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What Is a Safe Abortion?

What Is a Safe Abortion?

Concerns about people using risky abortion techniques to end pregnancies have been voiced by several specialists. But why is an abortion dangerous? And what does "safe abortion" mean to you?

 The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 73 million abortions occur annually in the world. All pregnancies result in an induced abortion in about 29% of cases.
Additionally, according to the WHO, 97% of unsafe abortions occur in underdeveloped nations, and the WHO estimates that 45% of all abortions worldwide are unsafe.
Even though safe abortions seldom result in complications, Doctors Without Borders points out that unsafe abortions are a major source of maternal mortality that is virtually entirely preventable.

What’s the difference between a safe and unsafe abortion?

 The following requirements must be met for an abortion to be deemed safe:
  • The WHO recommends this technique since it is suitable for the gestational period (how "far along" you are in your pregnancy).
  • An experienced specialist performs the treatment.
Any abortion that does not meet all of the aforementioned requirements is dangerous.
Some experts divide abortions into three categories: safe, less safe, and least safe.
  • Safe abortions meet the two aforementioned requirements.
  • Less-safe abortions meet one of the aforementioned requirements but not both.
  • Less-safe abortions do not meet either of the aforementioned requirements.
Although the terms "safe abortion" and "legal abortion" are frequently used interchangeably, neither term is usually accurate.
As long as the procedure follows a recommended method and is carried out by a qualified expert, it is still possible to have a safe abortion in a region where it is prohibited.
That said, countries with stringent abortion laws may make it more difficult to receive safe abortion treatment, which is why unsafe abortions are more common in those nations.

What are the characteristics of safe abortion care?

A safe abortion is performed.
  • the WHO-recommended approach
  • Utilizing a technique suitable for the gestational period
  • by a qualified and experienced person.
Typical risk-free abortion techniques include:
  • Pharmaceutical abortion, in which a pregnancy is ended by ingesting pills
  • Vacuum aspiration is a surgical or in-clinic abortion method that uses soft suction to remove tissues.
  • Another in-clinic or surgical abortion method is called dilation and evacuation (D&E), which entails opening the cervix and removing tissue from the uterus.

What are the characteristics of "less safe" and "least safe" abortion care?

 Abortion care that is "less safe" only meets one of the following two requirements:
  • A technique approved by the WHO for the gestational period is used.
  • An expert with training conducts it.
For instance, an abortion can be considered "less safe" if:
  • Using a WHO-recommended procedure, someone has an abortion without the supervision and help of a trained professional.
  • The procedure is performed by a qualified medical practitioner, although they employ an antiquated technique like sharp cutting.
  • The procedure is performed by a qualified medical professional using a WHO-recommended technique, but the technique is inappropriate for the gestational stage (for instance, attempting to induce a third-trimester abortion with abortion drugs).
Neither of the aforementioned standards for safe abortions is met by the "least safe" abortion care.
In other words, it is not performed by a trained expert and is carried out using a technique that the WHO does not recommend for gestational time.
For instance, without assistance from a qualified physician, a person can attempt a "home remedy" abortion on their own.
It's crucial to remember that self-managed abortion isn't always dangerous. For instance, telehealth abortion services let you order and use abortion medication from the comfort of your home.

What factors contribute to less and less safe abortion care?

 Individuals who receive "less safe" or "least safe" abortion care may do so because it's challenging to obtain safe abortion care.
Access to secure abortion care is made more difficult by the following factors:
  1. Legal restrictions: Legal limits may include outright bans on abortion, bans on abortion after a specific point in pregnancy, or parental consent requirements.
  2. Lack of trained medical professionals: Additionally, certain medical practitioners could decline to offer abortion services.
  3. Lack of abortion facilities: Abortion clinics are few in some regions of the world, particularly in rural areas. Overburdened clinics may not be able to meet demand.
  4. Shaming from abortion providers: People may choose to avoid clinics and hospitals and undergo abortions at home out of fear of stigma.
  5. Lack of knowledge: People may not be aware of their rights or how to get access to abortion treatment due to misinformation, disinformation, and poor sex education.
  6. Lack of funding: A person may turn to less safe options if they cannot afford abortion care or the accompanying fees (such as transportation to or from the clinic or child care).
Numerous studies have demonstrated that making abortions illegal results in a rise in unsafe abortions.
The repeal of laws that limit access to safe abortion has been demanded by several organizations, including the WHO and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, as a result of these policies driving an increase in the use of unsafe abortion methods.

What risks are associated with less safe and least safe abortion care?

Unsafe abortion, according to Doctors Without Borders, is one of the main reasons pregnant women pass away. According to the WHO, unsafe abortions account for between 4.7 and 13.2% of maternal fatalities.
For every 100,000 unsafe abortions, 30 people are thought to pass away in developed nations. For every 100,000 unsafe abortions, 220 people per 100,000 die in underdeveloped countries.
Less safe and least safe abortions can even pose a risk of death.
When receiving unsafe abortion care, a patient may encounter:
  • severe bleeding (hemorrhaging)
  • infection
  • perforation of the uterus
  • sepsis
  • injury to internal organs
These issues may result in:
  • chronic pain
  • emotional trauma
  • infertility
In addition to being risky, unsafe abortion methods may also be unsuccessful, meaning that the pregnancy may not truly end as a result.

The bottom line

Safe abortion procedures have a low risk of complications, while unsafe procedures are the main reason why pregnant women pass away. Infertility and other issues might arise from unsafe abortion treatment.
It's critical to be knowledgeable about your rights and your options for receiving safe abortion treatment, as access to abortion in the United States is becoming more and more restricted.

Frequently asked questions

What is an unsafe abortion in India?

 According to the WHO, this phrase refers to "the termination of an unintended pregnancy either by persons lacking the necessary skills or in an environment lacking the minimum medical standards, or both, "Unsafe abortion is the fourth most common type of abortion and is significantly linked to maternal complications such as haemorrhage, infection, and trauma.

At what age is abortion legal?

 Depending on your pregnancy's week (see above), you may require the approval of one or two doctors (certified medical practitioners). on your own. There can be no abortion performed without the pregnant woman's permission. If you are under 18 and a minor, your legal guardian

Is abortion legal in India for unmarried women?

 Before this, in 2021, an important modification to India's abortion law finally permitted married women to get abortions up to four weeks later, but unmarried women had to wait till then. The court's decision eliminated that distinction and placed the cap at 24 weeks for everyone.

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