In South Africa, the complex relationship between progressive laws and unmet need offers unique opportunities and challenges. South African law guarantees access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services and death from unsafe abortion has declined by more than 90% since the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act was passed in 1996. However, the country’s maternal mortality rate remains unacceptably high, and many women face obstacles to getting a safe, legal abortion. South Africa still has high rates of HIV and unintended pregnancy, and young women face particular challenges to protecting their health and exercising their rights: One in three women aged 15-24 experiences an unintended pregnancy before the age of 20 and among females aged 15 to 24, HIV incidence is more than four times higher than the incidence of males in the same group.
Ibis opened its Johannesburg office in 2003 and we have an established network of NGO, university, and government partners throughout South Africa. We have built a rich body of work on South African young women’s SRH that has included participatory research with young women and community members in urban and rural settings, trainings for health care providers, and the development of SRH curricula. We now lead a national forum to address teenage pregnancy comprised of NGOs, government agencies, and researchers. We also conduct clinical research focused on improving abortion access and quality of care. Our research on medication abortion helped pave the way to the roll-out of medication abortion in public sector clinics in the country. We have led a number of completed and ongoing studies focused on improving second-trimester abortion care.
Safe, affordable abortion care access
Ibis seeks to ensure all people have the right and ability to access safe, affordable, quality abortion care by identifying and addressing evidence gaps; using research to advocate for improved, client-centered abortion care; and collaborating with partners to integrate abortion as a necessary part of reproductive health care.
Bold service-delivery & technology innovations
Ibis seeks to expand access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information and services through a range of integrated strategies that center the lived experiences of individuals, highlight the importance of relevant and affordable strategies, and support people's autonomy and right to safety and high-quality services.
Comprehensive SRH info & services
Ibis seeks to transform access to abortion and contraception by working with service delivery and advocacy partners to identify, evaluate, and disseminate rigorous evidence about the impact of bold service delivery and technology innovations on access, quality, and affordability of abortion and contraception care. We aim to make abortion and contraception information and care easier to access, and look for ways for people to more directly access the information, products, and services they need.