“Induced Abortion: Incidence and Trends Worldwide from 1995 to 2008,” a study conducted by the Guttmacher Institute and the World Health Organization and published in the Lancet, indicates that since 2008, the decline in the worldwide rate of abortions has stalled. According to the study, “between 1995 and 2003, the overall number of abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age (14-44) dropped from 35 to 29.” However since 2008, the rate as remained at 28 per 1,000.

Gilda Sedgh, the lead author for the study, stated, “The declining abortion trend we had seen globally has stalled, and we are also seeing a growing proportion of abortions occurring in developing countries, where the procedure is often clandestine and unsafe. This is cause for concern. This plateau coincides with a slowdown in contraceptive uptake. Without greater investment in quality family planning services, we can expect this trend to persist.”

The researchers also noted that approximately 50 percent of abortions performed in the world are unsafe, and 13 percent of all maternal deaths could be attributed to unsafe abortions in 2008. The findings also indicate that restrictive abortion laws do not necessarily result in lower rates of abortion.

Guttmacher Institute 1/18/12; “Induced Abortion: Incidence and Trends Worldwide from 1995 to 2008” 1/18/12

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