Volume 121, Issue S1 p. S16-S19
PreCongress workshop

Addressing barriers to safe abortion

Kelly R. Culwell

Corresponding Author

Kelly R. Culwell

International Planned Parenthood Federation, London, UK

University of California, Davis; Sacramento, CA, USA

Corresponding author at: University of California, Davis; 4860 Y Street, Suite 2500, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA. Tel.: + 1 916 734 6858; fax: + 1 916 734 6666.Search for more papers by this author
Manuelle Hurwitz

Manuelle Hurwitz

International Planned Parenthood Federation, London, UK

Search for more papers by this author
First published: 07 March 2013
Citations: 39

Abstract

The latest World Health Organization data estimate that the total number of unsafe abortions globally has increased to 21.6 million in 2008. There is increasing recognition by the international community of the importance of the contribution of unsafe abortion to maternal mortality. However, the barriers to delivery of safe abortion services are many. In 68 countries, home to 26% of the world's population, abortion is prohibited altogether or only permitted to save a woman's life. Even in countries with more liberal abortion legal frameworks, additional social, economic, and health systems barriers and the stigma surrounding abortion prevent adequate access to safe abortion services and postabortion care. While much has been achieved to reduce the barriers to comprehensive abortion care, much remains to be done. Only through the concerted action of public, private, and civil society partners can we ensure that women have access to services that are safe, affordable, confidential, and stigma free.