Health

WHO believes that access to safe abortion is important for the health of women and girls


“Nearly every death and disability from unsafe abortion is preventable,” said Craig Lissner, acting director of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research at WHO. Why do we recommend that women and girls have access to abortion and family planning services when they need it?

The global health body also issued new guidance on abortion care, aimed at protecting the health of women and girls and helping to prevent the more than 25 million unsafe abortions currently occurring each year.

The guidelines cover clinical practice, health service delivery, and legal and policy interventions to support quality abortion care.

It includes sharing the duties of more medical staff; ensure access to medical abortion pills, which means more women can receive safe abortions and ensure that all those in need have accurate information about care .

In addition, the guideline recommends removing medically unnecessary policy barriers to safe abortion, such as criminalization, mandatory waiting times, requiring others to give consent ( e.g. sexual partners or family members) or organizations and time limits in the pregnancy abortion can take place.

Such barriers can lead to serious delays in access to treatment and put women and girls at risk of unsafe abortion, stigma and health complications. increased disruption to their education and ability to work, the WHO said.

While most countries allow abortions under specific circumstances, about 20 countries provide no legal basis for abortion.

More than 3 out of 4 countries have legal penalties for abortion, which can include lengthy prison sentences or hefty fines for those who have or assist with the procedure.

However, evidence shows that restricting access to abortion practices does not reduce the number of abortions that take place, the WHO notes.

In fact, the restrictions are more likely to drive women and girls towards unsafe procedures. In the countries that restrict abortion the most, only 1 in 4 abortions are safe, compared with nearly 9 in 10 in countries where the procedure is widely legal, the WHO said.

Dr. Bela Ganatra, Head of WHO’s Unsafe Abortion Unit.

Source: IANS



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