The Bihar Post

25 million unsafe abortions occur each year, UN health agency warns


New York: About 25 million unsafe abortions, accounting for 45 per cent of all abortions, occurred every year from 2010 to 2014 worldwide, with 97 per cent of those unsafe procedures occurring in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, a new United Nations study has found.

“Increased efforts report are needed, especially in developing regions, to ensure access to contraception and safe abortion,” says Bela Ganatra, a scientist and the lead author of the study, The Lancet, released on Thursday by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Guttmacher Institute.

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“Despite recent advances in technology and evidence, too many unsafe abortions still occur, and too many women continue to suffer and die,” added Ganatra of WHO’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research.

For the first time, the study includes sub-classifications within the unsafe abortion category as less safe or least safe. The distinction allows for a more nuanced understanding of the different circumstances of abortions among women who are unable to access safe abortions from a trained provider.

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The risk of severe complications or death is negligible if procedures follow WHO guidelines and standards. About 55 per cent of all abortions from 2010 to 2014 were conducted safely.

Most abortions that take place in Western and Northern Europe and North America are safe. These regions also have some of the lowest abortion rates.

The proportion of abortions that were safe in Eastern Asia, including China, was similar to developed regions. In South-Central Asia, however, less than one in two abortions were safe.

Infographic: WHO

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