|08. Maternal Mortality and Unsafe Abortion: A Heavy Burden for Developing Countries|
Abortion, due to its frequency worldwide, its often illegal nature, its major contribution to maternal mortality and its social implications, is a major public health issues in most developing countries. The gap between developing and developed countries in the risk of death from unsafe abortion have never been so high: 1/150 000 in developing countries versus 1/150 in developed countries.
Ways of reducing the burden of unsafe abortion are well known, although their implantation is rather difficult, as has recently been illustrated by the situation in South Africa.
The international community and organizations from within the United Nations system must play a key role encouraging governments to modify their abortion legislation and to improve their health system to take more account of womens health rights.