Unsafe abortion kills nearly 50,000 a year
Among the regions with the most restrictive abortion laws and the highest number of unsafe abortions is Latin America, which has 4.2 million abortions a year, most of them unsafe, according to Carmen Barroso, Western hemisphere regional director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF).
Although Colombia, Uruguay and Mexico City decriminalized some aspects of abortion in recent years, setbacks occurred in Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and some Mexican states, she said.
Most people think abortion should be legal, but they tend to agree to curb it under the influence of strong religious opposition to the procedure, she said. She thinks this is because “For many people, that’s the only source that they have to consider themselves ethical and honourable.”
This position could easily change, she said, pointing out that only a few decades ago divorce was banned throughout Latin America, yet today few people question it.
Meanwhile, about half of those who die because of unsafe abortions are women under 25 years old, primarily poor, uneducated, rural and single, she said.