Intended for healthcare professionals


Access to legal abortion is needed to help cut 70 000 deaths a year

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 14 October 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4212
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

    Family planning services and access to legal abortion need to improve worldwide to reduce the number of maternal deaths and complications from unsafe abortion, a new report concludes.

    The report, from the Guttmacher Institute, a non-profit organisation that works to advance reproductive health, says that unsafe abortions result in an estimated 70 000 deaths a year globally and that that figure has hardly changed in 10 years.

    Access to high quality care after abortion remains poor for women in many less developed countries. Each year an estimated eight million women experience complications that need medical treatment, but only five million receive that care.

    Sharon Camp, president of the US based Guttmacher Institute, said, “Most of the findings in our report are very positive, as the need for abortion appears to be declining everywhere in the world. This is largely due to the rate of unintended pregnancies coming down, and the main reason for …

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