undergroundnewsroom.com February 24, 2018

Nearly Half of Abortions Worldwide Considered Unsafe

29 September 2017, 12:49 | Rodolfo Quinn

Abortions: easier to obtain than ever, yet nearly half worldwide are deemed unsafe, study finds

Nearly Half of Abortions Around the World Are Unsafe

The World Health Organization (WHO) has found that around 25 million abortions performed worldwide are unsafe - almost half of all procedures.

Restricting access to abortion by law does not reduce the number of abortions but only increases the risks to lives of women and girls, a new study published on Thursday by The Lancet publication has revealed.

When abortions are performed in accordance with World Health Organization guidelines and standards, the risk of severe complications or death is negligible it said.

For the new analysis, researchers looked at data from 182 countries and regions, then searched resources like PubMed in different nations and languages to pull data from population-based surveys on abortion care-seeking, surveys of health professionals and other national and regional data on abortion.

The report, which looked at abortions that occurred from 2010 to 2014, broke out unsafe abortions into two categories for the first time- "less safe" and "least safe"-an effort to provide a more nuanced picture of the problems facing women who can not access abortion services".

The least safe abortions were provided by untrained individuals using unsafe methods, including ingestion of caustic substances, insertion of foreign objects, or use of traditional concoctions like roots and herbs. Deaths from complications related to an unsafe abortion were high in parts of the world where abortions occurred in least safe circumstances, which include things like reliance on herbal remedies as part of an abortion procedure.

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

The researchers estimated that 54.9 percent of the 55.7 million abortions that occurred worldwide each year between 2010 and 2014 were safe, 30.7 percent were less safe, and 14.4 percent were least safe. These regions also have some of the lowest abortion rates.

Eastern Asia, including China, had a distribution similar to developed regions, Ganatra said. In South-Central Asia, however, less than one in two abortions were safe.

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"Making abortion safe is incredibly simple". Outside of Southern Africa, less than 1 in 4 abortions in Africa were safe. Of those unsafe abortions, the majority were characterized as "least safe".

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

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.

Ms. Ganatra said to prevent unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions, countries must make supportive policies and financial commitments to provide comprehensive sexuality education; a wide range of contraceptive methods, including emergency contraception; accurate family planning counselling; and access to safe, legal abortion.

The research offers evidence that women around the world continue to have abortions even when they live in areas where trained providers are scant and where the procedure is illegal.

In June, the UN Human Rights Committee found that Ireland's abortion legislation violated the human rights of a woman.

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).

Indeed, complications from in-clinic and medication abortions (when done following the correct procedures and under the guidance of a trained individual) are extremely rare.

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

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