If Abortion Rates Are Currently Low In Developed World, Why Are More Women Dying From The Procedure?

By Belle Smith, Parent Herald May 14, 05:39 am
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Women take to the streets of Rio in protest of proposal to ban all abortions

A new study has found that abortion rates are currently at their lowest, but that doesn't mean that it isn't happening. It has been found that developed worlds like Eastern Europe has a low abortion incident rate while more women are undergoing unsafe abortions in Latin America.

Good News, Bad News

The study, which was conducted by the nonprofit Guttmacher Institute together with the World Health Organization, discovered that abortion rates in established countries. According to CNN, the other side of the story found that more maternal deaths are being caused by unsafe abortions in locations like Latin America.

The study, which was published in The Lancet last Wednesday, looked at the number of abortions during the period from 1990-1994 and compared it to the numbers in 2010-2014. The researchers found that there was a huge decline in abortions performed in developed countries. However, 88% of abortions occurred in developing countries, where 1 out of 4 pregnancies ended in abortion.

Do Abortion Restrictions Work?

It might seem like women should be less likely to get an abortion in countries where the procedure is restricted or illegal. However, the study found that most of the abortions from 2010 to 2014 were performed in the same countries that ban the procedure.

Guttmacher Institute's principal research scientist Gilda Sedgh pointed out that the numbers may have been affected the countries' restrictive abortion laws and lack of family planning services. The need to have a smaller family has actually caused women to try unsafe abortions.

Can Family Planning Help?

But would it cost more for certain countries to open family planning services? WHO's Dr. Bela Ganatra says it isn't so. "Investing in modern contraceptive methods would be far less costly to women and society than having unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions," the study's co-author stated.

The study also found that around 6.9 million women in developing countries had to be treated for unsafe abortion complications in 2012.

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