How is banning abortion affecting life and why it should be stopped

In support of what is currently happening in Poland and in other countries, where abortion is not legal or restrictive, we stand by the protesters and share knowledge about what abortion is, why

it is necessary to be legal and the consequences of banning it. Worldwide, the legalization of abortion remains a highly controversial topic with many nuances, including political, social and economical ones.

In November, we are looking closely into abortion. Last week we talked about what abortion is and the legal methods that can be performed by physicians.

This week, we will focus on the unsafe and illegal abortion, why it is still happening and the consequences of it.

Let’s dive in!

So, what is unsafe and, consequently, illegal abortion?

The WHO (World Health Organization) defines unsafe abortion as procedures performed either by unskilled and unqualified doctors and/or in an environment that does not provide minimal medical standards. In 1967, unsafe abortion was declared as a serious public health concern and over the years WHO worked on developing guidelines on safe abortions for healthcare systems. As a result, in 2004 unsafe abortion was integrated as an main component of the Reproductive health strategy to accelerate progress towards the attainment of international development goals and targets.

Abortion around the world, how does it look?

  • Currently there are 26 countries that completely prohibit abortion under any circumstances

  • One the opposite side, 36 countries provide abortion by request (gestational age may vary)


Unsafe abortion statistics

  • The incidences of unsafe abortions have risen between 1990 and 2008, especially in countries where strict abortion laws were implemented

  • From 1970s onwards, a number of legal reforms have been implemented with a high impact on the health and life of women, children and families

  • Numbers of unsafe abortion are more than 4 times higher in countries with restrictive abortion laws than in countries with less restrictive ones

  • Restrictive laws are linked to 3 times higher levels of maternal mortality than in countries with less restrictive ones

  • Up to 50% of illegal abortion patients end up in hospital due to complications and even death (367 deaths per 100000 cases)

Numerous methods for contraception and sexual education have been promoted (with various degrees or at all in some countries) in the last decade. The purpose is lowering the number of unwanted pregnancies and induced abortion but this is still not enough to prevent illegal and unsafe abortions. The lack of access to safe and legal abortion increases the risk of performing unsafe abortion with serious health consequences. This is why it is important for abortion to be legalized as it leads to decreased maternal complications and maternal deaths. For examples, in co