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Abortion Worldwide: A Decade of Uneven Progress Guttmacher Institute © October 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Abortion Worldwide: A Decade of Uneven Progress Guttmacher Institute © October 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Abortion Worldwide: A Decade of Uneven Progress Guttmacher Institute © October 2009

2 Whats new Trends in contraceptive use, unmet need for contraception and unintended pregnancy rates Changes in the legal status of abortion More comprehensive look at abortion and womens lives

3 Most trends are positive Worldwide decline in abortion incidence Global rise in contraceptive use Decline in unintended pregnancy Liberalized abortion laws in a number of countries Growing access to abortion, even in legally restrictive countries

4 Abortion has declined worldwide WorldMore developed countries Less developed countries Abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44

5 Unintended pregnancy rates are down in the developing world *Excludes Eastern Asia Unintended pregnancies per 1,000 women aged 15–44

6 Contraceptive use is on the rise

7 Safe abortion is more available 19 countries (including the Mexican Federal District) have liberalized their laws Availability of medication abortion has improved Use of manual vacuum aspiration has increased

8 But progress has been uneven Levels of unsafe abortion have not declined Unmet need for contraception remains high in some regions Many women lack access to safe abortion Abortion-related mortality and morbidity remain higher The poor bear the greatest burden

9 Unsafe abortion rates have not changed WorldMore developed countries Less developed countries Abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44

10 40% of women worldwide live under highly restrictive abortion laws 1.55 billion women aged 15–44, 2008 Legal Grounds

11 Unmet need for contraception is still high… 1990– – – –2007 Africa Asia Latin America & Caribbean Married women aged 15 – 44

12 Leading to high rates of unintended pregnancy Modern method No method Traditional method Unintended pregnancies in developing countries, by womens contraceptive use

13 More than one-third of pregnancies in developing countries are unintended All pregnancies in developing countries

14 Almost all unsafe abortions occur in the developing world Millions of abortions,

15 Nearly all abortions in Africa and Latin America are unsafe

16 Four in 10 women having unsafe abortions experience complications requiring treatment 19.2 million unsafe abortions

17 In countries with restrictive abortion laws, providers of abortion are often untrained % of women having abortions

18 Poor women are most likely to experience serious abortion complications Of women having abortions, % experiencing serious complications

19 Health consequences are often severe and long-term Kenya: 28% of abortion complications among women seeking treatment were severe Nigeria: Among hospitalized patients: –1 in 3 had hemorrhage –1 in 4 had sepsis –1 in 10 suffered other injuries Second trimester abortion greatly increases risk Many women experience long-term consequences

20 Costs of unsafe abortion to women, their families and society are large Postabortion care costs Africa and Latin America nearly $300 million annually An estimated 220,000 children are left motherless every year from abortion-related deaths Loss of productivity affects household functioning

21 Unsafe abortion accounts for one in eight maternal deaths Maternal deaths per 100,000 live births

22 Safe abortion saves lives: South Africa Between 1994 and 2000, severity of abortion- related complications dropped: –Fewer postabortion infections –Largest gains by young women Deaths due to unsafe abortion declined by at least 50%

23 Preventing unintended pregnancy is cost-effective Estimated $19 million spent annually in treating unsafe abortion complications in Nigeria It would cost only $4.8 million to provide the contraceptive services needed to prevent the pregnancies resulting in these abortions This is a cost-benefit ratio of about 4:1

24 Increased contraceptive use leads to fewer abortions The worldwide decline in abortion over the past decade has been accompanied by: –A worldwide decline in unintended pregnancy –A global increase in the proportion of women using contraception

25 Key interventions to reduce unsafe abortion and its consequences Expand access to modern contraceptives and improve family planning services Expand access to legal abortion and ensure that safe services are available to women in need Improve the quality and coverage of postabortion care, which would reduce maternal death and disability due to unsafe abortion

26 For more information visit

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