- Access to family planning and safe abortion services will reduce maternal mortality rates (MMR) worldwide.
- A review and commentary on the use of family planning and abortion services to reduce the MMR.
- Funding: Source of funding not disclosed.
- Women at extremes of age are at increased risk for maternal mortality.
- High parity is associated with a higher MMR, but there are several confounders including age, socioeconomic status and education, smoking, and alcohol use.
- Studies on birth spacing are mixed; close births increase risk for nutritional deficiencies and anemia.
- Contraceptive services may fail and abortion services are important in preventing increased MMR. According to a World Health Organization systemic analysis, unsafe abortions attributed to 7.9% of maternal deaths between 2003 and 2009. Access to safe and legal abortion can reduce this risk.
- Approximately 7 million women in developing countries are treated for complications from unsafe abortions annually.
Why this matters
- Access to family planning and abortion services are key to preventing pregnancy in high risk women and to ultimately decrease high MMRs.
- Access to family planning and safe abortion services is also a reflection upon how we view women and ensuring they have access to evidence based care that protects their health and human rights.