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    International Safe Abortion Day 2022, Time to Reaffirm Prevention, Safety

    International Safe Abortion Day 2022: Did you know around 73 million induced abortions take place worldwide each year. Six out of 10 (61%) of all unintended pregnancies, and 3 out of 10 (29%) of all pregnancies, end in induced abortion. Every year, September 28th marks the international safe abortion day.

    Abortion is a common health intervention. It is safe when carried out using a method recommended by WHO, appropriate to the pregnancy duration and by someone with the necessary skills.Abortion is a common health intervention. It is safe when carried out using a method recommended by WHO, appropriate to the pregnancy duration and by someone with the necessary skills.

    Six out of 10 of all unintended pregnancies end in an induced abortion. Around 45% of all abortions are unsafe, of which 97% take place in developing countries.

    A Comprehensive abortion care is included in the list of essential health care services published by WHO in 2020. Abortion is a simple health care intervention that can be effectively managed by a wide range of health workers using medication or a surgical procedure.

    In the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, a medical abortion can also be safely self-managed by the pregnant person outside of a health care facility (e.g., at home), in whole or in part. This requires that the woman has access to accurate information, quality medicines and support from a trained health worker (if she needs or wants it during the process).

    Comprehensive abortion care includes the provision of information, abortion management and post-abortion care. It encompasses care related to miscarriage (spontaneous abortion and missed abortion), induced abortion (the deliberate interruption of an ongoing pregnancy by medical or surgical means), incomplete abortion as well as fetal death (intrauterine fetal demise). The information in this fact sheet focuses on care related to induced abortion.

    International Safe Abortion Day: Did you know 45% of abortions all abortions are unsafe

    According to the WHO, each year, 4.7–13.2% of maternal deaths can be attributed to unsafe abortion (3). In developed regions, it is estimated that 30 women die for every 100 000 unsafe abortions. In developing regions, that number rises to 220 deaths per 100 000 unsafe abortions. Estimates from 2012 indicate that in developing countries alone, 7 million women per year were treated in hospital facilities for complications of unsafe abortion.

    Physical health risks associated with unsafe abortion include:

    • incomplete abortion (failure to remove or expel all pregnancy tissue from the uterus);
      haemorrhage (heavy bleeding);
    • infection;
    • uterine perforation (caused when the uterus is pierced by a sharp object); and
    • damage to the genital tract and internal organs as a consequence of inserting dangerous objects into the vagina or anus.

    Abortion is a common health intervention. It is safe when carried out using a method recommended by WHO, appropriate to the pregnancy duration and by someone with the necessary skills.

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