Strengthening access to safe abortion services in Mozambique

Unsafe abortion is a major cause of maternal mortality in Mozambique, and in 2014 the country liberalised its law in relation to abortion, significantly increasing the conditions under which it is legal to obtain a safe abortion. However, in practice women’s and girls’ access to safe abortion remains very low. While safe abortion services are provided in a growing number of health facilities, there are gaps in provision of quality, non-stigmatising services; and most people do not know about the law and services and stigmatise unwanted pregnancy and abortion. With support from the Safe Abortion Action Fund (SAAF), ICRH-M will implement a 15-month "demonstration project" in two districts of Tete Province, involving complementary interventions to reduce institutional and social barriers to safe abortion, and using this experience to contribute to learning on how to improve the effective implementation of safe abortion in ways that are accepted by health providers and communities. The main project strategies are: mentoring health workers to provide quality services; working with women, girls and communities to increase access to information and reduce stigma; and documenting and sharing project experiences.