Research shows that making abortion illegal does not stop it from occurring, but rather just drives it underground, forcing women to obtain clandestine and unsafe procedures. Every year, 47,000 women die as a result of unsafe abortions, and millions more are injured, some seriously and permanently. Virtually all of these deaths and injuries take place in countries with highly restrictive abortion laws, and they are almost entirely preventable.
The frequency of abortion has much less to do with its legal status than with levels of unintended pregnancy, the root cause of most abortions. Access to quality family planning information and services can reduce unintended pregnancy rates. The best way to reduce the need for abortion is not by denying women access to safe and legal abortion procedures, but by giving them the power to control their fertility and prevent unintended pregnancy.
To help ensure that the global debate about unsafe abortion is informed by facts, the Guttmacher Institute has created an infographic presenting key evidence on the consequences of restrictive abortion laws.
For more information: