Ipas started work in India in 2000 in response to the significant number of unsafe abortions and the resulting deaths and injuries. With the objective of making abortions more than just a clinical procedure and to ensure that women in India would be able to access safe and legal abortion procedures, we brought the concept of comprehensive abortion care (CAC) to India. Concentrated efforts to transform abortion services to women-centered services have since gained impetus and have been successful in many parts of the country. We are very proud that CAC is now being adopted by the Government of India under the National Health Mission.
Since abortion in India is guided by law (the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act), we have been working for more than a decade within the legal purview to create a pool of qualified abortion providers who offer high quality services through the use of safe technologies. Our CAC certification training annually creates 600 legal abortion providers, effectively making services available to women who had previously no access to these services. A majority of the providers trained by us go on to work in rural areas, thereby reaching vulnerable populations.
From pilot projects in three districts, we now have a program that spans 12 states. In addition to training, over the last decade, our work has expanded to include post-training support to ensure services; promotion of safe technologies; communication strategies designed to reach women, including young women, with the right information; and transforming our on-ground expertise into technical assistance to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Along the way, we have formed and fostered effective partnerships, most importantly with the government at state and national levels, that have also helped to expand the CAC program and bring attention to unsafe abortion as a public health concern.
While our initial focus was on ensuring women’s access to safe abortion, we have since started work on expanding contraceptive choices. We do this through a comprehensive contraceptive care (CCC) program that we initiated in collaboration with the Government of India and the Governments of Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand.
Since 2008 Ipas India has been established as a not-for-profit company registered under section 25 of The Companies Act 1956 as Ipas Development Foundation. We continue to be the local partner organization in India for Ipas.
At IDF we believe that:
- Every woman should be able to make 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.