World News and Trends: The continuing tragedy of unsafe abortions

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The continuing tragedy of unsafe abortions

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Unsafe abortions are a problem of global proportions, most particularly in Asia. Thousands of women have experienced serious long-term effects with debilitating physical injuries, not to mention long-lasting psychological problems.

A report given at Countdown 2015, a London conference sponsored by the UN reviewing methods of improving reproductive health around the world, estimated that "almost 200 women die each day after having a botched abortion"—amounting to some 70,000 deaths a year.

Up to 10 million Asian women have unsafe abortions annually, accounting for half of all pregnancy-related deaths. The figures stand at about five million such abortions for both African and Latin American women each year, with a 44 percent death rate in Africa and surprisingly only 6 percent in Latin America. Elizabeth Maguire, president of the American organization Ipas, stated that "forty women every minute undergo an unsafe abortion." She added that these are preventable.

Ms. Maguire also said: "Changing the laws and effectively implementing those changes is the only way to ensure that women can fully exercise their right to decide whether and when to have children." However, a trustee of a U.K. charity in this field, Nuala Scarisbrick, countered with this thought: "What women need is help and encouragement to continue with their pregnancy. We should not impose our rotten [Western] values on the developing world."

In the United Kingdom, "Britain's largest provider of abortions stands accused of advising women to circumvent British regulations on late terminations by flying to a clinic in Barcelona [Spain] where the operation is provided— illegally." Daily Telegraph reporter Charlotte Edwardes went to witness this "chamber of horrors" where doctors are allegedly aborting unborn babies at a stage when there is every chance of a reasonable and healthy life.

Too many women, in a state of desperate confusion, view abortions as "a morally viable option" even in the late stages of pregnancy. Abortion denies a child's right to life. In God's way of thinking, it is a clear violation of the Sixth Commandment—"You shall not murder." (Sources: The Daily Telegraph, BBC Web Site [both London].)