Founded in 1973, Ipas is a global nongovernmental organization dedicated to ending preventable deaths and disabilities from unsafe abortion. Through local, national and global partnerships, Ipas works to ensure that women can obtain safe, respectful and comprehensive abortion care, including counseling and contraception to prevent future unintended pregnancies. 

At Ipas, we believe that:

  • Every woman has a right to safe reproductive health choices, including safe abortion care.

  • No woman should have to risk her life, her health, her fertility, her well-being or the well-being of her family because she lacks reproductive health care.

  • Women everywhere must have the opportunity to determine their futures, care for their families and manage their fertility.

Along with caring, committed health professionals and other colleagues worldwide, Ipas tackles this neglected public health problem head on in some of the world’s poorest countries. While many international donors and governments have focused attention and resources elsewhere, we struggle against the fundamental social injustice that results in the deaths of so many women in the prime of their lives.

Every minute of every day, women who do not have access to safe abortion care take great risks to end unintended pregnancies. Many lose their lives. Others suffer serious, often permanent injuries. Ipas is dedicated to saving women’s lives by preventing unsafe abortion and increasing access to contraception. Working with local partners around the world, Ipas works to improve women’s access and right to safe, high-quality abortion care and contraception.

  • We advocate for safe abortion and the reform of restrictive laws that harm women.

  • We engage women and men in their communities to expand their knowledge of reproductive health and rights.

  • Our work is grounded in comprehensive abortion care, which includes postabortion care, counseling and family planning.

  • We research the impact of unsafe abortion and document best abortion care practices and policies.

  • We train doctors, nurses and non-physician providers in clinical and counseling skills for comprehensive abortion care including contraception.

  • We work to ensure youth access to comprehensive reproductive health services and information, including contraception and safe abortion care.

Ipas works with health-care systems and providers to increase their skills and capacity to deliver safe abortion services and contraception. We work with nations’ ministries of health to interpret laws governing abortion in the broadest terms possible and to write standards and guidelines for abortion care accordingly to ensure access for as many women as possible. We educate health-care providers and administrators about the importance of providing safe abortion and contraceptive services as a matter of public health and human rights. And we work to bolster the number of available abortion providers by advocating for laws and policies that allow non-physician providers to perform abortion services and referrals; we also work to train these non-physician provider groups, such as certified nurse midwives and community health volunteers, and to support their work within the communities they serve.

Unsafe abortion is one of the most significant and preventable causes of maternal death and injury in Nigeria. Abortion is illegal except to save the life of the woman, and procedures are often inaccessible even for women who meet these requirements, forcing women to seek out clandestine procedures.

Based in Abuja, Ipas Nigeria works to increase women’s access to vital reproductive health care, providing postabortion care and family planning, and strengthening alliances and partnerships in support of women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Hauwa Shekarau, Ipas Nigeria Country Director, says millions of women and girls living in refugee camps and other crisis settings often have little or no access to contraception, safe abortion care and other reproductive health services – even though they are at heightened risk of unwanted pregnancy as the result of exploitation, sexual violence and transactional sex. The technical ability to provide this care exists. She calls on governments to summon the political will to solve this crisis.