Since abortion became legal in 2002, Ipas Nepal has provided technical support to the Family Welfare Division (FWD), Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) to initiate and expand safe abortion services (SAS). The goal of our “Enhancing the Ability of Women to Obtain Comprehensive Abortion Care and Prevent Unwanted Pregnancy” project approved by SWC Nepal is to increase access to high-quality abortion services and expand the range of post abortion contraceptive options for women and girls. We have staff in provinces and several districts who work closely with provincial and local governments to carry out this mission.
We provide technical assistance in the formulation of policies, laws, strategies and guidelines related to abortion, which is key to create a favorable environment for implementation of quality safe abortion services. Our support has been instrumental in increasing access to quality safe abortion services at community level by training mid-level health workers such as auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs), working to expand the availability of medical abortion (MA) services, and introducing and expanding second-trimester safe abortion services.
The availability of free safe abortion services across Nepal has been a major milestone in ensuring women’s reproductive health and rights. The Ministry of Finance announced that safe abortion services would be provided free of costs in a budget speech in 2015. Ipas Nepal played a key role in providing technical support to FWD/MoHP to develop guidelines to implement that policy. Likewise, in alliance with partner organizations, we also provided technical support to develop the “Right to Safe Motherhood and Reproductive Health Act, 2075” and to draft regulation to operationalize the Act, which is currently in the endorsement process.
Ipas Nepal also advocates for increased funding for reproductive health rights, including safe abortion services as envisioned in the “Right to Safe Motherhood and Reproductive Health Act, 2075”, and to ensure that safe abortion services are integrated in the policy documents developed at all level of governments. For instance, this would include funds for purchasing drugs and commodities, raising community awareness, and increasing service access and quality. As an active member of Association of International Non-governmental Organizations (AIN), Ipas also engages in joint advocacy and programmatic work at various national and sub-national levels for the betterment of the Nepali people.