Ipas DRC and Canada partner for sustainable access to reproductive health care in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Access to safe and legal abortion and contraception improves the health of women and girls and represents a fundamental human right. The ability to decide if and when to become pregnant is a symbol of reproductive justice and gender equality.

HABYGAELLE MUZIE, Communications Advisor
APRIL 15, 2024

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the publication of the Maputo Protocol in the official gazette has been followed by other milestones, such as the publication of a circular guaranteeing access to abortion care in line with the Protocol’s indications and the Ministry of Public Health’s adherence in 2020 to the evolving standards and directives relating to the application of the Protocol’s guidelines. All these actions made DRC the first country in French-speaking Africa to have implemented far-reaching changes promoting wider access to abortion care.

Continued: https://www.ipas.org/country-impact/ipas-drc-and-canada-partner-for-sustainable-access-to-reproductive-health-care-in-the-democratic-republic-of-congo/

Democratic Republic of Congo: At the forefront of the fight against gender-based violence

HABYGAELLE MUZIE, Communications Advisor, Ipas

No matter the cause, humanitarian crises often mean an increase in sexual and reproductive health needs—yet access to safe abortion remains one of the most forgotten of those needs. Ipas Democratic Republic of Congo is making sure that access to abortion is included in humanitarian aid response to the devastating armed conflict in North Kivu.

North Kivu is in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), an area marked by extremely violent conflict. Despite all diplomatic efforts, clashes between Congolese troops and an armed rebel group have displaced thousands of people who have been forced to flee their homes to take refuge in makeshift camps. This instability has led to the complete collapse of the health system and contributed to a precarious health situation—with women, girls and children being the most affected.

Continued: https://www.ipas.org/country-impact/ipas-democratic-republic-of-congo-at-the-forefront-of-the-fight-against-gender-based-violence/

Government of Canada commits to increasing sexual and reproductive rights including access to abortion services

July 21, 2023

Ipas is pleased to announce a partnership with the government of Canada to increase access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care for women and girls in Bolivia, Indonesia, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The Canadian government has pledged $10 million CAD for programmatic work in Bolivia, Indonesia and Nigeria to increase the sexual and reproductive autonomy of women and girls by expanding their access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services and enhancing their ability to make decisions about their own sexual and reproductive health.

Continued: https://www.ipas.org/news/government-of-canada-commits-to-increasing-sexual-and-reproductive-rights-including-access-to-abortion-services/

Attitudes towards abortion in the DRC suggest there are ways to overcome stigma

March 15, 2021
Sara E Casey

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), restrictive abortion laws, limited medical resources, and high costs – all heightened by two decades of conflict – have led to barriers in access to safe abortion.

Despite the legal restrictions, abortion is common in the DRC although national data are lacking. One study in Kinshasa estimated that 61% of pregnancies in 2016 were unintended, and there was a rate of 56 abortions per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 49. An estimated 88% of abortions in Middle Africa are unsafe.

Continued: https://theconversation.com/attitudes-towards-abortion-in-the-drc-suggest-there-are-ways-to-overcome-stigma-156392

Si Jeunesse Savait promotes sexual and reproductive health and rights in DRC

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO – Si Jeunesse Savait promotes sexual and reproductive health and rights in DRC

by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Nov 12, 2019

Gynaecologist Denis Mukwege has highlighted the suffering of women victims of rape in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). But the cruelty of the rapes committed in the context of war must not allow us to forget the daily need for access to reproductive rights.

In Kinshasa, Si Jeunesse Savait (If Youth Knew,SJS) plays an important role in providing young women with reproductive health information and support, in a country where the most basic rights are often not respected. SJS, a partner of the Belgian NGO Le Monde for Women, also offers support to young victims of violence because of their sexual orientation.

Continued: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/drc-si-jeunesse-savait-promotes-sexual-reproductive-health-rights/

Expanding Access to Safe Abortion in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Expanding Access to Safe Abortion in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Strengthening Evidence-Based Policy to Expand Access to Safe Abortion (SAFE ENGAGE)

Mar 28, 2019

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), access to safe abortion has historically been limited. Political chaos, a weak health sector, low use of contraception, and restrictive laws—that until recently made it illegal in nearly all cases—have contributed to high rates of abortion across the country. Many of these are unsafe, which contributes to the DRC’s very high maternal mortality rate. However, in March 2018 the Congolese government published the text of the Maputo Protocol in the country’s national legal journal following a concerted advocacy effort by a coalition of women’s rights groups, researchers, and nongovernmental organizations, known as Coalition de Grossesses Non Désirées. Due to the nature of the country’s legal system, this action effectively expanded the categories under which abortion is now legal in DRC.

Continued: https://www.prb.org/program/expanding-access-to-safe-abortion-in-the-democratic-republic-of-congo/

Unsafe abortion: A forgotten emergency

Unsafe abortion: A forgotten emergency

Mar 7, 2019

Unsafe abortion remains one of the five leading causes of maternal mortality, despite the fact that it is almost always preventable.

More than 22,000 women and girls die each year after having an unsafe abortion, according to a comprehensive report published by the Guttmacher Institute in 2018.

Since 1990 the world has made significant progress to reduce the other main causes of maternal deaths—severe bleeding, severe infection, blood pressure disorders, and obstructed labor—yet there has been little improvement to diminish the dangers of unsafe abortion.

Continued: https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/what-we-do/news-stories/story/unsafe-abortion-forgotten-emergency

Africa: Unsafe Abortion – Neglected Emergency

Africa: Unsafe Abortion - Neglected Emergency

Mar 4, 2019

Unsafe abortion still accounts for at least one in 12 maternal deaths globally. And, compared to reductions in all the other direct causes of maternal deaths since 1990 - severe bleeding, severe infection, blood pressure disorders and obstructed labour - there has been little improvement in the negative impact of unsafe abortion.

Unsafe abortion is a procedure for terminating an unwanted pregnancy either by persons lacking the necessary skills or in an environment lacking minimal medical standards or both, as defined by the World Health Organization. Abortion, whether safe or unsafe, is a common event worldwide: approximately one in four pregnancies ended in an induced abortion during the period 2010-2014.

Continued: https://allafrica.com/stories/201903040646.html

“I’ve seen with my own eyes, safe abortion saves lives”

"I’ve seen with my own eyes, safe abortion saves lives"

27 September 2018

Dr Manisha Kumar is a family medicine doctor and the coordinator of the Task Force for Safe Abortion Care, a project that aims to increase access to contraceptive and safe abortion care services offered by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) projects.

Before I started working at MSF field projects, I saw abortion as more of a political issue, or as an aspect of women’s rights. But now that I’ve seen women and girls in need of safe abortion, day after day, with my own eyes, I’ve come to understand abortion as a medical necessity, something that has a very real impact on people’s lives.

Continued: https://www.msf.org/ive-seen-my-own-eyes-safe-abortion-saves-lives

Legal access to abortion expands in Democratic Republic of Congo

Legal access to abortion expands in Democratic Republic of Congo

Thursday, July 26, 2018

In an historic shift toward greater fulfillment of women’s sexual and reproductive rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), women can now legally access abortion under a broader range of conditions—including in cases of sexual assault, rape or incest, and when a continued pregnancy would endanger the mental and physical health of the woman or the life of the woman or the fetus.

“Months of advocacy by Ipas and our strategic partners in the DRC helped achieve this huge step forward for women’s rights,” says Patrick Djemo, Country Representative of Ipas DRC.

Continued: http://www.ipas.org/en/News/2018/July/Legal-access-to-abortion-expands-in-Democratic-Republic-of-Congo.aspx