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WHO publishes first-ever country estimates on unintended pregnancy, abortion |


With a partner organization, the Guttmacher Institute, WHO say the result will enable health authorities to better understand family planning needs in their countriesincluding contraception and abortion care.

According to the figures – which represent the first time ever performed at the national level – rates of unintended pregnancy and abortion vary widely, even within the same region.

Significant Variations

The The biggest variations are in Latin Americawhere the rate of unintended pregnancy ranges from 41 to 107 per 1,000 women, and in sub-Saharan Africa, where it is 49 to 145 women per 1,000 women.

Even In regions with low rates of unintended pregnancy, it is still important to invest in providing women and girls with the information they need to make a choice about whether or not they want to have children.Jonathan Bearak of the Guttmacher Institute, whose study appeared in the journal BMJ Global Health.

Necessary health insurance

Sexual and reproductive health and rights are an essential part of universal health coverage and are required to end discrimination. against women and girls,” said WHO.

This disparity is not entirely shaped by income levels. In Europe, for example, most countries with unintended pregnancy rates higher than the regional average are classified as high-income, while the two countries with the lowest estimates are classified as high-income countries. middle income group.

This finding reflects barriers to effective sexual and reproductive health care access and utilization, which exist in all settings, not just those where resources are scarce.

Ban on abortion, ineffective

“Rate of unwanted pregnancies ending in abortion – as high as 68%, even among countries that outright ban abortion – illustrates the power of the desire of millions of women and adolescents to avoid unwanted childbirth,” said Mr. Bearak.

Although estimates go a long way in improving the quality of available evidence, there is still an urgent need for more and better data.


Women in La Paz, Bolivia, receive information about modern contraceptive methods.

© PAHO / Fredy Gomez

Women in La Paz, Bolivia, receive information about modern contraceptive methods.

Fair investment

These country-level estimates highlight the importance of equity investing in comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care, and will further inform countries that are working to do so. new guide for quality abortion services.

“Good for health, People in countries around the world need access to a comprehensive sex education package, accurate family planning information and services, and quality abortion care.,” said Dr Bela Ganatra, head of WHO’s Unsafe Abortion Unit.

“This study is intended to support countries as they work to strengthen the life-saving services they provide for sexual and reproductive health and improve health outcomes – particularly for women and girls”.



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