follow the evidence and updated information as it becomes available. Latest WHO guidelines on DTG