Dangerous abortions ‘on the rise’, says WHO

January 23, 2012 • Reproductive Health, Daily Email Recap

Below, a recently published story from the BBC. See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16618156

Dangerous abortions ‘on the rise’, says WHO

19 January 2012

A rising proportion of abortions worldwide are putting women’s health at risk, researchers say.

The World Health Organization study suggests global abortion rates are steady, at 28 per 1,000 women a year.

However, the proportion of the total carried out without trained clinical help rose from 44% in 1995 to 49% in 2008.

The Lancet, which carried the report, said the figures were “deeply disturbing”.

Unsafe abortion is one of the main contributors to maternal death worldwide, and refers to procedures outside hospitals, clinics and surgeries, or without qualified medical supervision.

Women are more vulnerable to dangerous infection or bleeding in these environments.

Maternal mortality

In developing countries, particularly those with more restrictive abortion laws, most abortions are unsafe, with 97% of abortions in Africa described this way.

In comparison, 95% of abortions in Latin America were deemed unsafe, falling to 40% in Asia, 15% in Oceania and 9% in Europe.

To compile the figures – often a difficult task in countries where abortion is illegal – the researchers used surveys, official statistics and hospital records.

They concluded that while the abortion rate had fallen since 1995, that drop had now levelled off, and overall, the rise in world population meant that there were 2.2 million more abortions in 2008 compared with 2003.

In the developed world, the proportion of pregnancies ending in abortion fell from 36% in 1995 to 26% in 2008.

Countries with restrictive abortion laws did not have a corresponding decrease in abortion rate – in some cases, the reverse was true.

To read the full article, please click here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16618156


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