March 2023

The role of VCAT workshops in addressing provider stigma and expanding access to safe abortion services

Ibis Reproductive Health, Marie Stopes International. March 2023.

The liberalization of Ethiopia’s abortion law in 2005 has expanded access to abortion. However, a significant proportion of abortions still occur outside of facilities with mild to severe complications. Barriers to accessing safe abortion care include limited knowledge of services and legality and abortion-related stigma.

Research has documented how stigma and social norms around abortion influence the likelihood of clinicians to provide abortion services.

Values clarification and attitude transformation (VCAT) workshops are widely used globally by a wide range of organisations to address negative provider and staff attitudes around abortion and other sexual reproductive health (SRH) services and catalyse more empathetic service delivery and advocacy around abortion.

In partnership with Marie Stopes International, we undertook a study to evaluate the impact of VCAT workshops on service provision, client-centered care, and provider attitudes and knowledge in Marie Stopes Ethiopia’s (MSIE) private socially-franchised facilities.