Most of Guttmacher Institute’s work in Africa concentrates on Sub-Saharan Africa. Studies have estimated the incidence of abortion and unintended pregnancy; presented age-specific abortion rates and rates for sexually active adolescents; documented the severity of complications from unsafe abortion; assessed the quality, costs and reach of postabortion care; examined sexuality education; and explored the use of misoprostol from informal sources for abortion. A comprehensive monograph also summarized the body of evidence on unintended pregnancy and abortion in the region.

The Institute's ongoing Adding It Up project provides estimates (regional, subregional and country-specific) of the needs for modern contraception, maternal and newborn care, and abortion-related services for low- and middle-income countries. This work also estimates the costs and impacts of meeting these needs, providing policymakers throughout Africa with evidence that investment in improving and increasing the provision of sexual and reproductive health services saves lives, improves women’s health and well-being, and has broad societal benefits. 

In addition, the Unintended Pregnancy and Abortion Worldwide study has produced model-based estimates of the incidence of unintended pregnancy and abortion for all African countries and territories over the period 1990–2019. Such estimates provide an opportunity to assess trends in unintended pregnancy and abor­tion over time for individual countries and territories, as well as regionally and globally.

Explore data and resources for 55 African countries using the “Select a country profile” box on this page.

Select a country profile

Disparities in unintended pregnancy and abortion among low-, middle- and high-income countries reflect a need for greater action by policymakers at all levels to achieve global equity in sexual and reproductive health.