23 June 2017: WHO and the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs have launched a new, open-access database of laws, policies and health standards on abortion in countries worldwide. The database aims to promote greater transparency of abortion laws and policies, as well as to improve countries’ accountability for the protection of women and girls’ health and human rights.
12 May 2016: New estimates, published today in the Lancet, indicate that the induced abortion rate has declined significantly in more developed countries between 1990 and 2014, but not in developing countries. A new study, undertaken by the Guttmacher Institute and WHO, has estimated that, worldwide, during the period 2010-2014, there were 35 abortions per 1000 women aged 15-44. This translates to over 56 million abortions per year.
15 January 2016 -- A new website has been launched to help make WHO recommendations on health worker roles in providing safe abortion and post-abortion care more accessible. The interactive resource is based on WHO’s guideline, Health worker roles in providing safe abortion care and post-abortion contraception, and is designed to help people working across the health sector access the recommendations more easily.
The World Health Organization defines unsafe abortion as a procedure for terminating a pregnancy performed by persons lacking the necessary skills or in an environment not in conformity with minimal medical standards, or both. Although widely used, this definition is inconsistently interpreted. In this new article published in WHO’s Bulletin we discuss its correct interpretation and operationalization.
Preventing unsafe abortion
Social science research
The UNDP/UNICEF/UNFPA/WHO/World Bank Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (HRP) conducts and supports research to map and generate policy relevant evidence, tests interventions and their impact, and improves technologies for safe abortion and post-abortion care.