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Making Abortion Safe

Every year an estimated 25 million unsafe abortions take place around the world and it is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality and morbidity worldwide.

The risk of dying from an unsafe abortion is highest for women in Africa, where nearly half of all abortions happen in potentially dangerous circumstances1. Almost every death from unsafe abortion is preventable with the use of effective contraception, provision of safe abortion, and timely post-abortion care.

Safe abortions are an essential part of sexual and reproductive health; they should be an integrated component of sexual and reproductive healthcare and be available as part of routine health services.

Making Abortion Safe

The Making Abortion Safe programme works in collaboration with healthcare professionals in Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Zimbabwe, to improve women’s and girls’ access to safe abortion (to the full extent of the law), post-abortion care and post-abortion contraceptive services.

Building on the RCOG’s influence and track record in setting standards for women’s health and professionalising sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, Making Abortion Safe works with healthcare champions, to address the barriers to safe abortion and/or post-abortion care for women and girls in five focus countries and globally. The programme aims to do this by:

  • Increasing access to free abortion and post-abortion care educational and professional resources, such as the Making Abortion Safe eLearning resources on Abortion Care, that have been co-created by our SRHR champions; and the Best Practice Papers on Abortion Care and Post-Abortion Care.
  • Conducting research into the stigma experienced by abortion care providers and providing tools and guidance to support providers and professionals societies to deal with and address this issue.
  • Advocating for improvements to abortion and post-abortion care access through national, regional and international advocacy. Making Abortion Safe is creating resources for healthcare professionals that can be used to shape or inform advocacy, such as the Abortion Advocacy eLearning resources for healthcare professionals and the RCOG and FSRH Key Messages on Safe Abortion.
  • Partnering with professional societies, NGOs, like-minded individuals and others who are working to ensure women and girls’ have access to safe abortion and/or post-abortion care.

Key messages on safe abortion

Key messages and positions regarding safe abortion care from the RCOG and Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health (FSRH).

Download: Key messages on safe abortion (PDF 627kb)

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1 Ganatra B, Gerdts C, Rossier C, Johnson Jr B R, Tuncalp Ö, Assifi A, Sedgh G, Singh S, Bankole A, Popinchalk A, Bearak J, Kang Z, Alkema L. Global, regional, and subregional classification of abortions by safety, 2010–14: estimates from a Bayesian hierarchical model. The Lancet. 2017