African women risk their lives for abortions

November 16, 2010 § Leave a comment


A well-written and sobering blog post on the Guardian Development blog here. Out of the 5.6m abortions that take place in Africa every year, a mere 100,000 take place under safe conditions.

This is a statistic that should make everyone feel humble. Without generalising, I imagine that having an abortion is a decision no woman takes lightly – and millions of African women are so desperate not to have the baby that they knowingly risk their lives.

Legalising abortion is a controversial issue that will never satisfy everyone either way – but as this post points out – the loss of the women has wider impacts on society:

“The terrible toll of unsafe abortion goes well beyond the individual woman. Losing their mother and care-giver devastates the lives of children and families, and losing a healthy woman’s many contributions to society weakens her community. Unsafe abortion is also a serious drain on very limited public health resources. African governments spend, on average, $114 per case to provide care for illness and disability associated with unsafe abortion, yet per-capita spending on healthcare averages just $48.”

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