How provider attitudes towards abortion can impact the quality of and access to abortion services: an assessment of IPPF/WHR provider knowledge, attitudes and practices in 6 Latin American and Caribbean countries
Rasha Dabash, Gynuity Health Projects
Melanie Peña, Gynuity Health Projects
Rebecca Koladycz, International Planned Parenthood Federation
Giselle Carino, International Planned Parenthood Federation
Maria Consuelo Mejia, International Planned Parenthood Federation
Victoria Ward, International Planned Parenthood Federation
In Latin America and the Caribbean, where most countries have severely restrictive abortion laws and access to safe abortion is limited, complications of unsafe abortions are one of the major causes of maternal mortality. Even where some services are available, limited resources, lack of adequate provider training, and stigma surrounding abortion further limits women’s access to quality abortion services. Providers may also be reluctant to offer any abortion services and/or unaware of the legal parameters for doing so. To address these barriers to accessing quality abortion services, IPPF/WHR and Gynuity Health Projects conducted a quantitative assessment of IPPF staff and provider knowledge, attitudes and practices in 6 LAC associations (1,811 staff members in 74 sites). Data on provider perceptions and clinical practices suggest several important findings related to the quality of services offered and the potential to improve both access to and quality of abortion services in the 6 countries.