International Planned Parenthood Federation

International Planned Parenthood Federation

The International Planned Parenthood Federation is a global non-governmental organization with the broad aims of promoting sexual and reproductive health, and advocating the right of individuals to make their own choices in family planning. It was first formed in 1952 in Bombay, India, and now consists of more than 149 Member Associations working in more than 189 countries. IPPF is highly devolved, and is organized into six regions.

Purpose

Member Associations provide non-profit family planning services, sexual health and abuse prevention training and education. Their goals include giving clients the information necessary to make informed sexual health decisions, promoting continuing sexual health, making available high quality sexual health services, improving the overall health of low income individuals, and using democratic organization and the leadership of volunteers to promote these goals.

Funding

The IPPF is financially supported by governments, trusts, and foundations including the European Commission and the United Nations Population Fund for special projects. Half of the balance of their funding comes from government official development assistance programmes. To achieve their goals as an organization, the IPPF often collaborates with the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF), and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). IPPF is a prominent lobbyist in the European Union: specifically, for the European Council and the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It is the only non-governmental organization (NGO) that focuses on sexual health and reproductive rights to qualify for Consultative Status with the Council of Europe. This allows the IPPF to sit in on the Parliamentary Assembly.

Controversy

Annually, there are approximately 19 million unsafe abortions worldwide (World Health Organization figures), the vast majority amongst poor women in developing countries. Unsafe abortion is one of the leading causes of maternal deaths (accounting for approximately 13% of all maternal deaths annually), while literally millions of women worldwide suffer injury, illness and disability as a result of unsafe abortions.

IPPF is a pro-choice organization that advocates for access to contraception and safe abortion services. This has led IPPF into conflict with conservative social forces, including the Roman Catholic Church and the current administration of U.S. President George W. Bush, who reinstated the Mexico City Policy in 2001. This policy requires non-governmental organizations in receipt of U.S. funds to refrain from providing abortion-related information or services. IPPF opted not to alter its method of operation, and, as a result, lost 20% of its funding.

External links

* [http://www.ippf.org website of the International Planned Parenthood Federation]
** [http://www.ippf.org/en/Where/ IPPF's organization by regions]

Footnotes


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