die from unsafe abortions each year
in low- and middle-income countries are unintended
are treated in hospitals for complications from unsafe abortions annually
WHY WE FOCUS ON CONTRACEPTION AND FAMILY PLANNING INTERNATIONALLY
Unsafe abortion remains a leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths, particularly in countries where legal barriers, stigma, and poorly resourced health systems prevent women from accessing safe abortion and postabortion care services. Globally, deaths due to unsafe abortion account for 8-11% of all maternal deaths—the majority of which occur in low-income countries.
- Enabling women and girls to access safe and comprehensive abortion care and postabortion care saves lives.
- Over the past decade, many African countries have liberalized their abortion laws, paving the way for women and girls to access life-saving abortion and postabortion care where it wasn’t previously available. We must now build the capacity of health systems to offer these critical services safely to women and girls.
- Where abortion services are legal, stigma and misinformation often prevent women and girls from access. We must work with communities to transform harmful norms and beliefs related to abortion and build women’s and girls’ agency to make their own reproductive health decisions.
Pathfinder works to make existing abortion services safe where the law allows for it and more accessible through advocacy, education, and health systems strengthening.
- Ensuring safety and quality: Pathfinder assists health facilities to ensure they can offer safe, confidential, nonjudgmental, quality, abortion services and access to postabortion contraception of a woman’s choice, including through the training and mentorship of health providers.
- Sustained scale and reach: Building on global approaches and the latest innovations, Pathfinder develops context-specific strategies for expanding safe, sustainable abortion services in a variety of social and political contexts. We prioritize strong health systems by partnering with government-owned and community-driven initiatives that improve client-centered, quality comprehensive abortion care in the long term.
- Self-care: Pathfinder works with public health systems to scale up access to medical abortion. This includes increasing availability of quality medical abortion drugs and increasing access to appropriate information on medical abortion.
- Innovation: Pathfinder demonstrates the effectiveness of innovations such as digital technologies and options for self-care, including telehealth consultations and community-based distribution of commodities.
- Community norms and beliefs: Pathfinder works with communities, religious leaders, and influencers to open dialogues and shift norms and beliefs that inhibit women and girls from accessing safe abortion-related care and build women’s and girls’ agency to make their own reproductive choices.
- Policy change: We use evidence and work with local partners and community leaders to achieve policy changes that reduce barriers to and provide an enabling environment for safe abortion services.
- Last-mile services: We increase and expand points of service close to where clients live, with a focus on those women and girls who often don’t have access. These include youth, rural populations, and populations experiencing humanitarian crises or climate shocks.