According to a new study, almost half of abortions conducted around the world aren't safe. This is the case if they are carried out by a trained staff, but with a method that is dated (such as curettage), or the opposite direction with safe means (including the use of misoprostol, a drug widely used), but in the absence of competent staff.
The share of safe abortions exceeded 50 per cent in only three developing world regions: southeastern Asia (60 per cent), western Asia (52 per cent), and southern Africa (74 per cent).
This has meant that this region has seen fewer deaths and fewer severe complications from unsafe abortions.
The percentage of abortions that were considered least safe in countries where the procedure is banned or severely restricted. Nevertheless, this type of informal self-use of medication abortion that women have to resort to secretly does not meet WHO's safe abortion standards. The study published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 2015.
Every year, an estimated 55.7 million abortions are performed worldwide.
"When women and girls can not access effective contraception and safe abortion services, there are serious consequences for their own health and that of their families".
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.
About 55 percent of all abortions across the world are safe, the researchers found.
"Restricting access to abortions does not reduce the number of abortions", it stated.
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". This is because these places, like northern Europe and northern America 'have less restrictive laws on abortion, high contraceptive use, high economic development, high levels of gender equality and well developed health infrastructures'.
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). It is very hard to accurately measure abortion and abortion-related mortality, especially in countries where it is illegal.
The study called for less restrictive laws on abortions as this will go a long way in saving women's lives and also encourage women who have to perform the act seek the help of trained officers. "Some women facing an unwanted pregnancy go on to get illegal, but safe, abortions, some get illegal unsafe abortions and some carry the unwanted pregnancy to term".
NurPhoto via Getty Images Woman's placard reads "Respect!" "She spoke openly about suicide as an option rather than continuing with the pregnancy".
"She really saw no other option for herself". "And unfortunately, irrelevant of what people think of abortion, you can't ignore the fact that this is a crisis that is avoidable".