[The Sexuality Blog] Abortions that kill and the laws that enable them

A new study published in the scientific journal, “The Lancet” has just revealed that about 50% of all abortions performed across the world are either illegal or performed in unsafe environments.

Dr. Bela Ganatra, the lead author of this study which was performed over the course of four years (2010 – 2014) discovered that an estimated 55.7 million abortions were performed across the world and about 30 million of those abortions happened in third world countries.

For their study, the team defined what unsafe abortions are and determined them to encompass all pregnancy terminations that are done by a person who lacks the necessary medical skills to perform such procedures, or a termination where the medical personnel has the necessary skill but is forced to perform the termination in an environment that doesn’t meet minimal medical standards, or both. As more countries either withdraw sexual health rights or abolish abortions and access to contraceptions they increase the risk of women seeking out unwanted pregnancies as a response to unwanted pregnancies.

Nigerian journal, The Republic, recently tackled the concept of sexual health and sexual health rights as they relate to Nigeria and Africa at large in a new article. There are a few important points in the article that we will summarize here.

First, that only 3 countries in Africa have legalised abortions without any precluding circumstances. For every 1000 African women, an average of 30 have had unsafe abortion and zero to one have had safe abortions. Basically this means that only 3% of African women have access to safe abortions.

In West Africa 97% of Abortions are unsafe, and in Nigeria, an estimated one million women have abortions every year, up from 700,000 in 2006.

These are terrifying facts. One million Nigerian women, just a fraction of the actual number of women who have unwanted pregnancies annually will feel so trapped by the system that they will risk their lives to have an abortion.

Do we really want to perpetuate system that puts one million women at risk annually?

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