The outcome of the Share-Net thematic meeting on contraception and abortion, May 2015.
Despite the worldwide decrease in maternal deaths by 43% since 1990, most recent estimates suggest that, in 2015, annual maternal deaths still total 303,000 worldwide. One-sixth of maternal mortality is due to the complications of unsafe abortion, with nearly 50,000 women dying each year. Additionally, for every maternal death, about 20 women more suffer injury, infection, or disease related to pregnancy and childbirth.
Contraception is key to decreasing the risk of maternal death and morbidity by reducing the number of unintended and high-risk pregnancies. Evidence demonstrates that – overtime – increased use of modern contraception has been the major factor associated with reduced abortion rates.
Globally, contraceptive prevalence has substantially increased among women who are married or in union (for short married women): from 55% in 1990 to 63% in 2010. Concurrently, the unmet need for family planning – the percentage of women who want to stop or delay childbearing but are not using any method of contraception – among married women decreased from 15% in 1990 to 12% in 2010. Albeit these gains, still 146 million married women aged 15–49 years worldwide had an unmet need for family planning in 2010. These statistics do not include unmarried women. In 2008, an estimated 3.2 million adolescent women in developing regions underwent unsafe abortions, which illustrates their need for contraceptives and safe abortion.
This policy brief explains why and how researchers, practitioners and policy makers can address the gap in women’s access to contraception and safe abortion. It discusses: i) the benefits of contraception and safe abortion; ii) the current state of use of, and need for, contraception and safe abortion; and iii) recommendations derived from the Share-Net thematic meeting ‘Contraception and Abortion’.
 Unsafe abortion is a procedure for terminating an unwanted pregnancy either by persons lacking the necessary skills or in an environment lacking minimal medical standards or both http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/unsafe_abortion/hrpwork/en/
Publication file: 2016-03-15_policy_brief_final.pdf
For the PowerPoint presentation about the Policy Brief on contraception and abortion by Odette Hekster please click here:
Presentation Policy Brief Contraception and Abortion