Sexual and reproductive health

Unsafe abortion: the preventable pandemic

The Lancet sexual & reproductive health series

David A Grimes, Janie Benson, Susheela Singh, Mariana Romero, Bela Ganatra, Friday E Okonofua, Iqbal H Shah

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Publication details

Number of pages: 13
Publication date: 2006
Languages: English
WHO reference number: Pre-print version of a Lancet paper


Ending the silent pandemic of unsafe abortion is an urgent public-health and human-rights imperative. As with other more visible global-health issues, this scourge threatens women throughout the developing world. Every year, about 19–20 million abortions are done by individuals without the requisite skills, or in environments below minimum medical standards, or both. Nearly all unsafe abortions (97%) are in developing countries.

The Lancet sexual and reproductive health series

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