Nearly Half Of All Abortions Unsafe In Developing Countries

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Nearly Half Of All Abortions Unsafe In Developing Countries

October 3, 2017
Susan Brink

Of the 56 million annual abortions performed around the world, nearly half, or 25 million, posed some threat to the health or life of the woman. The vast majority of unsafe abortions – 97 percent — were performed in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

And about half of those abortions in poor countries are unsafe, compared with just 12.5 percent in wealthy countries, according to a report in last week's issue of The Lancet, the British medical journal.

Gilda Sedgh, an author of the paper, is a scientist at the Guttmacher Institute, a sexual and reproductive rights research organization. We talked with her about the problem of unsafe abortions in low-income countries. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Continued at source: http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2017/10/03/555317349/nearly-half-of-all-abortions-unsafe-in-developing-countries

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Tedros can draw on Ethiopia’s lessons on abortion

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Opinion: Tedros can draw on Ethiopia's lessons on abortion

by Saba Kidanemariam 05 July 2017

The past decade has seen tremendous progress toward women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights around the world, especially access to safe abortion. As Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus takes the helm of the World Health Organization as its new director-general, we can’t go backwards. Women’s and girls’ lives are at stake. Tens of thousands of women die, and millions more are injured when they have no choice but to turn to unsafe “back-alley” abortions.

In Ethiopia, the government, health providers and civil society worked together to make abortion safe and accessible. Why? As in many countries in Africa and other parts of the world, unsafe abortion was a major cause of death or injury for women in Ethiopia. Women who are young and poor are most affected. And we know from experience and research that restricting access to abortion doesn’t make it safe and doesn’t make it rare.

Continued at source: Devex: https://www.devex.com/news/opinion-tedros-can-draw-on-ethiopia-s-lessons-on-abortion-90587

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Four priorities on women’s health for new WHO chief Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus

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Opinion: 4 priorities on women’s health for new WHO chief Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus
By Shannon Kowalski
23 May 2017

Today, the race to head the global health agency charged with responding to pandemics and setting health policy has culminated with the selection of Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. As next director-general of the World Health Organization, Tedros will take the helm as countries such as the United States are stepping up their efforts to roll back progress on women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights.

The next WHO director-general is Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The former minister of health of Ethiopia was elected as the new leader of the U.N. global health body by the World Health Assembly on Tuesday.

In this context, it will take a particularly courageous leader to ensure that the world’s prominent health body does not let politics trump evidence. Instead, the WHO’s new leader must take the bold action needed to ensure that every woman and girl everywhere can exercise her right to control her body, protect her health and live a healthy, empowered life.

Here are four priorities for women and girls that should be at the top of Tedros’ agenda.

Continued at source: Devex: https://www.devex.com/news/opinion-4-priorities-on-women-s-health-for-new-who-chief-dr-tedros-ghebreyesus-90335

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The Global Gag Rule: America’s Deadly Export

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The Global Gag Rule: America’s Deadly Export

The policy that plucks U.S. dollars from any international health care initiative tied to abortion has been reinstated by President Trump — and a lot of African women are going to die as a result.

By Jill Filipovic

Photography by Nichole Sobecki
March 20, 2017

Fred Gbagbo recognized the woman right away, even though the blood had drained from her face and was instead pooling between her legs. There was no trace of the pushy, even demanding young woman in this listless body lying semiconscious in front of him. During their first encounter just hours earlier, he’d concluded that she was a devil trying to tempt angels. Now, seeing her so pale, he wasn’t so sure.

That morning, she had interrupted a pre-work prayer he was conducting with other student doctors in the gynecology unit of a teaching hospital in Ghana; she was pregnant, she said, and she wanted an abortion. Gbagbo and his colleagues, devout Christians all, knew what to do. They told her no, preached her the Gospel, and sent her on her way, proud they had so uncompromisingly cast her out, certain they had deterred her from sin.

But here she was back again, and Gbagbo couldn’t shake the nagging, nauseating feeling that perhaps it was he who had sinned. Their examination revealed a perforated uterus, the likely result of an attempt to perform the abortion herself, or the botched efforts of a local freelancer; either way, she wasn’t talking, and her body told only the worst of the story. They took her to the operating room, but it didn’t matter. She died there hours later, a first-year medical student and her parents’ only daughter.

A decade later, one question still haunts Gbagbo: “Who killed this poor girl?”

The possible answer — that in refusing the woman care, it was Gbagbo who was culpable for her death — branded a mark of guilt on his heart so deep that it set him on a new path. Not long after, he started his work as an advocate for safe abortion, which led him to become a leader in developing Ghana’s national policy on comprehensive abortion care. Now, he is the national director of medical development in Ghana for Marie Stopes, an international NGO, overseeing private facilities that provide family planning, infertility treatment, prenatal care, and safe abortions for women in need.

