Where We Work
Unsafe abortion continues to take women's lives everywhere—in nations from Bolivia to Zambia. To combat this underrecognized public health crisis, Ipas has offices on four continents and in countries with significant levels of abortion-related maternal mortality. We also maintain a presence in more than 20 other countries, where we train and equip health-care workers and systems to provide safe abortion care.
The risk of death from unsafe abortion is higher in Africa than in any other region. According to the World Health Organization, more than 6 million unsafe abortions occur in Africa each year, resulting in 29,000 deaths. African women face significant barriers to exercising their reproductive freedom. Access to contraception is generally extremely limited, and where it is available, it can be prohibitively expensive. Consequently, unintended pregnancies are common.
Ipas’s country programs in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Myanmar are working to reverse the region’s high incidence of unsafe abortion-related deaths. Each year, almost one-third of the deaths worldwide from unsafe abortion occur in Asia – caused by factors such as limited access to contraception and information on reproductive health services and an unequal concentration of abortion facilities in urban areas.
Some of the most restrictive abortion policies in the world are in effect in countries in Central and South America. Most Latin American countries permit abortion only to save a woman’s life, with Nicaragua, El Salvador and Chile restricting abortion under any circumstance. Nevertheless, countries in this region report some of the highest rates of abortion worldwide, with most of the procedures being unsafe.
In the United States, a woman’s ability to access abortion varies from state to state. Only one-third of American women live in a county where there is an abortion provider and the number of providers has been steadily declining. U.S policies also have an impact on funding for reproductive health in the rest of the world.