Half of all abortions carried out in unsafe conditions

Half of all abortions carried out in unsafe conditions

Half of all abortions carried out in unsafe conditions

Ganatra said that she hopes researchers will do a better job studying how women actually have abortions around the world, which is hard because it tends to be stigmatized and because so many abortions happen outside of health systems.

"In countries where abortion is completely banned or permitted only to save the woman's life or preserve her physical health, only one in four abortions were safe; whereas, in countries where abortion is legal on broader grounds, almost nine in 10 abortions were done safely".

Slightly more than 14% of abortions performed worldwide were classified as the least safe, which meant they were provided by someone who was untrained and used unsafe methods like sharp curettage. The abortions are considered "unsafe" either because the woman was taking pills alone without proper advice, or was with a trained helper administering a surgical abortion using, at best, outdated methods.

The least safe abortions were provided by untrained individuals using risky methods, including ingestion of caustic substances, insertion of foreign objects, or use of traditional concoctions like roots and herbs.

The vast majority of abortions in Africa were categorized as least safe and were associated with higher risk of death.

The authors of the study, which was published in medical journal "The Lancet," stated that 97 percent of all unsafe abortions took place in developing countries.

The percentage of abortions in North America that were considered safe.

The results also show that countries with high proportions of safe procedures were also more likely to have less restrictive abortion laws.

In south-central Asia less than half abortions were classed as safe.

"Whatever the accuracy of these figures, every abortion is a tragedy, and of course by definition a procedure which seeks the death of one party involved is always going to be "unsafe". Outside of Southern Africa, less than 1 in 4 abortions in Africa were safe. These were provided by untrained individuals using unsafe or invasive methods.

The new figures, from the World Health Organization with the Guttmacher Institute, are published in the Lancet medical journal at a time when worldwide family planning organisations are deeply concerned over cuts to their budgets announced by the Trump administration in the United States.

The number of "less safe" abortions around the world each year.

The researchers themselves noted in the study that, in general, empirical data on abortions were scarce, especially in countries where abortions were legally restricted, stigmatized or less likely to be reported.

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

"Increasing the availability, accessibility and affordability of contraception can reduce the incidence of unintended pregnancies and, therefore, abortions", Ganatra said in a statement about the study. In these countries, 49.5% of abortions were unsafe.

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.

The study which was carried out by World Health Organisation and the Guttmacher Institute said countries such as Nigeria which have anti-abortion law raise the health risk for women because most of the abortions there were illegal and often done by untrained personnel. "Even where abortion is supposed to be legal and available, many women are unable to access services within the medical system", she said.

Related news