15 November 2018

Factors contributing to unsafe abortions in low and middle-income countries

Author: ESubden
Published by: ALIGN
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Infographic on unsafe abortions

Globally around 22 million unsafe abortions take place every year, two-fifths of them among young women aged 15-24, and the vast majority in low and middle income countries.

A number of factors contribute to unsafe abortion. These include laws and policies that restrict provision and drive women and girls to unsafe alternatives; poverty, that drives women and girls to seek abortions if they cannot afford a child; and a web of gendered social norms related to sexuality, motherhood and abortion.

In different contexts these norms combine to limit women’s and girls’ negotiation power within sexual relationships, and stigmatise both pregnancies outside marriage and abortion.

ALIGN’s annotated bibliography on social and gender norms and safe abortion, developed by Claudia Lo Forte, presents recent open access studies that explores the impact of gendered social norms on access to safe abortion.

This ALIGN diagram shows some of the norms and other factors that affect access to safe abortion in different contexts.