Safe abortion and post-abortion care

More than 20 million women - the vast majority of them in poor countries - resort to unsafe abortion each year. An estimated 47,000 women die in the process, and 5 million need urgent medical attention. Our teams frequently encounter women suffering the effects of incomplete or “botched” abortions.

Receptionists talking to client in Cambodia centre

Our vision: a world in which every birth is wanted

More than 20 million women – the vast majority of them in poor countries - resort to unsafe abortion each year. 

An estimated 47,000 women die in the process, and 5 million need urgent medical attention. Our teams frequently encounter women suffering the effects of incomplete or “botched” abortions.

We provide post-abortion care wherever we work in order to ensure immediate life-saving medical care for women suffering complications from an unsafe abortion and to offer the counseling and opportunity to learn about family planning to prevent a future unintended pregnancy. 

Helping achieve MDG 5

Our primary motivation is to save women’s lives, and help drive progress towards MDG 5, the “Millennium Development Goal” that aims to cut maternal deaths by three quarters by 2015.

We recognise that in all societies - whatever the legal situation or the availability of contraception - some women will seek to end unwanted pregnancies. But the harm caused by unsafe abortions is preventable.

Our guiding principle is one of ‘harm reduction’. We strive to prevent the harm caused by unsafe abortions.

We believe women everywhere, regardless of where they live, should have access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services – including a range of contraceptive methods and, where legal, access to safe abortion – so they can make informed choices about their reproductive health.

Where the law allows, we offer women the choice of both surgical and medical abortion. In these settings, we work to empower women to make their own decisions and give training to existing healthcare providers on how to provide safe medical abortion. We also train these providers on how to counsel women through this process, and on how to provide post-abortion care.

Providing high-quality post-abortion care for women suffering from the consequences of an unsafe abortion or a spontaneous miscarriage is critically important in any setting. Our providers are trained to provide emergency treatment for the injuries caused by these events, alongside with providing family planning counselling and services to reduce the chances of another unintended pregnancy.

Giving women the information they need to make safe choices

Our goal is to educate and empower women so that every child she has is by choice, not chance. No woman should have her life or health at unnecessary risk and we are here to support women in accessing safe choices.

Safe abortion and post-abortion care case studies: