According to a World Health Organization study, abortions worldwide are getting increasingly dangerous and potentially fatal for women. The WHO estimates 28 out of 1,000 women get abortions per year. However, out of the total abortions per year, unsafe abortions number in the tens of millions especially in developing countries that have cultures condemning, banning or stigmatizing abortion socially, politically and religiously.
49% of all worldwide abortions, up from 44% back in 1995, are now considered unsafe.
Unsafe abortions are usually defined as abortions that carry a high risk of the mother getting injured or killed during and after the process and “street” abortions that are being supervised.
They are also defined as abortions carried out by people who are not qualified in the field as well.
Of course, due to the social and religious stigma in many of the areas where unsafe abortions are heavily present, women who need to get abortions need to do so secretly and often in unadvised settings.
A ghastly 97% of abortions in Africa are considered unsafe along with 95% of abortions in Latin America. Moreover, 40% of abortions carried out in the entirety of Asia are considered unsafe.
Even more disturbing is that these estimates are conservative as statistics and survey information are mostly gathered from those who actually admitted to undergoing unsafe abortions or knowing people who have.
According to researchers and experts, unsafe abortion is one of the five leading causes of maternal deaths. In 2008, 1 in every 7 maternal deaths were due to unsafe abortions.
Women undergoing different kinds unsafe abortions face a range of problems including bleeding to death due to penetration of internal organs by “instruments” that hardly qualify as objects for medical use (such as a wire hanger), being injured, getting infected, dying of toxic shock and overdosing on certain drugs “guaranteed” to be safe.
WHO and many other organizations have emphasized the need to recognize the right of women to have access to safe and clean medical facilities for abortions, the legalization of abortions and the training of medical staff in the field of abortions.
Abortion, if done by qualified professionals and in such good settings, have virtually no risk of death or grievous injury to the mother.