Marie Stopes International Australia

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The reality of unsafe abortion






Did you know that every year nearly 222 million unsafe abortions take place around the world? That’s 22 million times that women go to desperate measures to end an unwanted pregnancy.

What are the implications of this? And what can we do to stop it?

Watch this video to find out more about the reality of unsafe abortion.

But what does unsafe really mean?

Our teams frequently encounter women suffering the effects of unsafe abortion.

Learn more about the causes and shocking consequences in our animated video.

You can also read an account of unsafe abortion from our Country Director in Kenya.


Number of unsafe abortions, and unsafe abortion related mortality data comes from: World Health Organization, Unsafe abortion: global and regional estimates of incidence of unsafe abortion and associated mortality in 2008.

Impact of increasing access to contraception: Unmet need in SSA from UN Contraceptive Use Wall chart; Impact of increasing family planning use from own calculations, using our Impact 2 model.

umber of women suffering complications from unsafe abortion, and those receiving care: Singh S et al., Adding It Up: The Costs and Benefits of Investing in Family Planning and Maternal and Newborn Health, New York: Guttmacher Institute and United Nations Population Fund, 2009.

Abortion rights around the world

The Guardian newspaper recently published an article about abortion rights around the world. The interactive piece provided continent-wide summaries and country-by-country breakdowns of abortion rights, including where the procedure is permitted and for what reasons – to save a woman’s life, to preserve her health, after rape or incest, for economic or social reasons or on request. In addition, the article lists the six states in the world that do not permit abortion under any circumstances.

You can view the article online at The Guardian’s website.

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