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Safe abortion and post-abortion care providers can face unique challenges in their work. The experience of working in often stigmatised environments can be compounded by conflicting personal beliefs on safe abortion and post-abortion care. As a result, providers and professionals working in the sexual and reproductive health sector often require support in deconstructing these experiences, in order to deliver non-judgemental services and avoid professional burn-out.
Abortion values clarification and attitudes transformation training, also known as VCAT, was originally developed by Ipas to support providers and development professionals to understand the importance of safe abortion care. Research from Ipas found that VCAT interventions improve participants’ “knowledge, attitudes and behavioural intentions related to abortion care,” particularly among participants with the least knowledge and most negative attitudes about abortion.
The World Health Organization has echoed these benefits, sharing that values clarification attitude transformation training can enable providers to deliver high-quality, non-judgemental services:
“Participating in values-clarification exercises can help providers differentiate their own personal beliefs and attitudes from the needs of women seeking abortion services. Values clarification is an exercise in articulating how personal values influence the way in which providers interact with women seeking abortion. Despite providers’ attempts at objectivity, negative and predefined beliefs about abortion, and the women who have them, often influence professional judgement and the quality of care.”
To support trainers, programme managers and technical advisors in the field of sexual and reproductive health to deliver VCAT training to providers, Ipas developed a comprehensive toolkit: Abortion attitude transformation: A values clarification toolkit for global audiences. This toolkit provides experienced trainers with the background information, materials, instructions, and tips necessary to effectively facilitate abortion values clarification and attitude transformation interventions.