What difference does a law make?
Unsafe abortion – responsible for some 18% of all maternal deaths in sub-Saharan Africa – is one of the most neglected sexual and reproductive health problems in the world today. A new collection in International Journal for Equity in Health aims to shed light on the articulation between the legal, political, social, and cultural conditions that work to enhance or hinder access to safe abortion services.
Marte E. S. Haaland
19 Dec 2019
Worldwide, as many as 19-20 million women resort to unsafe abortions every year. Many of these result in complications that cause considerable damage and even death, making abortion a key issue of women’s health and gender equity. Nevertheless, abortion remains a contentious issue among global health actors, and is often neglected and overlooked. When abortion is addressed, it is commonly discussed in terms of legalization or criminalization, and liberal abortion laws are often understood as synonymous to easy access to abortion services. A recently published collection in the International Journal for Equity in Health scrutinizes this assumption and asks the question: What difference does an abortion law really make for girls’ and women’s access to safe abortion services?