Intended for healthcare professionals


Unwanted pregnancies fall worldwide but women in poorer countries remain disadvantaged, study finds

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 24 July 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m2985
  1. Lynn Eaton
  1. London

Women in the world’s poorest regions face persistent and major inequalities in access to sexual and reproductive healthcare, a major global study has concluded.

The paper, published online in the Lancet Global Health,1 examined numbers of unwanted pregnancies and subsequent abortions, divided into three categories: World Bank income groups, sustainable development goal regional groupings, and the legal status of abortion. Country specific analysis is not due to be published by the researchers until later this year.

Worldwide, the number of unwanted pregnancies has fallen since 1990. In 2015-19 there were 121 million unintended pregnancies a year, equivalent to 64 in 1000 women aged 15-49. This was down from 79 unwanted …

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