Unsafe abortion: women at risk
Report 25, September 2019
Women's health, Colombia
Colombia decriminalised abortion in some circumstances in 2006 yet only around 10 per cent of terminations of pregnancies are safely performed in health structures. Unsafe abortions are responsible for some 10 per cent of Colombia's maternal deaths. MSF has published a report in Spanish Aborto no seguro, mujeres en riesgo (Unsafe abortion, women at risk), highlighting the barriers women encounter when seeking to terminate their pregnancies. It is based on information collection during the implementation of our safe abortion service in Colombia in 2017 and 2018.
Unsafe abortion is one of the five leading causes of maternal mortality worldwide, along with postpartum haemorrhage, sepsis, birth complications and hypertensive disorders. Of all these, unsafe abortion is the only one that is completely avoidable.
Medication Abortion and the Changing Abortion Landscape
by Megan K. Donovan
Sept 26, 2019
Medication abortion is a safe and effective method of abortion that can be completed outside of a medical setting—for example, in the comfort and privacy of one’s home. Now, new data from the Guttmacher Institute reveal that even as overall abortion numbers continue to decline, the use of medication abortion in the United States continues to grow. In 2017, the number of early medication abortions provided in clinical settings rose to approximately 340,000, an overall increase of 25% from 2014.
Medication abortion has been transforming the provision of care since it was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2000, and the latest data confirm that it continues to represent an increasingly significant proportion of all U.S. abortions, accounting for 39% in 2017. In fact, it is now the most common method used for abortions up to 10 weeks’ gestation, accounting for 60% of all such abortions in 2017.
U.S. Abortion Rate Continues to Decline, Reaching Historic Low in 2017
Regional and State Disparities in Abortion Access Have Widened
September 18, 2019
News Release, Guttmacher Institute
The U.S. abortion rate dropped to 13.5 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 in 2017, the lowest rate recorded since abortion was legalized in 1973 and an 8% decline from 2014, according to a new Guttmacher report by Rachel Jones, Elizabeth Witwer and Jenna Jerman. The number of abortions also declined to 862,320 in 2017, 7% fewer than in 2014. Birthrates declined in almost all states during this period, indicating that fewer people became pregnant, not that more individuals chose or were made to give birth rather than have an abortion.
The Guttmacher Institute’s 18th census of all known abortion-providing facilities in the United States identified 808 clinic facilities providing abortions in 2017, a 2% increase from 2014. However, during that time, longstanding regional and state disparities in abortion access grew even more pronounced: The number of clinics increased in the Northeast (by 16%) and the West (by 4%) and actually decreased in the Midwest (by 6%) and the South (by 9%). In 2017, 89% of U.S. counties did not have a clinic that provided abortion services, and 38% of women of reproductive age lived in these counties.
Data Shows Link Between Support for Abortion Legality and Personal Experience
Molly Igoe, PRRI Staff,
In PRRI’s landmark survey of over 40,000 Americans, “The State of Abortion and Contraception Attitudes in All 50 States: Findings from the 2018 American Values Atlas,” awareness of abortion, either through personal experience or knowing someone with personal experience, is strongly correlated with support for abortion legality. In the survey, just under half (49%) of Americans report that they themselves have had an abortion or know someone who has (or both).
Three in four (75%) Americans who report having had an abortion think it should be legal in all or most cases and 60% who know someone who had an abortion say the same. Americans who do not know anyone who had an abortion are evenly split between supporting and opposing abortion (46%).
Study: 8% of Texas Women Self-Induced Their Abortions
Thursday September 05, 2019
As many as 8% of Texas women may have self-managed their abortions, according to a new study published in BMC Women’s Health. The study suggests that women may already be pursuing less safe abortions in the wake of increasing abortion restrictions.
Texas Women Are Inducing Their Own Abortions
The authors of the study hypothesized that women might not report self-induced abortions, and that official data on the topic might underestimate the numbers. So they administered surveys to 790 Texas women of reproductive age in 2015. The surveys asked about various health experiences. Self-managed abortion was included in half of the surveys.
If Roe Were Overturned, As Many As 140,000 Individuals Could Be Prevented from Accessing Clinical Abortion Services During the First Year
Aug 2, 2019
Average Travel Distance to an Abortion Facility in the United States Would Increase by 97 Miles
Residents of the Midwest and the South Would Be Most Affected
If Roe v. Wade were overturned or weakened, increases in travel distances would likely prevent 93,500 to 143,500 individuals from accessing abortion care, according to “Predicted changes in abortion access and incidence in a post-Roe world,” a new analysis by Caitlin Myers of Middlebury College and collaborators from the Guttmacher Institute and Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) at the University of California, San Francisco.
The Economic Effects of Abortion Access: A Review of the Evidence
Anna Bernstein, M.P.H., Kelly Jones, Ph.D.
July 18, 2019
A large body of research has examined the effects of abortion access on fertility and health outcomes. A number of studies have also established associations between abortion access and economic outcomes. This paper summarizes a smaller body of literature that identifies the causal impacts of abortion access on economic outcomes, indicating how women’s economic security is directly affected by access to abortion.
Study: U.S. Ban On Aid To Foreign Clinics That 'Promote' Abortion Upped Abortion Rate
June 27, 2019
When it comes to sending U.S. aid to poor countries, every Republican president from Ronald Reagan through Donald Trump has imposed a rule: Foreign aid groups are prohibited from getting U.S. assistance for family planning unless they promise not to "perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning." That includes providing patients with referrals or information about the procedure, even if those activities are funded by non-U.S. government sources. (Trump's version of the funding ban has gone even further — applying to aid for virtually all global health services, not just family planning.)
Being Denied an Abortion Changes a Woman's Physical Health in These Ways
"Our study indicates that having an abortion is not detrimental to women's physical health."
By Sarah Sloat
June 10, 2019
In the early 1990s, the the pro-life movement introduced a new strategy, and what became known as the “woman-protective antiabortion argument” emerged, centering on the claim that abortions hurt women. Until that point, the pro-life argument was largely fetal-focused; internally, pro-life advocates debated whether that messaging was the most effective for their cause.
A new study of patients at 30 U.S. abortion facilities, released on Monday, shows that in many cases, the opposite of that woman-focused strategy is true: Being denied an abortion actually results in a woman’s poorer physical health.
Why do women still resort to informal sector abortions in countries where abortion is legal?
Giuliano Russo & Sonia Chemlal
25 Apr 2019
Abortion is generally a safe procedure when carried out in the formal healthcare setting in countries where it is legal. However, many women choose to seek abortions outside of the formal healthcare setting, despite the inherent risk. In this blog post, the authors of a recent systematic review of qualitative studies about why women make this choice, published in BMC Women’s Health, discuss their findings.