Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA)

Women and girls in Palestine face a number of difficulties and challenges. The ongoing occupation and lack of sitting government as well as high unemployment has led to poverty and inequality, while an increasingly conservative society and traditionally patriarchal culture has led to increased gender-inequality and lack of access to sexual and reproductive healthcare. The current abortion law unfairly pushes women to risk their lives and health to attempt to end their unwanted pregnancies in unsafe ways.

In this context, PFPPA has been working since 1964, to provide sexual and reproductive healthcare and advocate for women’s rights. Having received two grants from SAAF since 2014, they have been working on the lack of access to safe abortion in the country with a focus on increasing their provision of abortion-related services and advocating at community and national level for changes to the abortion law.

You can read the stories of the women affected by the currently restrictive law and the activists and service providers who work hard to provide care to them below.

 

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Helping women access safe care

"When I read that the pregnancy test was positive, it was a very hard time. I started crying – I felt like the world was very black – it was the end of my life. I would kill myself, if I didn’t end this pregnancy."

 
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Young people working together to tackle stigma

“This is the only organisation where I have seen that young people have any real power, for example, if I want to do an activity they give me space and support on how to do it.”

 
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Why I work for PFPPA

"We have changed many women’s lives through our work. One of the best moments of my work is when you see a woman who has been helped and safely ended her suffering and has gone back home healthy.”

 

Forced into repeated pregnancy when contraception fails

“When it comes to abortion in Palestine I think the law should change as there are many women suffering like I do. How long have I suffered from repeated unwanted pregnancy. These services should be affordable for women”.

 
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The challenges providers witness

When the society says that abortion is forbidden, they don’t take into consideration the issues and these women in need. Imagine if we had safe abortion services at the hospitals, we would not see these issues at all. There are women themselves who say ‘I will die if I complete this pregnancy’.”

 
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Politician and journalist in support

“I think health and abortion is a right, only with access to legal safe abortion will there be fewer complications from unsafe abortion. We need more regulations, as we cannot continue as it is, with the doctor haphazardly deciding what they can do according to their own beliefs.”

 
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The changes witnessed over time

“I started to work when the issue of family planning was not accepted. The work of PFPPA has had a great impact on the community since I have worked here. For example, my mother she gave birth to 12, I gave birth to five and I didn’t want that, but my sisters all had three or two. Family planning has become essential.”

 
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A day in the life of a Social worker

“I feel proud when we hear success stories from women that defeated violence, killing and abuse. It is really important that we work on awareness so that women know about their rights and what services are offered for different issues.”