Reproductive rights, including abortion rights, are human rights. Every person has the right to make informed decisions about their body and health—and to determine whether or when to bear children.
The human right to health—and within that the right to access sexual and reproductive health care that includes contraception and safe abortion—is well-established by international conventions and human rights bodies. Restrictive abortion laws violate women’s rights, including the right to life, to health, to equality, to privacy, and to live free from discrimination.
Ipas works for a world where sexual and reproductive rights are respected, protected and fulfilled. We advocate within the United Nations’ human rights bodies and other systems—at the global, regional and national levels—to advance abortion rights in international agreements, programs of action, and human rights jurisprudence. Our experts around the world are uniquely positioned to bring evidence and firsthand experience to present at international discussions about human rights and abortion.
At the national level, we work within partnerships and coalitions to hold governments accountable to their human rights obligations. For example, in Nicaragua, where abortion is banned entirely, we advocate with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to recommend that the government repeal the ban and uphold its citizens’ rights.
Our goal is always to ensure that sexual and reproductive rights—especially the right to safe, legal abortion—are included in the discussions and negotiations at the UN, including at the Commission on the Status of Women. Because so much stigma surrounds the topic of abortion, it easily gets brushed under the rug. Our job is to prevent that from happening.”CECILIA ESPINOZA, Ipas senior policy advisor
The information that Ipas shares with human rights treaty monitoring bodies influences the recommendations those bodies make to governments, which can lead to real change. Our work in the field gives us a deep understanding of how restricting access to safe abortion causes harm and violates human rights.”ELIZABETH GUTHRIE, Ipas senior advisor for policy and advocacy