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Abortion stigma violates women’s basic freedoms and rights, including freedom from gender-based discrimination, freedom of thought and the right to the highest attainable standard of health. It impacts how abortion is regarded, legislated, and provided— or not provided. While the stigma around abortion leads some people to think that it is rare or that only “certain types of women” have them, it is a common experience for women worldwide.
Over the past decade, Ipas and other sexual and reproductive health and rights partner organizations have worked to understand, challenge, and measure abortion stigma. This factsheet on Understanding, Challenging, and Measuring Abortion Stigma highlights stigma-focused projects and findings from Uganda, Nepal, and Mexico. It also provides an overview of Ipas’s organizational approach to stigma reduction and considers the future direction of stigma-reduction efforts.
Along with the project highlighted in the factsheet, Ipas has also developed related tools to help with stigma intervention design and measurement. These include the Stigmatizing Attitudes, Beliefs and Actions Scale (SABAS)—used to measure abortion stigma at the individual and community level—and an interactive toolkit, “Abortion stigma ends here: A toolkit for understanding and action,” created to help challenge and mitigate abortion stigma in diverse contexts and settings.