PAC Consortium News

Next Consortium Meeting in Dakar, Senegal

The next PAC Consortium will be held in the hotel Fleru De Lys on Tuesday, November 29th at 12PM in Dakar, Senegal. The agenda for the meeting is available online. A list of abortion and PAC events, panels, and presentations from throughout the conference is also available.

To attend the PAC Consortium, please RSVP. If you have any questions about the meeting, please email Mayra Nicola, PAC Consortium Coordinator

New Hosting Agency for the PAC Consortium

At our last membership meeting, held in Washington DC in June, Family Care International (FCI) formally passed the role of coordinating the PAC Consortium to Pathfinder International. Pathfinder was one of the founding members of the PAC Consortium and has continued to work to expand access to postabortion care services around the world. Our recent focus in our PAC work has been in integrating PAC services with voluntary counseling and testing for HIV, as well as services for young women.

We want to thank FCI for their leadership of the Consortium over the past three years, during which time they transitioned the Consortium onto the Knowledge Gateway system, redesigned the website, and led a membership process to re-examine the Consortium's mission and focus. Thanks to Elizabeth Westley, the outgoing Coordinator, Kathleen Schaffer, who worked closely with Elizabeth on all aspects of managing the Consortium, and Ann Starrs, FCI's President, who served on the Consortium Steering Committee and co-chaired the Task Force working on the Consortium's mission.

At Pathfinder, the Chair role is going to be shared by Ellen Israel ( and Cathy Solter (, and with support from Mayra Nicola ( Coordinator. You can reach out to any of us at Pathfinder with questions or comments.


Past News

Consortium Meeting at APHA
The next Consortium meeting will be held right before the APHA Annual Meeting, in Philadelphia . It will take place on Sunday, November 8th, with registration starting at 2 pm and the meeting agenda starting at 2:30. We expect to end by 6:00 p.m. It will take place in the Washington A Room at the Loews Hotel, located at 1200 Market Street , adjacent to the Convention Center.  You do not need to be registered for APHA to attend the PAC Consortium meeting.

We are working on the agenda now, so please send us your suggestions! Also, please RSVP to Kathleen McFarland ( at your earliest convenience.

(Posted October 21, 2009)

Consortium Meeting
On May 26th, the PAC Consortium held its semi-annual meeting in Washington DC, prior to the Global Health Council’s Annual Conference.  There was large turnout: over 75 people attended the meeting, and there was great participation and discussion.

The Coordinator and Steering Committee members reviewed the consortium’s history and described the new funding, governance and new task force structure. During a policy panel, USAID staffers shared the latest on USAID policies related to PAC, following the rescinding of the Mexico City Policy, as well as USAID’s current priorities for PAC funding. Representatives of Gynuity and Venture Strategies shared news on misoprostol, including the recent inclusion of misoprostol for PAC in the World Health Organization’s Essential Medicines List. Click here to view the presentations.

A large proportion of the meeting was spent on launching the new Task Force structure. These task forces are formed by the Consortium membership to work on specific PAC challenges.  During the meeting the following Task Forces were launched:
    * Family Planning and PAC
    * Misoprostol and PAC
    * Broadening the Scope of the PAC Consortium
    * Uterine Evacuation for PAC
    * Youth Friendly PAC

To participate in a task force or receive more information about the meeting, please send an email to

(Posted July 21, 2009)

Report of the Global Safe Abortion Conference
Marie Stopes International, Ipas and Abortion Rights are pleased to announce the availability of For Women’s Lives and Health: Report of the Global Safe Abortion Conference. Whose Right? Whose Choice? Who Cares?

In October 2007, nearly 800 public health experts, women’s health advocates, government representatives, researchers and others from more than 60 countries gathered in London in an unprecedented show of support for making safe legal abortion widely available as an essential element of comprehensive reproductive health care.  This new report captures their enthusiasm and commitment to combating unsafe abortion, a leading killer of women and girls worldwide, and to enhancing women’s ability to safely exercise their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

(Posted July 21, 2009)

Study on the cost of Unsafe Abortion
Ibis Reproductive Health, in collaboration with PATH, The Population Council, and the Mexican National Institute for Public Health, completed a study on the cost of unsafe abortion based on data collected at several public and private facilities in Mexico City in 2005 prior to the legalization of abortion.   They found that hospital-based treatment of uncomplicated incomplete abortion was significantly more costly than outpatient, clinic-based care.  They also found that the treatment of more serious complications related to unsafe abortion such as infection, sepsis, hemorrhage requiring transfusion and uterine perforation was very costly to the health care system.    
In addition, Ibis worked with colleagues from Harvard University to utilize the findings from this cost study, as well as other published data, to examine the cost-effectiveness of the various safe abortion techniques compared to unsafe abortion.  Consistent with the cost findings, they found that any of the safe techniques was significantly more cost-effective than unsafe abortion.

