THE BLOG

The Reality of Unsafe Abortion

29/08/2014 08:26 BST | Updated 28/10/2014 09:59 GMT

Disability, infertility, being shunned by your community and in the worst case even death: these are just some of the terrifying risks women expose themselves to when they have an unsafe abortion. Yet every year 21.6 million women, 99% of them in the developing world, are so desperate to end an unwanted pregnancy that they will quite literally risk their lives.

With backstreet abortionists a thing of the past for us in the UK, it's hard to imagine, but watch this short film and you will soon understand what unsafe really means.

There is a solution though - and it's so simple - contraception and access to safe abortion. Sadly, the reality is abortion will never be legal everywhere, so we have to ensure that women can also find the medical care they desperately need when things go wrong.

There have already been success stories. In just five short years, Uganda was able to increase contraceptive use by 20% and since Ethiopia changed its law in 2005 to allow better access to safe abortion services they have seen huge declines in their maternal mortality. But in many countries, women are still dying in their droves.

There are less than 500 days left to achieve the UN's Millennium Development Goals and the goal on maternal health is the furthest off-track, so we are calling on world leaders to Make Women Matter and put an end to unsafe abortion once and for all. It's time to make a change.