Continued at source: Foreign Policy: http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/03/20/the-global-gag-rule-americas-deadly-export-trump-africa-women-reproductive-rights/

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U.S. gag rule garrotes global health

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U.S. gag rule garrotes global health

By Sue Davis
Posted on February 5, 2017

The first action President Trump took on his first work day in office was to sign a memorandum signaling a full-fledged attack on health care around the world. He made this assault, directed ostensibly at women’s health and rights, on Jan. 23, the day after the 44th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and two days after the 5-million-global Women’s March. Roe v. Wade was the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the U.S.

Continued at link
Source, Workers' World: http://www.workers.org/2017/02/05/u-s-gag-rule-garrotes-global-health/#.WJj5G7qXDMg

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Trump Makes the Global Gag Rule on Abortion Even Worse

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Trump Makes the Global Gag Rule on Abortion Even Worse

By Margaret Talbot January 25, 2017

In 1984, at a population conference in Mexico City, the Reagan Administration brought domestic abortion politics into the arena of international aid for the first time. The Administration declared that “the United States does not consider abortion an acceptable element of family planning programs and will no longer contribute to those of which it is a part.” The so-called Mexico City Policy has been in effect for seventeen of the past thirty-two years—espoused by every Republican Administration, renounced under every Democratic one, including that of President Barack Obama. One of the policy’s requirements is that the United States not contribute to nongovernmental organizations that “perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations.” To receive American funding for any of their family-planning work, in other words, groups would have to promise that they wouldn’t even speak of abortion—hence the nickname that the policy’s exasperated critics soon coined: the global gag rule.

[continued at link]
Source, New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/trump-makes-the-global-gag-rule-on-abortion-even-worse

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Access to Safe Abortion Care in Ethiopia Has Improved Following Expansion of Services

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Despite Progress, Unsafe Abortion is Still Common
Jan 13, 2017
Guttmacher Institute

After liberalizing Ethiopia’s abortion law in 2005, the government implemented programs designed to train health care providers, to equip facilities and expand the services they offer and to integrate abortion care into broader reproductive health services. These efforts have resulted in significant improvements in access to abortion and postabortion care in the country. A new study reveals that, although many procedures continued to occur outside health facilities, often under unsafe conditions, the share of abortions that took place in health facilities nearly doubled between 2008 and 2014.

[continued at link]
Source: Guttmacher Institute

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Sierra Leone delegates return from Abortion Confab

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By A Special Correspondent
Dec 16, 2016, Awareness News

A two-man delegation from Sierra Leone has returned to Freetown after adequately representing the country in the “2016 Africa Regional Conference on Abortion: From Research to Policy” held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The delegation comprising Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation II, Hon. Zulianatu Cooper and Senior Medical Superintendent at the Princess Christian Maternity (Cottage) Hospital Obstetrician/Gynecologists Dr. Alimamy Philip Koroma joined 250 researchers, policymakers, advocates, health care providers, youth, journalists, and donors, all focused on reducing the detrimental impact of unsafe abortion on African women, especially among young women and adolescents.

[continued at link]
Source: Awareness Times, Sierra Leone

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The Africa Regional Conference on Abortion: From Research to Policy Conference Declaration

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Guttmacher Institute, International (Ethiopia), Dec 15, 2016

During the last decade, women in Africa have made progress in achieving greater gender equality, financial security and access to health care. Women have assumed positions of leadership and governance in international forums, national offices and at community levels. Young African women and men have grown more vocal in their support for women’s equality.

But throughout the region, women and girls are still denied the ability to control their reproductive lives. In many places, reproductive health care, including safe abortion care, is inaccessible—particularly for young, rural, poor, displaced and uneducated women—for a variety of reasons including legal restrictions, cost and cultural stigma. This stigma extends to health care providers who may not provide abortion care as a result.

[continued at link]
Source: Guttmacher Institute

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Ethiopia: Comprehensive Abortion Care to Decline Maternal Death

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11 December 2016
The Ethiopian Herald (Addis Ababa)
By Girmachew Gashaw

Induced abortion or the deliberate termination of pregnancy is one of the most controversial issues in legal discourse. As a legal issue, abortion is usually discussed in light of the principles of criminal law. Depending on circumstances, however, abortion can also be discussed from the standpoint of constitutional law.

In the former case, the issue usually takes the form of criminalizing or decriminalizing the act, while in the latter, the issue becomes whether a pregnant woman has a constitutional right to terminate her pregnancy. The issue thus usually involves the competing arguments in favour of the "right" of the fetus to be brought onto life (i.e. personhood) vis-à-vis the right of the mother to abortion based on her interests and choice.

[continued at link]
Source: All Africa

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