Every year, more than 25 million avoidable unsafe abortions occur. Legal restrictions and a lack of safe options mean that women and adolescent girls unnecessarily risk their health and lives every day. At PSI, we believe that everyone has a right to safe and legal abortion services, products and information, as well as post-abortion care and contraception.
In 2018, PSI’s safe abortion and post-abortion care programs achieved the following impact:
medication abortion and manual vacuum aspiration services provided
maternal deaths prevented
This map specifically highlights how six international organizations adapted their safe abortion and post-abortion care (PAC) programs to the evolving COVID-19 context. The map captures their stories of resilience, digital innovation, and persistent advocacy to maintain access to safe abortions and PAC during the pandemic.
Visit our interactive ArcGIS COVID-19 StoryMap.
PSI helped catalyze the misoprostol market in Tanzania by launching and supporting its first widely available brand of misoprostol. After just a few years, the market went from having an inconsistent supply dominated by one player to having several players compete with high quality, affordably priced products. Now, with the urban market well served, we are pivoting to last mile distribution in rural areas.
PSI is innovating with technology to facilitate referrals and collect feedback to improve the client experience. PSI Cambodia developed a smartphone app that facilitates referrals between pharmacies and clinics for onward client care and post-abortion contraception. In other countries, PSI uses popular communication channels like WhatsApp to help shepherd eligible women through the health system for abortion and post-abortion care.
In several regions, PSI social enterprises are improving medication abortion sustainability through regional sales operations that offer economies of scale and operate against a double-bottom line that measures health impact and cost recovery.
PSI engages with the public sector in many of the countries in which we work. For example, in Angola, we supported public sector providers in several hospitals to deliver treatment for more than 1,500 post-abortion care cases each month.
PSI provides comprehensive abortion and post-abortion care services in nearly 20 countries throughout the world. Services always include contraceptive counseling and, when voluntarily chosen by the client, the provision of short or long-acting contraception.
PSI has launched misoprostol and mifepristone-misoprostol combination-pack brands in nearly 20 countries and supported already existing commercial brands in more than 15 countries. Where needed, PSI works to fill unmet needs by directly serving especially vulnerable groups like refugees or commercial sex workers.
In India, PSI added an augmented reality feature to its medication abortion brand packaging to improve the quality of instructions, decrease potential product misuse and reduce uncertainty. Women can point their smartphone cameras at the medication abortion packaging and an animated video will appear, explaining how to take the medication. Women without smartphones have the option to call a toll-free number to hear instructions.
PSI helped lead the effort to create Nigeria’s first national guidelines for abortion provision. These guidelines dramatically increased access to services, as previously many providers refused to perform abortion due to uncertainty around legality and the health conditions covered by the country’s single indication to save the life of the woman.
In other countries, PSI has contributed its technical expertise to update national post-abortion care guidelines, registered misoprostol for abortion and post-abortion care-related indications and used harm reduction approaches to soften the ground for expanded access.