Abortion - Archive

Focus on IPPF – International Planned Parenthood Federation

International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the world’s largest purveyor and performer of abortion, works in 170 countries with Member Associations in 147 countries which operate in 159 countries with activities in an additional 11 countries. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is one Member Association. Its mission includes, “Advocating for the right to safe abortion services and providing them to the fullest extent permitted by law.”

IPPF is well-funded and well-connected; a partner with the United Nations Population Control Fund (UNFPA) in efforts to gain parliamentarians’ support for ‘sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)’.

Its active engagement at the United Nations includes funding country delegations to UN meetings where delegates recite IPPF talking points on issues that include access to abortion during negotiations.

The following is a sample of recent IPPF actions.
[from 2015: 47 New Pro-Life Laws Enacted in US; PNCI Global News_Dec 22, 2015]

IPPF Guide to the New Global Goals
The new goals contained in the 2030 Agenda go into effect next month while the indicators to measure progress on the goals are still being developed. Sustainable Development Goals: A SRHR CSO guide for national implementation by IPPF sets out “what the new 2030 Agenda means for civil society organizations (CSOs) working on SRHR and how it can be used to push for progress at the national level”.

Specific actions are described that IPPF suggests SRHR activist organizations consider taking on the national level to ensure they have a significant role in the 2030 Agenda “to drive progress on the development and implementation of national plans, to play a role in monitoring and accountability of global commitments, and to support the measurement of progress.”

In the area of abortion, the IPPF guide acknowledges that access to abortion was not explicitly included in the final Agenda but urges NGOs to move beyond the exact language and “encourage relevant ministries to take a broad understanding of targets 3.7 and 5.6 and include action in these areas when developing national implementation measures”.

NGOs are instructed to link the 2030 Agenda with other commitments that contain pro-abortion language in order to “drive progress” including the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health which includes “safe abortion” among the intervention packages it recommends for ‘Pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal care’.

It also recommends that civil society link the global targets to Treaty Body Examinations and the Universal Periodic Review in order to “coordinate efforts, increase political support and buy-in and strengthen the implementation of the Agenda”.
[ALL from 2015: 47 New Pro-Life Laws Enacted in US; PNCI Global News_Dec 22, 2015]

IPPF: How to talk about abortion
The recent publication How to talk about abortion: a guide to rights-based messaging advances ways to promote abortion and was created by IPPF because in their view there is “an increasing number of people and organizations working to improve access to safe abortion for women across the world” resulting in a “growing need for guidance on how to communicate on abortion in a clear and nonstigmatizing way.”

Acknowledging the resistance to abortion in countries IPPF states:
“Communication around abortion can be very difficult and complex. Abortion is often seen as a controversial issue, and even organizations that have extensive experience in advocating for and providing abortion services can struggle to find the most effective ways to talk about abortion. IPPF Member Associations have expressed a demand for increased support for abortion messaging. This guide is the result, and was developed with funding provided by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.”

Opposition to abortion is classified as “abortion stigma”.

IPPF explains it as “the association of negative attributes with people involved in seeking, providing or supporting abortion. Abortion is stigmatized because it challenges a number of social, cultural and religious norms and values. Beliefs and social norms such as the attribution of personhood to a fetus and traditional expectations about women’s role in society and a woman’s right to express her sexuality have a direct link to abortion-related stigma.”

The guide includes language, terms, messaging, and images that IPPF advises should not be used, and ones that should.

Among the many examples it recommends that “Mother, Father, Parent” should not be used for materials used during a pregnancy because the terms are “value laden and assigns roles that the man or woman may not accept. It also implies that the fetus is a child, which is not accurate.”

IPPF instructions oppose the use of a baby’s picture in materials on abortion claiming it sends a “confusing” message and is often associated with “anti-choice campaigns”.

It proclaims that the abortion decision is about the woman and her pregnancy and has nothing to do with a child stating that the term ‘Abort a child’ should not be used because it “is medically inaccurate”.

IPPF states that “the fetus is not yet a child” and opposes the use of pictures of fetal development stating, “Graphic fetal imagery is used a lot by antiabortion campaigners, and may have negative associations for those seeking abortion services.”

The use of photos of abortion site settings is also discouraged in large part due to the push for abortion at home via abortion inducing drugs, “Materials that are more general should include non-clinical settings, as abortions are more likely than before to occur in community settings due to the increased availability of medical abortion.”

It instructs affiliates to not use “illegal abortion” and “unsafe abortion” interchangeably explaining:

“Illegal abortions do not comply with a country’s legal framework, but may be safe if performed by a trained provider or when a woman has access to high quality medication, information and support to safely undergo a medical abortion. Unsafe abortions are performed by un- or under- trained providers or in situations where women are unable to safely undergo a medical abortion due to lack of access to high quality medication, information or support. It is possible to have an unsafe, legal abortion.”

The guide is designed “for educators, advocates, programmers, health professionals and policy makers, among others, to help inform the development of a wide range of communication materials”.

[from 2015: 47 New Pro-Life Laws Enacted in US; PNCI Global News_Dec 22, 2015]


IPPF and UNFPA Hold Meeting for African MPs

IPPF co-hosted a meeting for African parliamentarians with UNFPA under the auspices of the Africa Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (FPA) entitled ‘Demographic Dividend’ to discuss the large number of youth in Africa and the relationship to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

UNFPA and IPPF first organized the Africa Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development in 2012 to advance initiatives in population policies and legislation on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

The meeting in Nairobi, Kenya was attended by 13 legislators: Hon. Chris Baryomunsi (Uganda), Hon. Marie-Rose Nguini Effa (Cameroon), Hon. Jose Manuel Tavares Sanches (Cape Verde), Hon. Mbaidessemel Dionadiji (Chad), Hon. Zalikatou Diallo (Guinea Conakry), Hon. Larry Younquoi (Liberia), Hon. Illa Ousmane (Niger), Hon. Helen Kuyembeh (Sierra Leone), Hon. Dlamini Princess Phumelele (Swaziland), Hon. Highvie Hamdudu (Zambia), Hon. Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman (Nigeria), Hon. Ahmed Babou Babah (Mauritania) and Hon. Sado Nazaire (Benin).

IPPF Africa Region Director Mr. Lucien Kouakou addressed the group highlighting the need for additional funding for youth centered initiatives and the role of legislators in the formulation of policy and laws related to population and development stating,”Parliamentarians command great influence and authority in the formulation of different policies and legislations in their countries, and hence the need to involve them in all discussions around development.

Mr. Kouakou tweeted about IPPF’s plan to focus on lawmakers, “We must engage parliamentarians in pushing for SRHR & population policies.”

Sierra Leone’s Parliament has voted to Legalize Abortion, while 72 members of Malawi’s Parliament recently attended a Pro-Life Forum. Details elsewhere on this website.

[from 2015: 47 New Pro-Life Laws Enacted in US; PNCI Global News_Dec 22, 2015]