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Abortion stigma plays a critical role in the social, medical and legal marginalization of abortion care around the world and leads to negative health outcomes for women, girls, trans people and their communities. Stigma shames and silences people seeking abortions, providers of abortion care and anyone who demonstrates support for a person’s right to decide whether to continue or terminate a pregnancy. As a result, abortion stigma drives the high number of preventable deaths and injuries around the world due to unsafe abortion.
Sexual and reproductive health organizations, women’s rights organizations and other social justice advocates have been raising awareness about abortion stigma in communities, in advocacy and information campaigns and in programs designed to meet women’s reproductive health needs. Many have expressed the desire for a collection of tools and activities to address abortion stigma in various settings and contexts. Abortion Stigma Ends Here: A toolkit for understanding and action was created to help meet these needs. Designed to help community members, community health workers, activists, and staff of community-based organizations, Ipas offers this toolkit to help address and mitigate abortion stigma.
What’s in the Toolkit?
The toolkit activities are clustered into thematic modules, but facilitators can also develop their own workshop agenda by picking activities that suit the goals of the gathering, the participants’ needs, the facilitators’ skill level and the time available. Each activity is laid out in the same format, and includes facilitator notes, activity goals, materials and preparation, time estimates, facilitation steps, and key messages to support experienced and new facilitators to use these activities.
The toolkit also includes several activities labelled as “CORE” exercises. These activities make up a pre-set agenda, which can be used by facilitators who are interested in covering a range of key activities.