Nearly Half of Abortions Around the World Are Unsafe

Nearly Half of Abortions Around the World Are Unsafe

Nearly Half of Abortions Around the World Are Unsafe

Ganatra says that having access to abortion is just one part of meeting women's reproductive health needs.

28, an worldwide research group reports in a new paper with senior author Leontine Alkema at the University of Massachusetts Amherst that out of the 55.7 million abortions that are estimated to have occurred each year between 2010 and 2014, almost half (45.1%) were unsafe.

The study was conducted by World Health Organization in partnership with the american institute Guttmacher, specialized in birth control.

In countries with restrictive laws, 31.3% of abortions were considered least safe.

"Least-safe" abortions are performed by untrained individuals using unsafe methods.

The researchers made a point to move away from classifying abortions as simply "safe" or "unsafe", and instead grouped them as "safe", "less safe" and "least safe".

An abortion was classified as less safe if only one of the two criteria were met - either the abortion was performed by a trained provider with an outdated method, or it was done with a safe method but without the support of a trained provider.

Some 14.4 per cent of all recent abortions - more than eight million per year - fell into the "least safe" group, meaning those provided by untrained individuals using risky or invasive methods. In most parts of Africa and Latin America, less than 25 percent of abortions are safe.

For International Safe Abortion Day on Thursday, protests for safe and legal abortions are expected around the world. In these countries, 49.5% of abortions were unsafe.

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The researchers cautioned that reliable abortion data are hard to obtain, especially in places where it is illegal or otherwise stigmatized.

It said these regions also have some of the lowest abortion rates.

Provision of safe, legal abortion is essential to fulfilling the global commitment to the Sustainable Development Goal of universal access to sexual and reproductive health (target 3.7).

The researchers wrote in the new study, "this analysis suggested that unsafe abortion is still a major problem in developing countries and that progress towards safer abortion is needed, even in some developed countries".

A separate study found that in 2012 nearly 7 million women were treated for complications of unsafe abortions in the developing world.

Unsafe abortion occurs when a pregnancy is terminated either by persons lacking the necessary skills/information or in an environment that does not conform to minimal medical standards, or both. Those complications included incomplete abortions, hemorrhaging and infections.

The number of abortions around the world each year between 2010 and 2014. The distinction allows for a more nuanced understanding of the different circumstances of abortions among women who are unable to access safe abortions from a trained provider. And in absence of legal abortions, women often put their lives at risk by seeking out abortions from those that are not trained to provide them.

Differing laws around the world had an impact on abortion safety around the world, according to the study.

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