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Citizens for Justice and Peace

Abortion rates significantly decline, in wealthy nations

27, Mar 2018 | CJP Team

The Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy organisation on reproductive health, released a report that says abortion rates have fallen considerably around the world, but the decrease has been mainly in developed nations, the Guardian reported. Worldwide, abortion rates decreased from 46 per every 1,000 women of reproductive age to 27, between 1990 to 1994 and 2010 to 2014. However, in developing nations the rate dropped from 39 to only 36 in the same time period. In 2014, at least 22,800 women died in relation to unsafe abortions. The report’s authors expressed concern over the high rates of abortion, especially risky abortion, in developing nations. The report noted that “legal restrictions do not eliminate abortion,” but instead “increase the likelihood that abortions will be done unsafely, as they compel women to seek clandestine procedures. Indeed, abortion tends to be safer in countries where it is broadly legal and in countries with a high national income.” The researchers noted that the decrease in abortions around the world was spurred by the better use of contraception, with the sharpest decrease taking place in eastern Europe. Abortions took place just as often in countries where they are prohibited or highly restricted and in countries where they are least restricted. 56 million abortions took place yearly in the period between 2010 and 2014. Of these, 55% were considered “safe” as they were performed by a trained professional and using a recommended procedure. 30% were “less safe” as they only had one of the two previous characteristics. 14% were “least safe”, as they had neither of the two characteristics. As of 2017, 42% of women of reproductive age reside in 125 countries where abortion is either banned entirely or only permitted as life-saving procedure or to safeguard a woman’s health. 

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