For more information about either study, please see the below citations:

  • Levin C, Grossman D, Berdichevsky K, Diaz C, Aracena B, Garcia S. Goodyear L. Exploring the economic consequences of unsafe abortion: implications for the costs of service provision in Mexico City. Reproductive Health Matters 2009;17(33):120132.
  • Hu D, Grossman D, Levin C, Blanchard K, Goldie SJ. Cost-effectiveness analysis of alternative first-trimester pregnancy termination strategies in Mexico City. BJOG 2009;116:768779.

(Posted July 21, 2009)

Consortium Joins Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition
The PAC Consortium recently joined the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC) as a way to partner with other groups focused increasing reproductive health supplies such as contraception, and on new and underutilized reproductive health technologies, including misoprostol and MVA. For more information about RHSC, visit their website at

WHO Approves Misoprostol for PAC
The World Health Organization has included misoprostol for treatment of incomplete abortion and miscarriage in its Model List of Essential Medicines (EML), which serves as a guide for development of national and institutional essential medicine lists. Gynuity Health Projects submitted the application to WHO based on strong evidence for misoprostol’s safety and efficacy in the treatment of incomplete abortion and miscarriage; a number of other agencies submitted letters in support of the application.

For the complete text of the application, visit the WHO website here.

ACOG Committee on International Affairs Publishes Statement on Use of Misoprostol for PAC
In February 2009, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) issued a Committee Opinion in support of the use of misoprostol for PAC. The statement notes the potential of misoprostol to increase access to PAC services in rural areas where physicians and surgical services may not be available, citing the relatively low cost of PAC services when misoprostol is used (sterilized equipment, skilled personnel and operating theatres are not required), the low cost of misoprostol itself, and the fact the misoprostol does not require refrigeration. The full text of the article can be found here.  (Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2009 Feb;113(2 Pt 1)

UNFPA adds MVA kits to its supply system
Manual Vacuum Aspiration (MVA) instruments for obstetric complications are now available via UNFPA.  UNFPA has supply agreements in place to help governments get commodities needed for their RH/FP programs and to help reach MDG goals.   MVA instruments are now a part of the UNFPA supply system.  If you are currently providing PAC training overseas, please contact your UNFPA office to see if they can work with the MOH to obtain MVA supplies from UNFPA to make sure your training sites have sufficient MVA equipment.  If you are currently working with UNFPA to procure pills, IUDs, injectables, etc. you can now include MVA instruments as well.

For additional information please contact Denise L Harrison at Ipas

Abortion and Mental Health
The American Psychological Association (APA) Task Force on mental health and abortion has released a report, available here reviewing “the scientific research addressing the mental health factors associated with abortion, including psychological responses.”  

The best scientific evidence published indicates that among adult women who have an unplanned pregnancy the relative risk of mental health problems is no greater if they have a single elective first-trimester abortion than if they deliver that pregnancy.  

Review finds improving access to family planning and increasing efforts to reduce deaths from unsafe abortion are key.
A new analysis of a range of safe motherhood interventions found that three interventions are key for saving lives in low resource settings: (i) improve access to contraception; (ii) increase efforts to reduce deaths from unsafe abortion; and (iii) increase access to misoprostol to control postpartum hemorrhage (including for home births). The authors state: “Even where abortion is an illegal practice, several steps can be taken to reduce MMRs attributed to it. The first is to improve access to contraception… and PAC (including FP counseling). The second is to provide SA [safe abortion] to the extent allowed by the law.” The authors recommend MVA and misoprostol for the management of incomplete abortions. For more, see Saving maternal lives in resource-poor settings by Ndola Prata, Amita Sreenivas, Farnaz Vahidnia, and Malcolm Potts al. (2009). (Health Policy 89(2): 131-48.)








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