New Study On Post-War Romanian Abortion Policy Demonstrates That Restrictions Result In Maternal MortalityMain Category: Abortion
Article Date: 18 Jan 2013
A unique study published in today's edition of the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care1, provides new evidence about the causal links between restrictions to abortion policy and maternal mortality. The study demonstrates that limiting abortion does not prevent women from seeking pregnancy terminations but simply increases the risks they face.
The study reveals women's fertility rate and abortion rates before, during and after the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu outlawed abortion in 1966 until his death in 1989. Prior to Nicolae Ceausescu's rise to power, access to surgical abortions had been easily available under the Soviet regime. Within days of the dictator's fall, the anti-abortion law was abolished and abortion was made available again on request.
The report's authors point out that the country's dramatic shifts in family planning policy offer a rare opportunity to study causal links between access to contraception and abortion and changes in reproductive outcomes. The two causal links that authors were able to surmise provide important lessons for all policy makers today:
"Countries that increasingly seek to restrict access to abortion and contraception should look and learn from Romania's example... All legislators in Britain and elsewhere who really care about women's safety - and, indeed, women's lives - need to pay attention to these findings,"
Key findings from the study reveal:
Ann Furedi, Chief Executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (bpas) said: 'When women cannot obtain abortion legally in their own country, they either travel to countries where they can, or they risk their health by resorting to unlawful means at home.'
Kate Guthrie, spokesperson for the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare said: "This study starkly demonstrates the risks, often with fatal consequences, that women will take to avoid unwanted pregnancy. Equally it shows the dramatic impact that easy access to contraception had on abortion."
Original article posted on Medical News Today.
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