The Postabortion Care (PAC) Consortium sounds an alarm within the reproductive health community about the need to effectively treat complications of miscarriage and incomplete abortion in order to reduce maternal mortality worldwide, and to promote PAC as an effective strategy for addressing this pressing global problem. The PAC Consortium promotes PAC as an effective strategy for addressing this global problem through a comprehensive public health model of the Five Essential Elements of Postabortion Care: community and service provider partnerships, counseling, treatment, contraceptive and family planning services, and reproductive and other health services. Join here.
According to the WHO, about 22 million unsafe abortions occur each year causing close to 50,000 maternal deaths - the vast majority of which, are developing countries. In addition, approximately 5 million women suffer short-term or lifelong disabilities due to complications resulting from unsafe abortion. Postabortion care is a strategy to address this problem by treating women with complications, providing family planning services to prevent future abortions, counseling and referring women for other needed services, and engaging communities.
Individually and in collaboration, the PAC Consortium agencies implement postabortion care programs around the world, and also encourage technical agencies, governments and donors to incorporate PAC into their own programs and policies as a critical step in reducing deaths and injuries of women from complications related to miscarriage and abortion-related consequences.
For a decade the Youth-Friendly Task Force of the Postabortion Care Consortium has been working to ensure that postabortion care services are positioned to meet the needs of young people. However, we have seen the voices of young people are not often heard. Here are their voices.
EngenderHealth has officially taken over the role of host organization for the PAC Consortium for 2014 and 2015. EngenderHealth (then AVSC) was a founding member of the PAC Consortium and served as the host organization from 2000 to 2002. The organization has steadily worked to expand access to postabortion care services around the world, has been involved with implementing post-abortion care services in nearly 30 countries, and has trained more than 15,000 clinicians to provide lifesaving treatments. To learn more about EngenderHealth's work on PAC, click here.
EngenderHealth looks forward to following in the footsteps of the previous host organization, Pathfinder International.
Over the next two years, the PAC Consortium will focus on:
- expanding its membership;
- improving availability of post-abortion care tools and resources through the Task Forces;
- strengthening the capacity of country teams to advocate for increased availability and accessibility of quality PAC services and scale-up of successful PAC interventions;
- strengthening capacity of member organizations to address priority PAC-related issues to increase funding for PAC; and
- expanding global visibility and awareness of postabortion care issues through social media and other communications vehicles.
Calling for a renewed commitment to the health of women following induced abortion, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), International Council of Nurses (ICN), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), White Ribbon Alliance (WRA), Department for International Development (DFID), and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have issued a joint consensus statement on the importance of family planning service provision to women when they are treated for postabortion complications.
The statement commits the endorsing organizations to ensure that voluntary family planning counseling and services are included as an essential component of postabortion care in all settings, empower and serve postabortion women of all ages to prevent unintended pregnancies and further abortions, and provide information on optimal pregnancy spacing for those women who want a pregnancy. It lays out the rationale for offering family planning to women in such circumstances and reviews the intervention approaches that can be followed.
Read the statement here.
How do we reduce the harm caused by unsafe abortion and ensure that the world's women and girls access quality, comprehensive, and stigma-free postabortion care?
Ellen Israel of Pathfinder International, the current chairing organization of the PAC Consortium, has written a blog post on just these questions titled "Postabortion Care: Two Decades of Uneven Progress and Where We Go From Here" on the Pathfinder International website. The blog post highlights the insightful recommendations that flowed from the 45 plus meeting participants and the technical advisory panel comprised of Bela Ganatra (WHO), Shahida Zaidi (FIGO), Nuriye Ortayli (UNFPA), and Manuelle Hurwitz (IPPF) at the May 2013 PAC Consortium Semi-Annual Meeting at Women Deliver in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Some of the recommendations outlined include:
- Invest in better data collection and reporting
- Improve access to quality, comprehensive service delivery
- Integrate family planning into postabortion care
- Address stigma
- Increase global acceptance of misoprostol use
- Reduce the barriers youth face in accessing postabortion care
- Embrace and scale-up evidence-based practices
Read the entire blog post here.
- New Study Compares PAC Services, Client Satisfaction, and Provider Attitudes for Youth and Adult PAC Clients in Kenya
- PAC Consortium at Women Deliver 2013
- Ipas and Gynuity Health Projects Announce Misoprostol for PAC Training Guide
- Publications Document High Rates of Unintended Pregnancies and Significant Costs Associated with PAC Services in Uganda
- Next PAC Consortium Meeting at Women Deliver 2013