Illinois action blog

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Abortion rates decline around the world

And what's the secret?

BIRTH CONTROL!

According to a new report out this week, "the number of induced abortions worldwide declined from nearly 46 million to under 42 million between 1995 and 2003." The Guttmacher Institute and World Health Organization report reveals:

For every 1,000 women of childbearing age (15–44) worldwide, 29 were estimated to have had an induced abortion in 2003, compared with 35 in 1995. The decline was most substantial in Europe, where the rate fell from 48 to 28 abortions per 1,000 women, largely because of dramatic declines in Eastern Europe. On the whole, the abortion rate decreased more in developed countries, where abortion is generally safe and legal on broad grounds (from 39 to 26), than in developing countries, where the procedure is largely illegal and unsafe (from 34 to 29). Significantly, the abortion rate for 2003 was roughly equal in developed and developing regions—26 and 29, respectively—despite abortion being largely illegal in developing regions. Health consequences, however, vary greatly between the two regions, since abortion is generally safe where it is broadly legal and mostly unsafe where restricted. (emphasis mine)

The bad news is that unsafe abortions are still happening around the world and in countries where abortion is illegal at a rate that is astronomically higher than where abortion is legal:

The study also found that an estimated 20 million unsafe abortions occurred in 2003, 97% of these in developing regions. The prevalence of unsafe abortion remains high, with up to 39 unsafe abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 in Eastern Africa and 33 per 1,000 in South America. By contrast, developed regions, where almost all countries allow abortions with few restrictions, had an average unsafe abortion rate of two per 1,000. (emphasis mine)

Many progressives don't like the phrase "safe, legal, and rare" but this report seems to show that increasing access to birth control does make abortion rarer and by making abortion legal makes it safer. If that's what that phrase means, then I'm all for it.

Technorati tags: abortion, Planned Parenthood, international, women's health, , birth control

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2 Comments:

Blogger sarah said...

Here, here! I agree... thanks, great post.

October 12, 2007 at 1:03 PM  
Blogger Veronica said...

Thanks!

October 12, 2007 at 6:45 PM  

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