Document Type



Obstetrics and Gynaecology (East Africa)


Around the world, 56 million induced abortions took place annually in 2010–14, which was about 25% of all pregnancies. Abortion rates vary widely across regions, do not differ significantly by income level or legal status of abortion,1 and depend on many factors, one of the key ones being a lack of access to modern contraceptives.1 Safe abortion, however, depends on the legal climate, and countries with restrictive abortion laws are far more likely to have illegal and unsafe abortions. Abortionrelated complications are an important and preventable cause of maternal mortality, accounting for 8–9% of maternal deaths worldwide,2 with 42 to 63 women dying out of every 100000 abortions. Globally, the rate of abortion-related deaths dropped by about 42% between 1990–94 and 2010–14, from 108 per 100000 women to 63 per 100000. The rate of such deaths is highest in Africa, at 141 per 100000 abortions.1,2