Twenty million unsafe abortions are performed each year, 90% of which occur in the developing world. In many countries, abortion is still illegal; in others a variety of cultural barriers force women to seek out underground abortions. Even in countries, such as China, where abortion is fully accessible in practice as well as in theory, our understanding of the phenomenon is very partial. In discussing issues that are of the utmost important for understanding abortion, this book furthers our knowledge of this one of the most important elements of reproductive health. The result of a global research project, commissioned by the World Health Organization, the book provides new information on abortion, vital for both policy debate and strategies for intervention. The contributors explain the extent of abortion, why it happens and what happens when it does. A section on women's perspectives explains how women across the world feel when they find they must abort, the processes by which they go about it, how the underground networks operate and the obstacles these women must face. The book addresses providers? views on abortion, highlighting how their personal values and opinions influence the total experience that women undergo.
Several contributions discuss the relationship between contraception and abortion while a section on adolescents addresses a newly emerging concern for programme managers around the world. With more information that has ever been previously available, this book is the most comprehensive and up-to-date picture of abortion globally; it also demonstrates that true reproductive freedom comes only with women's empowerment and with an acceptable quality of health care. It will be necessary reading for students and academics of women's studies and population studies, as well as for practitioners in the health sector.
Publisher: Zed Books Ltd