|Safe & Legal Abortion|
The Context: Unsafe Abortion Worldwide
Each year, an estimated 20 million unsafe abortions occur worldwide. About 70,000 women, the vast majority of them in developing countries, die from the consequences of these abortions, and untold numbers suffer severe health effects. Even though abortion is legal in almost all countries to save a woman's life and in three-fifths of countries to protect her physical and mental health, safe abortion services are often not provided by public health systems or are of poor quality. The Global Gag Rule and other damaging U.S. foreign policies use opposition to abortion to deny funding to groups that are working to address the full range of women's reproductive health needs—but advocates for women worldwide are building alliances to focus attention on the women who suffer, and often lose their lives, as a result of these restrictive laws and policies.
Our Partners: Building Alliances and Demanding Change
In collaboration with its partners around the world, the International Women's Health Coalition seeks to foster a better understanding of women's experiences of unwanted pregnancy and subsequent abortion, and to dispel myths, stigma, and misinformation. Dictated by women's realities and supported by the knowledge that restrictive abortion laws only serve to force the procedure underground and into the hands of unqualified practitioners, IWHC seeks to expand the availability and quality of safe abortion services as part of comprehensive reproductive health policies and programs around the world.
IWHC supports a number of organizations and networks focusing attention on the public health crisis of unsafe abortion in their countries and regions, and working to expand access to safe services. For example: