Trust women, and their choices.
Over 40 years ago, Marie Stopes International was founded in pursuit of a single vital mission: to ensure every woman and girl has the knowledge, tools and power to determine her own future.
Since then, our organisation has grown into one of the world's leading providers of contraception and safe abortion care, with over 11,000 team members working across 37 countries to ensure women and girls everywhere can safely make the choices they want for themselves. At this moment, all over the world, women and girls are receiving life-changing, life-saving healthcare from our dedicated teams. A teenage girl in Uganda receiving a contraceptive implant that will enable her to avoid an unintended pregnancy that would put an end to her education. A woman leaving our car in India, comforted and free from judgement following a safe abortion procedure that means she can continue on her chosen path.
But we know that there is still much more to do before we reach a point where women are fully in control of their own bodies. Every day, millions of women and girls around the world seek an abortion but don't have access to safe services. Many women don't know where to turn for support, don't know what the law allows, or they are too worried about the stigma associated with abortion to even ask for help. This lack of knowledge and fear of judgement is putting lives at risk. Almost half of all abortions globally are unsafe: an estimated 25 million each year. As a result, an estimated seven million women will face complications, and 22,800 will die.
This is unacceptable.
Our experience shows that through working together, we could eliminate unsafe abortion within five years. But we cannot do it alone. We need providers, governments, donors and civil society to come together and to decide that the lives of women and girls are worth saving.
We do all we can to eliminate unsafe abortion. We do it by increasing access to safe abortion services, wherever it is legal for us to do so, and to reduce barriers to access, be it legal, clinical, social or monetary. Because we believe that women's lives are worth saving.
Marie Stopes International, Ipas, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Population Services International and Safe Abortion Action Fund are proud to launch SafeAccess: the first digital platform working to eliminate unsafe abortion, putting evidence-based guidance in the hands of frontline practitioners and policy makers.
In the countries where we're legally permitted to do so, we help women to safely end their pregnancies. By providing services to women when and where they need them, we can reduce the number of women that are forced to undergo unsafe procedures and less women risk their lives in order to exercise her right to decide what happens to her body.
We work with governments to strengthen health systems and influence policy, ensuring people have sustainable access to vital services - even if we aren’t the ones delivering them. We do this by showing what works, pushing for change and ensuring reforms are then implemented – using our expertise so that women and girls are no longer denied the services they have a right to.