Safe abortion is considered a stigma and no-go area by many people in the world. Therefore, safe abortion is neither widely accessible nor acceptable for a majority of women and girls. This comes with a cost, as unsafe abortion is a major cause of maternal mortality and morbidity, in particular in developing countries. The socio-economic costs of unsafe abortion, are beyond costs for individual women and girls. It also includes costs for their households and families, for health-care systems, and for the broader development of communities and societies. These costs are avoidable and preventable.
Hivos wishes to advance the acceptability and accessibility of safe abortion. It therefore, jointly with Rutgers WPF commissioned a review of recently published literature – between 2010 – 2014 – about key factors that affect acceptability and accessibility of safe abortion.
The author identifies lessons learned about work to facilitate or hinder abortion acceptability and accessibility. Based on this, she has formulated recommendations for future research and action. This a.o. includes: - programme interventions that tackle health-facility and service provision related factors; - the need to handle the sensitive and emotional issues of how to best talk about abortion to broader audiences; - the need to broaden the support base beyond the community of sexual and reproductive rights organisations; and - promotion of local support and services for self-induced medical abortion.