TitleThe Bad Old Days are Still Here: Abortion Mortality in Developing Countries
AuthorsMaine D., Karkazis K., Bolan N.
PublicationJ Am Med Womens Assoc. 1994 Sep; 49(5):137-42.
AbstractEach year, complications related to unsafe abortion account for at least one in seven maternal deaths worldwide. Nearly all of these deaths occur in developing countries and most are preventable. The authors argue that to prevent abortion-related deaths, all women must have access to safe abortion and contraceptive services, and they discuss the strategies used to prevent abortion-related deaths--preventing unwanted pregnancy, preventing abortion, preventing unsafe abortion, and treating abortion complications. Some of these strategies have been effective, while others have failed. Preventing unwanted pregnancy is a very important starting point, but evidence suggests that it alone cannot solve the problems of abortion-related deaths. Efforts to prevent abortion, whether through legal or cultural sanctions, do not significantly reduce the number of abortions, and may even increase mortality. The technology to perform safe abortions is available, but remains underused. Finally, even under the best of circumstances, women will experience abortion complications (induced or spontaneous) and only through the prompt and effective treatment of these and other obstetric complications will deaths be averted.