London: A rising proportion of abortions worldwide are putting women’s health at risk, a new study has said.The World Health Organisation (WHO) study suggests that global abortion rates are steady, at 28 per 1,000 women a year.However, the proportion of the total carried out without trained clinical help rose from 44 percent in 1995 to 49 percent in 2008.The Lancet, which carried the report, said the figures were “deeply disturbing”.Unsafe abortion is one of the main contributors to maternal death worldwide, and refers to procedures outside hospitals, clinics and surgeries, or without qualified medical supervision.Women are more vulnerable to dangerous infection or bleeding in these environments.In developing countries, particularly those with more restrictive abortion laws, most abortions are unsafe, with 97 percent of abortions in Africa described this way.To compile the figures, often a difficult task in countries where abortion is illegal, the researchers used surveys, official statistics and hospital records.They concluded that while the abortion rate had fallen since 1995, that drop had now levelled off, and overall, the rise in world population meant that there were 2.2 million more abortions in 2008 compared with 2003.
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